Return of Title IV Funds

Three Students Walk Along Wildcat Path

A withdrawal or Leave of Absence from the University is defined as a student who drops all of their courses after the add/drop period for that given semester. Students who intend to withdraw from the University must complete the process as outlined in the University catalog under the Academic Policies section.  You can find the Univesrity catalog on the Office of Provost Webpage.

If a student withdraws or requests a Leave of Absence from the University and has utilized Federal Title IV funds during the semester in which they withdraw, the Office of Financial Assistance will determine if any amount of funding will be returned to the Federal program (s) based on the federally mandated calculation. 

Determining Earned Aid 

The Office of Financial Assistance will prorate the Federal funds disbursed or could have been disbursed based on the total days the student attended. The calculation is based on the number of days completed in the semester prior to the student’s official notification to withdraw divided by the total number of days in the semester (excluding official breaks of 5 or more days).

Total days attended*

Total days attended in the semester

*Excluding scheduled breaks of five or more days

Students who remain enrolled through at least 60% of the payment period (semester) are considered to have earned 100% of the Federal Aid received.

If the percentage is less than 60% earned, a prorated amount of the Title IV aid will be returned by the University. The aid will be returned in the following order:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Direct Perkins Loan
  • Direct PLUS/Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Pell Grant
  • Other Title IV aid

Determining Earned Need-Based Institutional and State Aid

Villanova Institutional Grants are contingent on the percentage of tuition a student is responsible for after withdrawing from all of their scheduled classes during a semester. For example, if a student is granted an 80% tuition refund based on their withdrawal date, the student’s Villanova Grant will be reduced by 80% because the student is responsible for 20% of the tuition cost.

For more information regarding the refund policy, please refer to the Bursar’s website.

For students who receive State Grants, the Office of Financial Assistance will need to review the State Grant Policy along with the University Institutional Bursar refund policy to determine if a return of funds is required to the appropriate grant department. 

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

A Post-Withdrawal Disbursement is for any student who completely withdraws from school prior to a Federal loan or grant was able to disburse to their account.

An institution may not delay its disbursement processes while it ascertains whether a student wishes to receive the grant funds the student is entitled to. However, while the institution is processing the disbursement or notifying the student about his or her eligibility for a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement of loan funds, the school may, at its discretion, notify the student that it may be beneficial to turn down all or a portion of the grant funds to preserve his or her grant eligibility for attendance at another institution.  If a student should independently contact the institution and state that he or she does not wish to receive a grant disbursement, the institution is not required to make the disbursement.

Unofficial Withdrawals

A student who has not earned grades for all of their classes at the end of the semester will be considered withdrawn from the University unofficially for purposes of the Office of Financial Assistance. Once the University confirms the student has received Title IV funding for that particular semester, the Office of Financial Assistance will calculate the total days attended based on the last documented academic related activity. In the event that this information is not available, the Federal Aid will be automatically prorated to 50% earned based on the US Department of Education (ED) Federal policy.

Academic-Related Activity

A student who withdraws or takes a Leave of Absence from an online program will have their last date of attendance measured by their last academic related participation via Learning Management System.

Academic activities include but are not limited to:

  • Submitting an academic assignment
  • Taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction
  • Participating in an online discussion about academic matters
  • Attending a study group that is assigned by the institution
  • Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course

The academically-related activity is NOT defined by:

  • Logging into an online class without active participation
  • Participating in academic counseling or advisement

Written Confirmation of Future Attendance

For all programs offered in modules, a student is considered to have withdrawn for Title IV purposes if the student ceases attendance at any point prior to completing the module, unless the school obtains written confirmation from the student at the time of the withdrawal that he or she will attend a module that begins later in the same payment period (semester). If a school obtains a written confirmation of future attendance but the student does not return as scheduled, the student is considered to have withdrawn from the payment period (semester). A Return of Title IV calculation will be processed at that time. Students are required to return written confirmation within two weeks of being contacted by the Office of Financial Assistance. If not returned, a withdrawal calculated will be conducted.

Planning Your Return to the University

Withdrawing from your scheduled classes can affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress in addition to your scheduled graduation date. It’s important to reach out to your Academic Advisor along with the Office of Financial Assistance to confirm how your aid could be affected. If you are not meeting the University Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, your Federal, Institutional and State Aid eligibility could be in jeopardy.

NOTE: Tuition Refunds as a result of official withdrawal or leave of absence will be made in accordance with the University’s refund policies which appear in the Tuition and Fee section of this Catalog.  

If the amount of money that must be returned to Federal Title IV programs exceeds that which exists in the students account as a result of the University’s refund policy, the student will be notified as to the amount of any grant and/or loan money that must be repaid. This repayment must take place in order for a student to reestablish eligibility to receive federal funds in the future. Students cannot use future Title IV funding to pay a balance from a previous term.


New Office Hours:

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Wednesday: 1-5 p.m.


Office of Financial Assistance
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Ave
Kennedy Hall, Second Floor
Villanova, PA 19085