Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Withdrawal Policy Explanation

All schools that administer Title IV funds must adhere to the various rules and regulations concerning the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4). The student must meet the eligibility requirements in order to be determined a Title IV recipient. After determination has been made that the student is actually a Title IV recipient, or has met the conditions for a late disbursement and funds have in fact disbursed, the institution, Bennett College, proceeds to enforce the following policy:

If a recipient of Title IV aid withdraws during a payment period (or a period of enrollment), the college calculates the amount of Title IV aid the student did and did not earn. Unearned Title IV funds are returned to the Title IV programs as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after the date of determination of withdrawal. Students who are subject to verification are required to complete the verification process prior to the disbursement of funds.

The Withdrawal Process

When a student withdraws, the student is sent to the area of Academic Advising to obtain a withdrawal form. The Academic Advising unit will review the academic record, counsel the student and document the reason the student has chosen to withdraw. The student then seeks to obtain the required signatures from various offices to include the Office of Financial Aid. The student must complete a paper or electronic loan exit counseling session (if the student has loans) with a financial aid staff person. A copy of the form is maintained in the financial aid file of the student. Students can go to www.studentloans.gov to complete an electronic exit counseling for financial aid purposes.

Official Withdrawals

The official withdrawal form with the appropriate signatures is submitted to the Office of the Registrar where the last date of class attendance or academically related activity is verified and withdrawal date is determined. The Office of the Registrar then circulates a completed withdrawal form to the appropriate offices. The Office of the Assistant Controller/Chief Accountant proceeds to complete an R2T4 (Return of Title IV) treatment form via the CPS electronic Software. The Assistant Controller/ Chief Accountant then places the R2T4 treatment form on the shared drive and notifies the appropriate staff to take action. The Student Accounts Coordinator adjusts the tuition, fee, room & board charges on the students account record.

The Office of Financial Aid will then view the treatment form and return the unearned aid to the respective source. The Director of Financial Aid then sends electronic & hard copy written notification to the student regarding the amount of aid returned. The notification includes the steps to complete the required exit counseling. The student file is updated. Finally, the Office of Financial Aid proceeds to update the CPS system with the actual date funds were returned and submits an electronic transmittal to the Student Accounts Coordinator to post the adjusted aid that was returned. The Student Accounts Coordinator will then record the dates the funds were returned on an internal spreadsheet for Institutional records and conclusion.

Unofficial Withdrawals

Unofficial withdrawals are captured from attendance reports. The Office of the Registrar will circulate notification of students who unofficially withdraw and/or those that leave without proceeding through the process. The process above is then completed for R2T4 (Return of Title IV funds).

According to federal regulations, the Return of Title IV Funds (Return) regulations do not dictate an institutional refund policy. Instead, a statutory schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds a student has earned as of the date he or she ceases attendance. The amount of Title IV program assistance earned is based on the amount of time the student spent in academic attendance; it has no relationship to the student’s incurred institutional charges.

Refunds for official withdrawal from Bennett College are prorated based upon the percentage of weeks enrolled. Up through the 60% point in each payment period or period of enrollment, a pro rata schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60% point in the payment period or period of enrollment, a student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds. No funds are returned for official withdrawals after 60% of the enrollment period has passed.

The Department of Education has developed worksheets and software to assist colleges in implementing the Return regulations. The student is responsible for all unearned Title IV program assistance that the school is not required to return. However, the student does not have to repay a grant overpayment of $50 or less for grant overpayments resulting from the student’s withdrawal. The student loans that remain outstanding consist of the loans disbursed to the student minus any loans the school returned. Outstanding loans are repaid according to the terms and conditions recorded on the student’s promissory notes. If at any time a student who previously negotiated a repayment arrangement fails to comply with the terms of his or her agreement to repay, that student immediately becomes ineligible for additional Title IV funds.

Bennett College returns title IV funds to the Programs from which the student received aid during the payment period or period of enrollment as applicable in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:
1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
2. Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
3. Federal Perkins Loans
4. Federal Direct PLUS Loans
5. Federal Pell Grants
6. Federal TEACH Grants
7. Federal SEOG Grant
8. Any other assistance for which a return is required

The prorated withdrawal schedule for each semester is publicized through the College Catalog after it is established. The college is required to return unearned Title IV funds within 45 days from the date the college determined the student withdrew from the College.

Leave Of Absence:

A leave of absence (LOA) is a temporary interruption in a student’s program of study. LOA refers to the specific time period during a pro¬gram when a student is not in attendance. An LOA is not required if a student is not in attendance only for an institutionally scheduled break. However, a scheduled break may occur during an LOA.

An LOA must meet certain conditions to be counted as a temporary interruption in a student’s education instead of being counted as a withdrawal requiring Bennett College to perform a return calculation. If an LOA does not meet the conditions in 34 CFR 668.22(d), the student is considered to have ceased attendance and to have withdrawn from school, and Bennett College is required to perform a Return calculation.

Students use an official Leave of Absence form to formally request a leave of absence for less than one academic year (two consecutive terms). Students seeking to leave the institution for more than two consecutive terms should use the College Withdrawal form. The Leave of Absence together with any additional leaves of absence must not exceed a total of 180 days in a 12 month period.

Students must indicate the appropriate reason for their request on the LOA form. Students receiving title IV aid must submit a written request for leave of absence approval. The written request must include the reason that the student has to leave. It should name mitigating circumstances that occurred beyond the student’s control. Leave of Absences are approved based on a reasonable expectation that the student plans to return.

Students seeking a leave of absence (LOA) must meet with the Academic Advising Center to inform the advisor of their decision to leave the college and obtain the appropriate signature. International students are required to inform a representative of the International Students and Exchange Visitor program (Registrar) of their decision to leave the college and secure a signature.

Students must meet with financial aid and student accounts representatives to discuss the financial aid and billing implications for leaving the college. A copy of the LOA written request and approval are forwarded to the Office of Financial Aid and placed in the students financial aid file. The student must obtain an appropriate signature from the Student Life Office (for on campus students). The Leave of Absence (LOA) form with the appropriate signatures must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for processing. At the time of submission of this form, the Office of the Registrar, student signature and last date of attendance is confirmed and included in the student’s permanent record. A firm registration schedule must be on record for the returning or subsequent term.

Students Approved for Leave of Absence (LOA) will obtain the same class schedule upon their return. The institution may not assess the student any additional institutional charges, the student’s need may not increase, and therefore, the student is not eligible for any additional Federal Student Aid.

Loan recipients must complete a loan exit counseling session & the Office of Financial Aid is responsible for explaining to the student the effects that failing to return from LOA may have on the student’s loan repayment terms, including the expiration of the student’s grace period. A student granted an LOA that meets the criteria in this section is not considered to have withdrawn and no return of aid calculation is required. Upon the student’s return from the leave, the student continues to earn the federal student aid previously awarded for the period.

If the student fails to resume attendance at the point in the academic program where she interrupted training at the beginning of the LOA, the student must be treated as a withdrawal. In that case, at Bennett College, a school required to take attendance, the last date of class attendance is used as a withdrawal date for a student that does not return from an LOA.

The Office of the Registrar will formally notify all respective offices on or at the close of add and drop for the up and coming term if the LOA student fails to return so that withdrawal procedures can be followed.

Refunds for Tuition and Fees

Bennett College will grant refunds to students provided the following conditions are satisfied: (1) all financial obligations are met; and (2) all payments applied to the student’s accounts create an overpayment (credit balance). Title IV related refunds are generated weekly, however, no later than 14 days from the date the credit balance occurs.

Under no circumstances will a refund be issued outside of the above conditions. Refunds from scholarships, grants, etc., will be made within the agency guidelines for issuance of refunds. Refund via the Sallie Mae Debit Card Program will be issued after all obligations are cleared. All students receiving a refund payment will be required to register for a debit card. Refund recipients with PLUS loans will receive their payment via a check issued by Sallie Mae and mailed to the parent borrower’s address.

All withdrawals from the College begin within the area of Academic Advising and are confirmed through the Office of the Registrar. The date of withdrawal is determined as the last day of class attendance or attendance for an academically related activity. After the official withdrawal, any applicable cost of attendance reduction/adjustment will be made. The cost of attendance reduction/adjustment shall be made in accordance with the following schedule:

Withdrawal Within:
First Two Weeks 90% credit
Three to Four Weeks 50% credit
Five to Eight Weeks 25% credit
After Eight Weeks No Refund

For enrolled students moving off campus during the semester, room and board charges will be adjusted from the date the student officially moves off campus which is determined by the Office of Residence Life.

Unclaimed Student Refunds

The financial aid regulations require any title IV federal funds disbursed to a student or parent that are not received or negotiated must be returned to the appropriated federal financial aid program no later than 240 days after the check or electronic funds (EFT) was issued. If a check or an EFT is returned, Bennett College may make additional attempts to deliver the funds, provided that those attempts are made no later than 45 days after the funds were returned or rejected. In case where the College does not make another attempt, the funds must be returned before the end of the initial 45-day period. The College must cease all attempts to disburse the funds and return them no later than 240 days after the date it issued the first check. Under no circumstances may unclaimed title IV student aid funds escheat to the state or revert to the College or any other third party.

Refund checks must be cashed within 90 days from their issue date. After this period, un-cashed checks become stale dated and are non-negotiable and must be voided back to student’s accounts.

A credit balance that is less than $1.00 is not required to pay.