Return of Title IV Funds

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who officially or unofficially withdraw.  Title IV program assistance earned by the student at the time of withdrawal is determined by a specific formula.  If the student is determined to have received more Title IV assistance than is earned, Duquesne University must return the excess funds. 

Procedures and Guidelines

The calculation of earned Title IV assistance is as follows:
The percentage of aid earned is the same as the percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment that is completed.  This percentage equals the number of days up to the withdrawal date divided by the total number of days in the payment period or term.  Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.  If a student has completed 60% or more of the payment period, they are considered to have earned all of their Title IV assistance and no return is required.  
If the student receives (or the school or parent receives on the student’s behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, the school must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  1. the student’s institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of funds, or
  2. the entire amount of excess funds (i.e. Title IV funds times earned aid percentage).

The school must return this amount even if a portion of those funds were refunded to the student to pay indirect education expenses.

In some cases, Duquesne may not be required to return all of student’s unearned aid.  In these cases, the student will be responsible for repayment of the remaining unearned loan funds according to the terms of the borrower’s promissory note.  Any amount of unearned grant funds that the student must return is an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that the student must repay is 50% of the grant funds that disbursed or could have been disbursed. The student must make arrangements with the school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.

Unofficial Withdraws

If a student did not pass any course for the previous semester and did not officially withdraw, the Financial Aid Office contacts the student’s Academic Success Coach for a documented last date of attendance/academic activity in each course.  The latest documented date is used as the date for determining Title IV assistance earned and any corresponding return of Title IV funds.  If a last date of attendance cannot be determined, the mid-point of the term is used for determining Title IV assistance earned. 

Returning Funds

Duquesne University electronically returns Title IV funds to the Department of Education. Aid is returned no later than 45 days after the date of determination that the student withdrew.  

 Refunds are allocated in the following order:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Graduate Students)
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Parents)
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

The student is responsible for any balance with Duquesne University that is created by the return of Title IV funds.

Post Withdrawal Disbursements

If a student earned more aid than was disbursed, the institution is required to offer the student a post-withdrawal disbursement. Eligible grant funds must be counted and disbursed before loans as earned Title IV assistance.  Grant funds may be disbursed towards outstanding allowable current charges without the student’s authorization.  Student authorization is required to credit any charges other than current charges. 

If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, Duquesne University must obtain student authorization prior to disbursement.  The Financial Aid Office will email a post-withdrawal disbursement offer to the student no later than 30 calendar days after the date the school determined the student withdrew.  The student may choose to decline all or a portion of post-withdrawal disbursement loan funds.  Students must respond to the offer within 14 days if they wish to accept the post-withdrawal disbursement.  All post-withdrawal funds are credited to the student’s account within 180 days of the student’s withdrawal.