Return of Title IV funds



1. Overview

This policy applies only to eligible US and non-US citizens receiving Title IV Financial Aid. If a student who is in receipt of Title IV Financial Aid withdraws, suspends studies for more than 180 days or drops below half-time attendance the University of Leeds must determine whether any funds must be returned to the US Federal Aid programme. This determination will be made in accordance with the Return of Title IV Aid requirements of section 484B of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) and §668.22 of the Student Assistance General Provisions regulations. The Return of Title IV Aid requirements were added to the HEA by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (Public Law 105-244, enacted October 7, 1998).

These requirements prescribe how Title IV funds must be treated when a Title IV student aid recipient withdraws from an institution without completing the payment period or period of enrolment, as appropriate.

The amount of Title IV funds the student may have to return as “unearned” financial aid a result of withdrawal from the University is independently calculated to any refund of fees charged by the University following a student's withdrawal from a programme.

2. Responsibility for Payment of Fees

Students are solely responsible for the prompt and full payment of their fees. The University of Leeds aims to treat students fairly and to provide them with a high standard of service.

3. Update of Personal Information

It is the student’s responsibility to make the university aware of any change in circumstances, including any legal name change, marital status or home address. Changes to a student’s personal circumstances may affect their US loan eligibility. The Student Portal (Minerva) can be used to update personal information. Any name changes would need to be evidenced for example by provision of a marriage certificate.

4. Non Attendance

If a student never registers at the university at the start of the course, we would not class the student as eligible student for Federal Title IV Aid and would not request the disbursement of any such funds. At the point where a student confirms, or the University determines, non-attendance; the loan will be cancelled.

5. Cooling Off Period

If a student leaves their course within 14 days of registration, there will be no charge for tuition, this applies to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The date used to determine this will be the date on the University leavers form, it is therefore essential that the student follows the leavers procedure appropriately.

6. Fee charging

For undergraduate students after the first 14 days of attendance the fees are charged weekly on a pro rata basis.

For all postgraduate students after the first 14 days of attendance the fees are charged pro rata on a monthly basis.

7. Loan Disbursements

The University is required to disburse Federal Title IV Aid in multiple instalments as follows:

Undergraduates (and June finishing postgraduates)

Two instalments each at the beginning of the semester (two payment periods).


Three instalments each at the beginning of the semester and then the summer term (three payment periods).

Research postgraduates

Three instalments each at the beginning of the semester and then the summer term (three payment periods).

Please note that fees for any programme are due to be paid in equal amounts in line with the disbursal of US loan funds.

Standard University term dates and holidays can be found via the University almanac.

8. Approved Leave of Absence

Under Federal regulations, students can take an approved leave of absence up to 180 days before the student goes into repayment or has to return funds. If a student does not return after 180 days the last day of actual attendance will be used to calculate the ‘earned’ loan amount and the date the student enters repayment.

Re-entry to the institution following absence on the grounds of health may necessitate confirmation from a health practitioner that a student is fit to return to study.

Please note that any interruption of the period of study for a Tier 4 visa student may have Visa implications and students should seek advice from the International Student Office.

9. Process for withdrawal

Details of the general withdrawal process can be found here.
The offices responsible for recording of Withdrawal data on the student record are:

  • Student Operations (For all Taught students).
    Undergraduate and taught postgraduate students who decide to leave University permanently must complete a Leavers Form. These are available from a student’s Faculty Office. Students must state on the form their last date of attendance, together with the reason for leaving. They must submit the signed and completed form, along with their Student ID Card to your Faculty Office.
  • Research Degrees Office (For all Research students).
    Research students can obtain the form here.

If a student fails to follow the withdrawal procedure, the University may deem them to be in attendance and as such incurring tuition fees until such time as their registration contract is broken subject to the standard University withdrawals procedure.

10. Return of Title IV Funds Calculation

Federal law specifies how the University of Leeds must calculate the amount of Federal Stafford Funding that students have earnt up to the point of withdraw from the University.

In the event of a student withdraw prior to completing 60% of the payment period (100% of the period being the period from the disbursement of a loan instalment to the date of the next disbursement) a student would be deemed to have not "earned" all of their Federal Aid and a Return of Title IV Funds calculation must be performed.

60% of the payment period is calculated based on the number of teaching days excluding:

  • weekends
  • bank holidays
  • University closed days
  • industrial action/strike days 

For undergraduates this also includes:

  •  seasonal holidays such as Christmas and Easter
If you are considering withdrawing from study please contact the US Loan Advisor in the funding team to confirm this date for the current payment period. 

11. University Obligations

The University will determine any adjustments to a loan within 30 days of a student’s withdrawal and will return the funds to the lender within 45 days of withdrawal. Students ‘earns’ aid on a daily basis and when a student withdraws any ‘unearned’ aid needs returning to the lender. Loans are returned in the following order:

  • Federal Unsubsidised Stafford
  • Federal Subsidised Stafford
  • PLUS loan (Graduate or Parent)

Loans must be repaid in accordance with the terms of the borrower’s Promissory Note. The University must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of the Title IV Program Funds.

The University will determine any adjustments to the loan within 30 days of the student’s withdrawal and will return the funds within 45 days of the calculation. Any difference between the Federal aid funds earned and University Tuition Fees will be charged to the student. Students will be informed in writing if this is the case.

12. Withdrawal Date Determination (last date of attendance)

Withdrawal date for the purposes of this policy is the date used by the institution to determine the ‘earned’ and ‘unearned’ amounts of Title IV Funds from the Return of Title IV Funds calculation

  • Official Withdrawal

Students wishing to withdraw should complete a Leavers form and obtain the relevant approval. The withdrawal date is the date of last attendance on the leavers form, although these are not actioned for 7 days, to accommodate the student’s ‘right to cancel’ period.

  • Unofficial withdrawal

A student who has expressed their intent to withdraw verbally but has not completed a Leavers Form or a student who withdraws without any notification shall be deemed a self-withdrawal. The withdrawal date is determined by the student’s Faculty based on last known actual attendance date, submitted assessment date or the date of the last examination undertaken. In the case of an accident or injury the date the incident occurred can be taken as the withdrawal date.

13. Assessment period

As an institution we calculate Return of Title IV funds based upon the payment period in which withdrawal falls.

NB: a study day is any week day in the payment period that is available for study, regardless of whether any teaching is scheduled

14. Post-Withdrawal Disbursements

It is expected that in most cases there will be no need to make such a payment as all due Title IV Funding will have been disbursed to a student in a timely manner. As such, a student will have already received their full entitlement of Title IV funding for any given payment period. In the event of a student withdrawal the University will conduct an appropriate R2T4 calculation and where indicated in this calculation communicate and process any payment required to any student or parent borrower (PLUS loan) within the required timeframe.

Following the calculation if the student is entitled to a post withdrawal disbursement they may choose to decline the loan funds so that additional debt is not incurred. However where a disbursement is due, the University will request permission from the student to use such funds to clear any tuition fees or accommodation fees outstanding.

15. Further Information

Details are given below should any students have questions regarding this policy:

Student Funding Team:
Email -
US Loans Team -
Telephone (011 44) 113 343 4004 from outside the UK
Extension 34004 if dialling internally from the University.

Information is also available at

All international students considering withdrawing from their studies on either a temporary or permanent basis should contact the International Student Office for immigration advice before making any decisions.