Return of Title IV Funds and Refund Policies

What is Title IV Aid?

Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended in 1998, (Title IV, and HEA program) establishes general rules that apply to federal student financial assistance programs. For purposes of Return of Title IV Funds, these programs include:

Pell and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity (FSEOG) Grants, and Direct, Direct PLUS and Perkins Loans.

What Return of Title IV Funds Means to Financial Aid Recipients

This publication provides information about the UC Davis Return of Title IV Funds (Return) policies that apply to any student who cancels enrollment, withdrawals, is dismissed, or participates in the Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP). These policies apply to students that discontinue enrollment in all classes, on or after the first day of the term. When you withdraw, two separate calculations must take place:

  1. A refund of fees must be calculated.
  2. The Financial Aid Office must calculate the Return.

If you cancel your registration prior to the first day of classes, this policy will not apply to you. Also, if you drop some but not all of your classes, these policies will not apply; however, you should notify the Financial Aid Office because your continued eligibility may be affected. To cancel, withdraw or PELP, contact your respective Registrar’s Office.

Refund of Fees

Based upon the date you discontinue enrollment, you may receive a full or partial refund of your fees. This refund will not impact the Return calculation, but does affect the amount of money you may owe back to the University for withdrawing. During your first term at UC Davis, you will be classified as a new student. After your first term, you will be considered a continuing student at UC Davis. Beginning with the first day of class, the following fee refund policies are based upon your classification as a new or continuing student and the number of days lapsed when the action to discontinue enrollment was filed for the quarter or semester.

Regular Academic Year Fee Refund Schedule for New Students

Refund Amount Days in Quarter Days in Semester
100% 0-1 0-7
90% 2-7 8-14
80% 8-14 15-28
70% 15-21 29-35
60% 22-28 36-49
50% 29-35 50-56
40% 36-42 57-63
0% 43+ 64+

Regular Academic Year Fee Refund Schedule for Continuing Students

Refund Days in Quarter Days in Semester
100% 0-1 (less $10) 0-1
90% 2-7 2-11
50% 8-18 12-27
25% 19-35 28-53
0% 36+ 54+


For information regarding the Summer Session Refund policy please visit

Return of Title IV Funds (Earned versus Unearned Aid)

When you discontinue enrollment, the Financial Aid Office must calculate the amount of financial aid you have earned prior to the date the action was filed. Any aid received in excess of the earned amount is considered unearned. The unearned financial aid must be returned to the respective federal programs. UC Davis and the student jointly share this amount. The calculation is based upon only the amount of Title IV Aid for which you were eligible. UC Davis policy uses the same federal formula to calculate how much university and/or state aid is earned if the student discontinued enrollment before the end of the quarter.

Calculating Earned Financial Aid

The amount of earned financial aid is calculated on a daily basis from the first day of classes. The process uses calendar rather than business days. Earned aid is determined by taking the number of days attended before enrollment ended divided by the total number of days in the term (first day of instruction until the last day of finals, excluding spring break for semester students).

Return policies apply to students that withdraw on or before the 60% point of the term. Discontinuing enrollment after the 60% date will not result in adjustments to the student’s financial aid for that given term.

See examples for calculating the percent of earned aid below.

Unofficial Withdrawal

The UC Davis Financial Aid Office reviews posted grades every term. If a student receives all non-passing grades, attendance in the term cannot be verified and as a result they are determined to have unofficially withdrawn. Per federal Return to Title IV regulations, financial aid is adjusted using the 50% point of the term as the withdrawal date.

Students are notified if they are considered an unofficial withdrawal. In order to reevaluate this determination students can provide documentation to support attendance of at least one course through more than half of the term: for example, a signed and dated letter or email from one of your instructors.

Calculating Return of Title IV Aid Amount

Once the earned and unearned aid percentages are determined, the next step is to calculate the dollar amount of unearned aid that must be returned. The Return amount is determined by multiplying the unearned aid percentage by the total of all Title IV aid received.

Unearned Aid Percentage

X   Total of all Title IV Funds Received

= Total Unearned Aid

School Portion of the Return

The amount of unearned aid that must be returned by UC Davis is a percentage of the institutional charges for the term. Once the dollar amount of the school portion of the Return is determined, it is compared to the total amount of all unearned aid. If the school portion is less than the total unearned aid, then UC Davis must return the amount of the school portion. If the calculated school portion exceeds the total unearned aid, then UC Davis must return the amount of the total unearned aid.

Financial aid will be returned to the aid program from which it came. If returned to a loan program, your outstanding balance will be reduced by the amount of the return. Aid will be returned in the following order:

  1. Unsubsdizied Direct Loan
  2. Subsidized Direct Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Direct PLUS Loans
  5. Federal Pell Grants
  6. Federal Supplimental Educational Opportuinity Grant
  7. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Fee Refund Versus School Return Amount

In most cases, the amount of the fee refund received will be less than the amount of the school portion of Title IV funds. When you discontinue enrollment, a balance will be created on your student account at UC Davis for the difference between the fee refund and the Return amount. You will be responsible for paying this balance in addition to any other balance created from the student portion of the Return.

Student Portion of Return of Title IV Funds

After the school returns the correct amount of aid, any amount of the total unearned aid that remains becomes the student portion of the Return. The student portion of the Return is calculated by subtracting the amount of the school Return from the total unearned aid.

Total Unearned Aid

(Subtract) School Return Amount

(Equals) Student Portion of Return

Depending on the remaining sources of aid after the school Return, the student portion of the Return is distributed back to the aid program from which it was awarded as follows:

  • Any amount of the Return allocated to loans is repayable after you leave UC Davis and enter repayment according to the terms and conditions of those loans. You will not be billed for these funds upon discontinued enrollment.
  • Any amount allocated to federal Title IV grants are subsequently decreased by 50%. This adjustment is an effort to reduce the impact of discontinued enrollment on those students receiving grant funds. UC Davis will return these funds on your behalf and you will be responsible for reimbursing UC Davis for this return.

Federal Formula used for State Cal Grants and Institutional Aid

Whether or not you are receiving any of the types of federal aid listed, students that received any non-federal aid (listed below) are required to go through a similar calculation to determine the portion of these funds that are unearned. Aid is returned in the following order:

  1. Cal Grants
  2. Institutional Loans
  3. University Grant

Future Aid Eligibility

Withdrawing may affect your eligibility to receive financial aid in subsequent terms. Depending upon the type of financial aid you receive, you may be required to resubmit certain applications.

If your loans should go into repayment once you withdraw from school, it is important to make your payments on time to prevent default. If you default on a loan, you would lose your eligibility for any future financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Withdrawal from school may affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress standing and future eligibility for financial aid.

Cancellation of Registration

If you cancel your registration prior to the beginning of the term you will not be considered a student for that term. If this occurs, you are not entitled to receive any form of financial aid during the term and your aid will be canceled and returned to the appropriate programs.

If cancellation takes place close to the beginning of the term and you have already received financial aid to cover living expenses, you will be required to repay the entire amount received.

Sample of Return to Title IV Calculation

2013-2014 undergraduate student who withdrawals during Week 3 of the Fall quarter:

  • Number of Days Attended: 16
  • Number of Days in the Quarter: 79
  • Earned Financial Aid: 20.3%
  • Unearned Financial Aid: 79.7%
Types of Aid Financial Aid Disbursed Fall Quarter Total Aid Earned
(Student eligible to keep)
Total Aid Unearned
(Must be recouped)
UC Davis Campus Fee Grant $175 $0 $175
University Grant $423 $0 $423
Cal Grant $4,604 $948 $3,117
Direct Loan $1,500 $0 $1,500
Perkins Loan $333 $0 $333
Pell Grant $1,400 $655 $744
Total Aid $7,895 $1,603 $6,292

If you have questions about Return to Title IV Funds at UC Davis, please contact your specific Financial Aid Office