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US FEDERAL LOANS: Return to Title IV (R2T4) Policy

1. General Introduction

In accordance with the US Department of Education’s regulations, Title IV financial aid funds are awarded under the assumption that a student will attend the institution for the entire period in which federal assistance was awarded. Therefore, if for any reason you decide to withdraw from the University, your financial aid eligibility will be recalculated and any unearned funds will need to be returned by you to the US Department of Education. The University may also be asked to return to the US Department of Education funds received for tuition fees or accommodation. Please note that, if this happens, you will be liable to make a payment to the University to replace these missing funds.

At the same time, if you received less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds and you will be entitled to a so called post-withdrawal disbursement.

This policy will help you to understand that a withdrawal potentially affects students academically as well as financially. We encourage students to read all the information below prior to making a final decision.

2. How it is calculated

Students earn their financial aid in proportion to the amount of time in which they are enrolled. Thus, the amount of financial aid you are entitled to is calculated on a pro-rata basis. For instance, if you completed 30% of the payment period (usually each term), you are eligible to keep the 30% of the assistance you were originally eligible to receive. This means that 70 percent of the scheduled awards remain “unearned” and must be returned to the federal government. Please note that once 60% of the semester is completed, a student is considered to have earned all of his/her financial aid and will not be required to return any federal funds.

The date of your last attendance will be the date confirmed by your Academic Department.

University regulations regarding withdrawal and fees can be found here.

If after the recalculation, there are any funds that you earned and you have not received, you will be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. If your post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the University must get your permission before it can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. Brunel University London may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement for tuition fees and/or accommodation charges.  Please note that the University needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal disbursement. If you do not give your permission, you will be offered these funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow the University to keep the funds to reduce your debt. If after the recalculations a refund of US loan funds is due to you, we will make the payment to you in UK sterling unless you request that the funds be returned to the US Department of Education.

Please note that institutions are required to determine the percentage of Title IV aid ‘’earned” by the student and to return the unearned portion to the appropriate aid programs. Regulations require schools to perform calculations within 30 days from the date the school determines a student’s complete withdrawal. The school must return the funds within 45 days of the calculation.

The funds must be returned in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Loans (other than Direct PLUS Loans)
  • Subsidized Direct Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans

3. Leave of Absence (abeyance)

Students considering taking a Temporary Leave of Absence (LOA) may be affected by the Title IV (R2T4) Policy.  Please note that a LOA for longer than 180 days or an ‘unapproved LOA’ is also deemed to be a withdrawal and any unearned funds will need to be returned to the US government.

A student granted a LOA that meets the following criteria is not considered to have withdrawn, and no Return calculation is required:

  • The LOA must be approved by the University. For more information on the Leave of Absence policy and procedures please contact your department.
  • The LOA, together with any additional leaves of absence, must not exceed a total of 180 days in any 12-month period, including days in which school is not in session;

During the LOA, the University will not charge the student any additional institutional charges, the student's financial need will not increase, and therefore, the student will not be eligible for any disbursements of Federal Student Aid. A student who is granted an approved LOA maintains in-school status for Title IV loan repayment purposes.

If a student does not return from an approved LOA, or the LOA does not qualify as an approved LOA, the student will be deemed to have withdrawn for the purposes of federal aid and R2T4 will be required. One possible consequence of not returning from a LOA is that a student’s grace period for Title IV program loan repayments might be exhausted.

4. University and Student Responsibilities in regard to the Return of Title IV funds

Brunel University London responsibilities in regard to the Return of Title IV funds

  • Providing each student with the information given in this policy;
  • Identifying students affected by this policy and completing the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) calculation;
  • Informing the student of the result of the R2T4 calculation and any balance owed to Brunel University London as a result of a required return of funds;
  • Returning any unearned Title IV aid that is due to the Title IV programs and, if applicable, notifying the borrower’s holder of federal loan funds of the student’s withdrawal date;

5. Notifying student and/or Plus borrower of eligibility for a Post-Withdraw Disbursement, if applicable.

Student’s responsibilities in regard to the Return of Title IV funds

  • Becoming familiar with the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) policy and how withdrawing from all courses effects eligibility for Title IV aid;
  • Resolving any outstanding balance owed to Brunel University London resulting from a required return of unearned Title IV aid;
  • Resolving any repayment to the U.S. Department of Education as a result of an overpayment of Title IV grant funds.

6. For further details

If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Centre at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available at Student Aid.

NB: The policy will also be used when calculating the return of funds to the US Department of Education for reasons other than withdrawal/leave of absence. The policy will be applied when a student completes or graduates earlier than anticipated; when a student becomes ineligible for federal aid at Brunel University London following changes to their enrolment or other factors; or for any other reasons that federal aid funds are returned to the US Department of Education.