Withdrawal Policies & Procedures
If you need to withdraw from GCC at any time after you have received financial aid, please keep the following in mind:
Financial Aid Refund, Overpayment & Repayment Information
You are affected by this policy if completely withdrawn from all credits before completing 60% of the semester, and you have received federal financial aid (referred to as Title IV funds) for that same period. You will be notified if you must repay federal money as a result of withdrawing. Refer to the Maricopa Community Colleges' website regarding the Treatment of Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws.
Partial Withdrawal from GCC
If you withdraw from a class within the 100% refund time frame and/or are removed from the class roster anytime after you receive financial aid you may owe an overpayment. This will cause your award to be recalculated.
Questions & Answers
The law specifies how schools must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that is earned when a federal financial aid recipient withdraws from school. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, National SMART Grants, TEACH Grants, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct PLUS loans, Federal Supplemental Educations Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Federal Iraq Afghanistan Grant, and Federal Perkins Loans.
When you withdraw during the payment period, the amount of federal grant and/or loan assistance earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If less assistance is received than what was earned, you may qualify for those funds. If more assistance is received than earned, the unearned funds must be returned by you and/or the school to the appropriate federal program(s).
The federal code of regulations 34 CFR 668.22 defines the treatment of withdrawals, the calculation of earned and unearned aid, the disbursement or return of federal funds, and the timelines for each.
NOTE: The requirements for Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from any refund policy that the school may have. Please refer to the specific school website for information on the institution's tuition refund policy and requirements and procedures for withdrawing from school.
The percentage of Title IV federal aid assistance you earned will be determined on a pro-rata basis up to the 60% point of your payment period. For example, if you completed 30% of a payment period, 30% of the aid originally scheduled to be received would have been earned. Once you have completed more than 60% of a payment period, 100% of awarded aid has been earned.
After calculating the percentage of aid earned, the amount of aid earned is calculated and rounded to the one-hundredth decimal. Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Iraq Afghanistan Grant, Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Direct PLUS loan, and Federal Perkins Loan aid that has been disbursed or yet to be disbursed will be included in the calculation of amount of aid earned. Federal Work Study is excluded.
The Maricopa Community College District's (MCCD) Student Financial Services Office will run reports routinely each week to identify and perform Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculations of federal financial aid recipients. The reports will identify federal aid recipients that:
- Completely withdrew.
- Received a non-passing grade in the course with the latest end date in the student's semester. However, if the last date of attendance corresponding to the non-passing grade is at the end of the course, no R2T4 is required.
When the total amount of the Title IV grant and/or loan assistance earned as of the withdrawal date is more than the amount that was disbursed, the difference between the two amounts will be treated as a post-withdrawal disbursement. If a post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the school must get your permission before it can disburse them. If a post-withdrawal disbursement includes Grant funds, the school may automatically use all or a portion of them for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). The school needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If you do not give permission, the funds will be offered. In both cases, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds in order to reduce any debt owed to the school.
A post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds will be applied towards outstanding semester charges on your account and may pay up to the amount of the allowable charges (i.e., tuition and fees). Any remainder of the grant aid will be paid. You will be notified within 30 days of the date of determination of withdrawal of the post-withdrawal disbursement. You have 14 days from the date of notification to respond to the college. A refund will be sent within 45 days of the date that the college determined that you withdrew.
A post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds may be paid if you are eligible to receive the funds. You (or a parent if a PLUS loan) will be notified within 30 days of the date of determination of withdrawal of the opportunity to accept all or a part of the post-withdrawal disbursement. Upon receipt of a timely response from you (or a parent) (14 days from date of notification), the College will disburse the loan funds within 180 days of the date of determination of your withdrawal date. Loan funds will be applied towards the outstanding semester charges on your account and may pay up to the amount of the allowable charges (i.e., tuition and fees). Any remainder will be paid directly to you (or a parent).
Note: There may be some Title IV funds that you were scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed once you withdraw because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if you are a first-time, first-year undergraduate student and have not completed the first 30 days of the program before withdrawing, you will not receive any Direct Loan funds that would have been received if you remained enrolled past the 30th day.
The College maintains the right to decide whether or not to make a post-withdrawal disbursement if you respond more than 14 days after the date that the notification was sent. If the College decides not to make this post-withdrawal disbursement, it will inform you in writing.
When the total amount of Title IV grant and/or loan assistance that was earned as of the withdrawal date is less than the amount that was disbursed, the difference between the two amounts will be returned to the Title IV program(s) and no further disbursements will be made.
If you have received unearned funds, the College will return a portion of the unearned excess equal to the lesser of:
- Your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of funds, or
- The entire amount of the unearned funds.
The funds will be returned in the order below as prescribed by federal regulations, within 45 days from the date of determination that you withdrew.
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
- Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
- Federal Direct PLUS loans
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
- Federal Iraq Afghanistan Grant
You will be notified of any funds returned by the College within 60 days of the date the College determined that you withdrew.
In the event there is remaining unearned aid, you are responsible for returning those funds. Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment.
When loan funds should be returned (you or parent if PLUS loan), they will be repaid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note over a period of time. That is, you will make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
When grant funds should be returned, the law provides that you may repay 50% of a federal grant rather than 100%. The College will notify you of the overpayment within 30 days of the date it determined that you withdrew and requires you to pay in full or make satisfactory repayment arrangements with the college within 45 days of the date of notification. If payment is not received, the overpayment is reported by the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and the U.S. Department of Education's Borrowers Service to collect as soon as possible after 45 days. You must make arrangements with the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.
Note: If you owe an overpayment, you remain eligible for federal student aid from the earlier of 45 days from the date the institution sends a notification to you of the overpayment or 45 days from the date the institution was required to notify you of the overpayment.
All unearned funds returned by the College to the Title IV programs will be charged back to your account.
When you return to the College within a semester after withdrawing, and unearned Title IV funds have been returned to your respective program accounts, the aid may be reinstated if the College is able to recover the funds for disbursement and you are eligible.
The Maricopa Community Colleges will abide by the following federal timelines:
From the Date of Determination of a Withdrawal
- Within 30 days of the date of determination of the withdrawal date, perform the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.
- For an official withdrawal, the date of determination of the withdrawal date is the same as the withdrawal date.
- For an unofficial withdrawal, the date of determination of withdrawal must be made within 30 days after the end of the payment period, i.e., semester block.
- Within 30 days of the date of determination of the withdrawal date, notify the student if there is a post-withdrawal disbursement due to the student of loan funds or an overpayment of grant funds, if applicable.
- Within 45 days of the date of determination of the withdrawal date, return the school owed funds to the appropriate Title IV program account.
- Within 45 days of the date of determination of the withdrawal date, pay a student a post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds.
- Within 180 days of the date of determination of the withdrawal date, pay a student a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds, if the student requested funds within 14 days of notification by the school of their availability.