Return of Title IV Funds Policy

SPECIAL COVID-19 Message:  If you are a student that withdrew at any point during the spring semester of 2020, summer of 2020, fall semester of 2020, or spring semester of 2021, and your withdrawal was due to issues related to COVID-19, please notify us within 30 days of your withdrawal.  When you notify us, please provide specifics of the reason for your withdrawal and we will follow up.  We expect this to extend to students who withdraw during the summer of 2021 also.


To calculate the amount of federal assistance earned by a student who has withdrawn, BVU will first determine the percentage of assistance the student earned. The percentage of assistance earned is equal to the percentage of the period of enrollment that was completed as of and including the day the student withdrew, up to and including the 60 percent point in time. The percentage will be calculated using calendar days completed as of the day the student withdraws divided by the number of days in the enrollment/payment period. Interim will be included with the spring semester when appropriate. All scheduled breaks of five or more days, including Saturdays and Sundays, will be taken out of the calculation. The calculated earned percentage is applied to the total amount of assistance that was disbursed or could have been disbursed to the student (allowable post withdrawal disbursements included), or on the student's behalf, for the period of enrollment, as of the withdrawal date. If the withdrawal occurs after the 60 percent point, then the percentage of federal aid earned is 100 percent.

BVU must return the lesser of the unearned amount of Title IV (federal) aid, or an amount equal to the total institutional charges the student incurred for the enrollment period, multiplied by the unearned percentage of Title IV assistance (which is the complement of the earned percentage).

Institutional fees assessed on a student's bill will be considered an institutional charge, unless they were taken off the account prior to withdrawal.  Example of fees that would be included are:  single room fees, lab fees (if assessed to all students in certain programs), student teaching fees, graduation fees and technology fees (if assessed to all students in certain programs).   Discretionary charges like parking, library and computer damage fines or the charge for health insurance would not be considered an institutional charge and would not be included in the calculation.

The ability to purchase required textbooks online always provides the reasonable opportunity to purchase them elsewhere in a free market approach to purchasing.  While required book charges would not be an institutional charge and are not to be included in the R2T4 calculation, the costs would be considered a non-institutional charge that could be paid with Title IV aid.

The student is required to return federal funds when the total amount of unearned assistance exceeds the amount the school must return. The student returns the difference between the total amount of unearned assistance minus what BVU returns. However, a student is not required to return 50 percent of Title IV grant assistance received. Although BVU will normally return any unearned Federal Pell Grant so an overpayment does not exist, if it is determined that a student must return federal grant assistance, the student will be given 45 days from the day the calculation is performed to submit the owed amount to, or make satisfactory arrangements with, the Buena Vista University Business Office. If payment or an arrangement for payment is not made within 45 days, the Department of Education will be notified of the overpayment and the student may face losing consideration for future financial assistance until payment is received.

The order of the return of Title IV funds will be as follows (7/1/21):

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grants
  • Federal Teach Grant
  • Other Title IV assistance for which return of funds is required

If a student or parent feels that individual circumstances warrant exceptions from stated policy, the following appeal order can be followed:

  1. Accounts Receivable Manager
  2. Director of Financial Assistance
  3. Assistant Controller
  4. Director of Business Services/Controller
  5. Vice President for Business Services
  6. President of Buena Vista University

Contact the Office of Student Affairs for a copy of BVU's Leave of Absence Policy. Contact the Office of Financial Assistance for an example of a refund calculation.