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Refunds for Overpayment

Students may be eligible for a refund or a reduction in the semester’s payment plan, if the financial aid award, outside resource, or payment exceeds the semester charges.

If the student account reflects a credit balance (indicated in parenthesis) as a result of an overpayment, and all financial aid and payment plan payments have been made, a refund will be processed and directly deposited into the student’s bank information on file.

Please complete the Student Account Credit Balance Request Form located on insideWheaton.

Refunds for Withdrawal

Written Notice Required

Students must notify Academic Advising in writing that they are leaving the College in order to be eligible for a refund. The date the written notice is received by the Office of the Registrar from Academic Advising is used as the official date of withdrawal.

Involuntary (Non-medical) Leave, Suspension or Dismissal

The refund policy does not apply to students asked to leave the College involuntarily during an academic term. Students on interim suspension, involuntary leave or dismissal are eligible for a prorated board charge only, based on the last date of enrollment.

Dropping to Part-Time Status after the Start of Term

Tuition on courses dropped after the end of each term’s registration add/drop period, bringing the student’s course load below full-time status, will remain charged at 100%.

There will be no reduction or adjustment to fees once classes begin each semester.

All other eligible students will have their charges adjusted as follows:

Refund Adjustments – Fall and Spring Semesters

Week 1 – the refund percentage starts on the first day of classes and ends on Saturday of the same week.
Week 2 through Week 13 – the refund percentage starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday of the same week.

If Written Notice of Withdrawal Occurs Tuition Refund Housing Refund Meal Plan Refund
Prior to semester start date 100% 100% 100%
Week 1 80% 0% 92%
Week 2 80% 0% 84%
Week 3 60% 0% 76%
Week 4 40% 0% 68%
Week 5 20% 0% 60%
Week 6 0% 0% 52%
Week 7 0% 0% 44%
Week 8 0% 0% 36%
Week 9 0% 0% 28%
Week 10 0% 0% 20%
Week 11 0% 0% 15%
Week 12 0% 0% 10%
Week 13 0% 0% 5%
Week 14 – end of term 0% 0% 0%

There will be no reduction or adjustment of the housing charge once classes begin each term.

There will be no reduction or adjustment to fees once classes begin each term.

Refund Adjustments – Winter and Summer Session

If Written Notice of Withdrawal Occurs Tuition Refund Housing Refund Meal Plan Refund
Prior to semester start date 100% 0% 0%
Day 1 90% 0% 0%
Day 2 90% 0% 0%
Day 3 50% 0% 0%
Day 4 50% 0% 0%
Day 5 – end of term 0% 0% 0%

There will be no reduction or adjustment to fees once classes begin each term.


Return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid

To remain eligible for federal student aid during the semester, the student must be attending classes and completing required coursework.

Determination That a Student Has Withdrawn

Federal Regulations require the College to calculate a Return of Title IV Funds calculation for students who withdraw (officially or unofficially) from all classes on or before the 60 percent attendance point in the semester.

Wheaton College does not take attendance, and for an official withdrawal, the College uses the date that the student provided official notification to withdraw as the withdrawal date. For unofficial withdrawals, the last date of an academically related activity as given by a faculty member is used as the withdrawal date.

The Office of the Registrar will inform the Office of Student Financial Services via email when students officially withdraw.  Please note that a Leave of Absence taken during the semester is treated the same as a withdrawal for financial aid purposes.  Financial Aid staff will then perform the Return of Title IV funds calculation using the Institution’s student information system.  Each student withdrawal is checked to determine if the student ever received a Federal Direct Loan at Wheaton, and if so, the student is sent exit counseling materials.

State financial aid awarded to students from Massachusetts is also subject to a refund calculation.  The Associate Director of Financial Aid will perform this calculation to determine if any state aid must be returned to the MA Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Although Wheaton’s official withdrawal policy requires a student to notify the Registrar’s office in writing of their intent to withdraw, the Office of Student Financial Services also reviews the records of all aided students who fail to complete any coursework in a given term.  Failure to complete coursework is defined as receiving grades of WD, NG, or F in all courses for which the student was registered.  In order to determine if such a student completed any single course, the student’s faculty members are contacted to determine a last date of attendance based upon faculty records of attendance (if taken), exams or papers completed, or other participation at an academically related activity.  If it cannot be demonstrated that the student remained enrolled in at least one course for the entire period of enrollment, the Office of Student Financial Services will use the last documented date of attendance as the student’s “unofficial withdrawal” date.  This date will be used in determining the Title IV refund due back to the programs.  If a last date cannot be documented, the college will use the 50% point of the term as the last date of enrollment.

The Calculation and Return of Funds

The Return of Title IV Funds calculation determines a student’s earned and unearned Title IV aid for the payment period (usually a semester) during which the student withdraws.  The amount of financial aid that a student earns for the semester is based on the aid that has been disbursed and the aid that could have been disbursed (but has not yet been disbursed) when the calculation is performed, as well as the number of total calendar days in the payment period and the number of calendar days that the student was enrolled for the period prior to withdrawal.  Calendar days (including weekends) are used, but breaks of at least 5 days are deducted from the total number of days in the semester.  If the number of days that a student was enrolled equals 60% or less of the total calendar days (excluding breaks) in the semester, Title IV funds may need to be returned by the school, the student, or both.

A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60% point is considered to have earned all disbursed aid for the enrollment period and may qualify for a post-withdrawal disbursement of funds that have not yet disbursed.

Return of Title IV Funds calculations must be completed and students must be notified within 30 days of the College’s official determination of the withdrawal.  The student will be notified in writing of any revisions to their financial aid.  The College will return any unearned funds which it must return as a result of the Return of Title IV funds calculation within 45 days of the determination of the withdrawal.

The unearned portion of federal student aid funds that Wheaton is responsible for returning will be returned to the appropriate aid program(s). The funds are returned in the following order:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Federal SEOG Grant

The responsibility to repay unearned Title IV aid is shared by the College and the student. For example, the calculation may require the College to return a portion of federal funds to the federal Title IV programs. In addition, any refunds of federal aid that have been paid to the student directly may be required to be returned based on the percentage earned calculation. A student repays the funds they are responsible for returning to the Federal Direct Loan program based on the terms and conditions of the promissory note of the loan. A student who receives federal grants may be required to repay 50% of the grant funds received.  The College will provide grant overpayment instructions to the student as part of the revised award notification.

The Office of the Registrar will report the student’s change in enrollment status to NSLDS via the National Student Clearinghouse so that the student’s grace period for loans can begin and loan servicers can communicate with the student about repayment.

Post Withdrawal Disbursement

Students or parents (for Direct PLUS loans) that qualify for a post-withdrawal loan or grant disbursement will be notified in writing.  Post-withdrawal disbursements will be made from available federal grant funds first.  If a student qualifies for a post-withdrawal loan disbursement, the borrower of a student or parent loan must accept the loan disbursement before Wheaton can process it.  The post-withdrawal disbursement notification will contain instructions on how to accept the loan disbursement, and we require that the borrower accept it within 14 days.  If the borrower does not respond to accept the loan disbursement, it will not be processed.

Post-withdrawal grant disbursements will be made within 45 days of the date that the institution determined that the student withdrew, and if the student owes a balance of allowable charges, the funds will be applied to that balance.  If the student does not owe a balance to the College, or the post-withdrawal funds exceed the allowable charges, any excess grant or loan funds will be refunded to the student or parent.

Important Information About the Return of Federal Funds and Institutional Refunds

Students withdrawing from classes are responsible for payment of any balance due after the required return of federal student aid funds.

Earned aid is not related in any way to institutional charges. In addition, the College’s refund policy and Return of Title IV funds procedures are independent of one another. A student who withdraws may be required to return unearned aid and still owe the College for the term.

Students who stop attending all classes without officially withdrawing may be subject to a Return of Title IV Funds calculation at the end of the semester, as detailed earlier in this document.  Such students will not be eligible for institutional refunds since they did not withdraw through the official College process.

Return of Title IV Funds Example

Amy enrolls in the spring semester at Wheaton and files paperwork to officially withdraw from the College on March 6.  Since Amy received a Federal Pell Grant of $3,200 for the spring semester, the Director of Financial Aid performs a Return of Title IV funds calculation to see whether any of the grant funding must be returned.  Amy declined the federal loans that were offered to her earlier in the year.

The spring semester contains 107 total calendar days, not including spring break.  Amy has been enrolled for 41 of those days and has therefore completed 38.3% of the spring semester before withdrawing.  She has earned 38.3% of her Federal Pell Grant, or $1,234.  Based on this calculation, Wheaton will return $1,966 of the Federal Pell Grant to the government.

Since the institutional refund period for tuition and fees ended on the fifth week of the semester, in February, Amy will not receive a tuition or fee refund from Wheaton.  Therefore, if she owes money to the College as a result of the return of her Federal Pell Grant, she will be responsible for paying that balance.

Unclaimed Credit Balances

If a student has a credit balance on the student account generated by Title IV funds, these funds will be refunded to them within 14 days of disbursement.  If a student fails to cash a refund check, the Student Accounts staff will attempt to contact the student.  Any unclaimed funds that still exist after 240 days must be returned to the Title IV fund that generated the credit balance.  Funds will be returned to the Title IV programs in the same order as they are returned for Title IV refund calculations (see above).