This policy will assist students who feel the need to completely withdraw from the University after a semester has begun but before its conclusion.
Since Buena Vista University, does not require it, some members of our faculty do not take daily attendance. Therefore, for a student who officially withdraws, the withdrawal date will be the earlier of the following (unless a later date can be documented):
- The date the student begins the official process mentioned below, or
- The date the student officially notifies the institution of intent to withdraw
If a student triggers both definitions above of official withdrawal on different dates, we will use the earlier date, unless we can document academically related activity later. Academically-related activity is defined as one that has been confirmed by an employee of BVU, such as taking an exam, turning in a class assignment, attending a study group, etc. Occupying a room in the residence halls or eating in the cafeteria are NOT considered academically related activities and can have no bearing in withdrawal date determination.
Official notification can come in the written form, via telephone, in person, or through e-mail and should be made with the Office of Student Affairs. Once initial contact is made, the Office of Student Affairs will ask the student to complete a withdrawal form. The student will also be asked to visit certain offices on campus to complete processes with each.
The Office of Student Affairs will then contact each affected office to provide the official withdrawal date. This date will then be used in the refund calculation. (See Return of Title IV Funds/Institutional Refund policy.)
If a student leaves or stops attending classes without official notification, they will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn. One example of a student who unofficially withdraws would be one who receives only failing grades for a semester. The withdrawal date for a federal or state aid recipient who unofficially withdraws, will be the midpoint of the payment period or the last documented day of academically related activity, whichever is later. No refund will be granted for a withdrawal that occurs after sixty percent of the enrollment period has passed. If a student without federal or state aid unofficially withdraws, he/she will be fully charged. In addition, any resident student who unofficially withdraws will receive no refund of that semester's room and board charges. If a student left without notification because of circumstances beyond the student's control, such as those mentioned below, BVU might determine a withdrawal date related to those circumstances. In addition, a withdrawal date determination can be appealed for extenuating circumstances such as:
- Grievous personal loss
- Or other circumstances beyond the student's control
The appeal request should be made through, and will be approved by, the Office of Student Affairs. The student or an interested party can initiate this process. A student can rescind a withdrawal by providing a written request to the Office of Student Affairs.
If a student wishes to request a leave of absence instead of withdrawing, he/she should contact the Office of Student Affairs to begin that process. A leave of absence refers to the specific time period during an on-going program when a student is not in academic attendance, i.e.; the student began an enrollment period but cannot complete it. A leave of absence is an approved leave of absence for financial aid purposes if:
- It is the only leave of absence granted to the student in a 12-month period
- The student followed the written policy in requesting the leave and the request was approved
- There is a reasonable expectation that the student will return
- The leave of absence does not involve additional charges
- The leave of absence does not exceed 180 days in any 12-month period
- Upon the student's return from the leave of absence, the student is permitted to complete the coursework he or she began prior to the leave
If a leave of absence is granted by a member of the Student Affairs staff but does not meet the conditions above, the student is considered to have withdrawn. For example, if Student Affairs grants a leave of absence status to keep a student from having to reapply for admission the next semester, the conditions above have not been met and the student will be considered to have withdrawn for financial aid purposes. The Return of Title IV Funds/Institutional Refund Policy will be followed in these cases.
In a situation where all of the above conditions are met, BVU will consider the student to have remained in an in-school status for Title IV loan repayment purposes. In addition, the Return of Title IV Funds/Institutional Refund Policy is not relevant, as the student will remain in an in-school status. However, if a student does not return from the approved leave of absence, the student's withdrawal date and the beginning of the student's grace period will be the date the student began the leave of absence. Subsequently, if a student (with loans) on an approved leave of absence fails to return, we will report to the loan holder the student's change in enrollment status as of the withdrawal date. It is important to note that in cases where a student with loan does not return, some or all of the grace period will have been exhausted. All of this information will be available to all students who have been granted a leave of absence, as all are required to pass through the Office of Financial Assistance before exiting.
The Office of Student Affairs can be contacted with questions concerning the withdrawal process. The Office of Financial Assistance and/or the Business Office can be contacted concerning the refund calculation.
RETURN OF TITLE IV FUNDS/INSTITUTIONAL REFUND POLICY
To calculate the amount of assistance earned by a student, 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 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. 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 earned is 100 percent as the student will be fully charged.
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). 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. 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:
Unsubsidized FFEL Loans
Subsidized FFEL Loans
Unsubsidized Direct Loans
Subsidized Direct Loans
FFEL PLUS Loans
Direct PLUS Loans
Other Title IV assistance for which return of funds is required
The order of the return of institutional funds will be as follows:
BVU Grant/Scholarships not endowed or restricted
If a student or parent feels that individual circumstances warrant exceptions from stated policy, the following appeal order can be followed:
- Accounts Receivable Manager
- Director of Financial Assistance
- Assistant Controller
- Director of Business Services/Controller
- Vice President for Business Services
- 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.