Financial Aid Refunds and Return of Federal Funds Policy

Students who receive aid for which they are later determined to be ineligible will be responsible for timely repayment of this aid to the appropriate source.

Student's Right to Cancel – Withdrawal and Refund Policy:

First-time students have the right to cancel the Enrollment Agreement and obtain a full refund of tuition charges paid (less non-refundable application fee and acceptance fee) if withdrawn within seven days of enrolling or through attendance at the first-class session, whichever is later. Withdrawal is defined as the dropping of one's entire program in a given quarter as differentiated from dropping some, but not all, of one's courses.

A student is considered registered until the date on which the Office of the Registrar receives written notice of withdrawal.

The University performs a separate calculation to determine the appropriate tuition and fee charges for a student who withdraws. This calculation is based on the amount of time completed in the enrollment period. The percentage of the return is based on the number of calendar days completed within an enrollment term up to 60%. The calculation will be based upon the official withdrawal date. A student attending greater than 60% of the term will be expected to pay all tuition and fees for the term. Students attending less than 60% will get a prorated refund as calculated supra.

A pro rata refund pursuant to section 94919(c) or 94920(d) or 94927 of the Code shall be no less than the total amount owed by the student for the portion of the educational program provided subtracted from the amount paid by the student, calculated as follows: (1) The amount owed equals the daily charge for the program (total institutional charge, divided by the number of days or hours in the program), multiplied by the number of days student attended, or was scheduled to attend, prior to withdrawal.

Title IV Withdrawals:

Students who receive Title IV financial aid will have their refund calculated as required by regulation. Under the most recent reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1964, the return of Federal funds has been separated from the calculation of refunds for institutional charges. The percentage of the return is based on the number of calendar days completed within an enrollment term. The calculation will be based upon the last date of documented attendance.

Refunds to student, if any, will be after financial aid adjustments are made. A student's financial assistance is adjusted to reflect reductions in the student's overall cost of attendance budget. Excess financial aid is restored proportionately to the funds from which it was drawn before a refund is given. For any student participating in Federal Title IV Federal Aid Programs, an official "Return to Title IV (R2T4) Calculation" must be performed when a student withdraws during a quarter of enrollment or exceeds fourteen days of nonattendance without indicating intent to continue. Please refer to the attendance policy for more details. This calculation determines the amount of federal aid that the student is allowed to retain for the quarter as a result of his/her withdrawal. The student's last date of documented attendance (last day of attendance or LDA) is used to perform this calculation. Last day of attendance is defined as the last day a student attended class on-site or online.

Students on leave are classified as withdrawn when certifying enrollment status for federal financial aid. Any aid received by the student is subject to the federal Return to Title IV (R2T4) formula. This means that if a student received a refund check from the school, all, or part of those "unearned" funds might need to be returned to the Department of Education. For those students who are eligible and receive federal financial aid, the following federal financial aid refund policy applies. The focus of the policy is to return the unearned portion of the federal financial aid for the enrollment period. The refund will be calculated based on the date the student begins the last date of the documented attendance or, for an unofficial withdrawal, the mid-point of the term or the last documented date of attendance. If a student withdraws from school on or before 60% of the term is complete, then the percentage of unearned Title IV federal aid shall be returned by the school and possibly by the student.

Unearned financial aid funding that is required to be returned to the Department of Education is returned in the following order:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  • PELL Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Other Federal Sources

Note: After the Federal Financial Aid refund, the student is responsible for any unpaid balance based on Sofia's refund policy.