Return of Title IV Funds

Please note that the Return of Title IV Funds functions in conjunction with the SENMC Refund Policy.

Withdrawing or Leaving School Before the End of the Semester

Students who receive financial aid funds at SENMC and subsequently withdraw from that same term (for any reason) should be aware of the repercussions withdrawing will have on their financial aid in the current semester and in future semesters. Financial aid is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded.

The federal government mandates that students who withdraw or fail to complete all scheduled classes within a term may only keep the financial aid they have “earned” up to the time of withdrawal. Any unearned aid must be returned regardless if it’s already been disbursed. This situation could result in the student owing aid funds to SENMC, government or both. The higher number of class days completed, the lower the amount of financial aid that must be returned.

Once a student has completed more than 60% of their scheduled period of enrollment during a semester, the student is allowed to keep 100% of aid even if a withdrawal occurs after that point.

The formula to determine the percentage of aid earned is: the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the scheduled period of enrollment or term (any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term).

Any balance that you may owe would depend on the amount of funds received, the date of withdrawal, the student’s charges, and if you will be entitled to any refund of tuition and fees for the semester from which you are withdrawing. Even if you get a refund of tuition and fees, you may still owe SENMC money after the Return to Title IV calculation has been processed.

Refunds of tuition and fees, if applicable, are processed much faster than Return of Title IV, and will sometimes result in a student first receiving a refund and then owing a balance. Any resulting remaining balance must be paid to SENMC.

Financial Aid must calculate any percentage owed and return your unearned percentage within 45 days of your withdrawal. You will be sent a letter to your mailing address on record detailing what type of aid is being billed and the amount to be returned.

Refunds are returned in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  • Federal Plus Loans
  • Direct Plus Loans
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants (SEOG) for which a Return of funds is required
  • Federal TEACH Grants for which a Return is required
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant for which a Return is required
  • Federal Pell Grants for which a Return of funds is required

Types of Withdrawals

Official Withdrawal

An Official Withdrawal refers to removing all courses from your schedule and no longer attending the college for a specific term. A student is also considered an official withdrawal if they drop or withdraw from all current classes in a specific term, but are still enrolled in upcoming module courses (mini semesters or short courses) in the same term and have not confirmed in writing to financial aid that they will be attending those courses.  Students who wish to officially withdraw should do so through the Registrar.

Unofficial Withdrawal

Students who receive all failing or non-passing grades for a semester are assumed to have ceased attendance and are considered an “unofficial withdrawal.” Students may be billed for some or all aid received. Students receiving all non-passing grades for a semester should contact the Financial Aid Office immediately for assistance. Federal regulations require schools to calculate a return of financial aid based on attendance. If a student withdraws from the semester either officially (all W’s), or unofficially (all non-passing letter grades), SENMC will use a calculation to determine what types and amounts of financial aid will be returned to the appropriate program. The calculation takes into consideration the last date of attendance, tuition and fees and the type of aid received by the student. The last date of attendance is determined by the instructor when final grades are submitted.

Retroactive Withdrawal

A Retroactive Withdrawal refers to a student who is requesting to withdraw from a term that has already been completed. Retroactive Withdrawals are handled on a case-by-case basis by the Registrar’s Office. The SENMC Financial Aid Office will review these cases as federal and state regulations permit in determining whether or not a Return of Title IV funds calculation is required to be performed. This calculation may result in the student being required to repay any aid received based on the official date of the withdrawal, as determined by the Registrar’s Office and the student's original record of registration. For more information on Retroactive Withdrawals, please visit the Registrar’s Office. For more information on how a Retroactive Withdrawal will affect your federal financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid office. 

Retaining Eligibility for Financial Aid

Please note that withdrawing may have an effect on your  Satisfactory Academic Progress. When students withdraw at any time during a semester, their financial aid will be canceled for future terms. Students will need to contact the Financial Aid Office if they return for future terms in order to have aid reinstated, if eligible. Reinstatement of some types of aid may be based on availability of funding. Students who do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress must submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Office. 

All students must continue to meet the requirements for eligibility that were necessary for them to receive an offer of assistance. This includes being admitted to and completing courses in a degree program. All other criteria, as defined by the rules and regulations of Southeast New Mexico College and the federal government, must be met.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

A post-withdrawal disbursement, a type of late disbursement, applies to a student who withdraws completely from school. The amount of the disbursement is determined by the Return to Title IV calculation required when a student withdraws from school. All post-withdrawal disbursements must also meet late disbursement conditions. A student may not receive any funds as a post-withdrawal disbursement that we were prohibited from making on or before the date the student withdrew.

Post-withdrawal disbursements may be credited to a student’s account to pay toward current tuition and fees up to the amount of outstanding charges. Authorization must be received from the student (or parent borrower) either before or after the student’s withdrawal date to credit the student’s account with Title IV funds for minor prior award year charges of $200 or less.