Withdrawing from Classes

If you are thinking of withdrawing from your classes, immediately see an academic counselor. Additionally, withdrawing from your courses may have an adverse effect on your financial aid. In some cases, you may be required to return the financial aid you received in accordance with federal and state regulations. Contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your options. 


Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)

Federal financial aid (“Title IV funds”) is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive.

If a recipient of Title IV grant or loan funds withdraws from Mendocino College after beginning attendance, the amount of Title IV grant or loan assistance earned by the student must be determined. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, unearned funds must be returned. If the student receives less Federal Student Aid than the amount earned, in rare cases, Mendocino College offers a disbursement of the earned aid that was not received. This is called a Post-withdrawal disbursement.

Students who withdraw at any point after the 60% point in the payment period or period of enrollment have earned 100% of their Title IV funds. Although no repayment will be required the “withdraws” will affect the student’s completion rate and possibility of receiving further aid if Satisfactory Academic Progress is not being met.

Failure to repay any unearned aid may result in the debt being sent to the Department of Education, and could make you ineligible for future financial aid at other colleges. 

Withdrawal Date

The withdrawal date established by Mendocino College is the date used by the Financial Aid Office to determine the point in time that the student is considered to have withdrawn so the percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment completed by the student can be determined. For more information on withdrawal dates for each semester, please review the Academic Calendar at http://www.mendocino.edu/academics/academic-calendar. The percentage of Title IV aid earned is equal to the percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment completed.

Since Mendocino College is not required to take attendance, a student’s withdrawal date for the return of Title IV calculation will be:

•    The date the student provides notification, orally or in writing, to the Admission’s Office that he or she intends to withdraw, or
•    The midpoint of the semester for students who do not officially withdraw, or
•    The date posted by the instructor on The Last Activity Form and/or by email notification from the instructor. A counseling appointment or logging into a computer lab or science labs can be counted as a last activity.  

For purposes of Title IV, students who receive Fs in all classes will be considered withdrawn from classes, unless they can produce verification from faculty that they attended an academic activity late enough in class and earned their F. Students with multiple Return to Title IV issues may be disqualified from federal aid at Mendocino College.

Internal Process

The Admissions Office will notify the Financial Aid Office of any student who officially withdraws. The financial aid office also runs a report twice a month to monitor students who have dropped to zero units. The Financial Aid Office will return any funds due from the institution while simultaneously notifying the student of any funds he/she may owe or offer the student any post withdrawal disbursement they may be eligible for which has not yet been disbursed. This process will occur within 45 days of notification or within 45 days of the student appearing on the zero unit report or within 45 days of final grade report for any student with zero units or all F grades. For students who do not officially withdraw, final grade reports will be used to determine the withdrawal date and Mendocino College will return funds and notify students within 30 days of receipt of final grades.

The percentage of Title IV aid earned will be calculated by using the Department of ED worksheets and online calculator.

To determine if a student was eligible to receive Title IV funds even though none were disbursed, the cash management rules of 668.164 (g)(2) will be applied. To be an eligible student Mendocino College must have:

•    Received either a SAR or ISIR having an official calculated EFC while the student was still enrolled at Mendocino College
•    For Pell Grants, received a valid SAR or ISIR
•    For FSEOG awards, the student was awarded the grant
•    For Direct Loans, the school certified the loan application and the first-year, first-time borrower completed the first thirty days of the semester

The amount the college returns will be subtracted from the total sum that must be returned and the balance will be due from the student. The student will be responsible to return unearned funds in the same priority listed above. However, students who have loans will return funds in accordance with the terms of the promissory note and grant funds to be returned will be reduced by 50%. If a student owes $50 or less, no amount is due to be paid.

The student will have 45 days from the they are notified from the college to repay the unearned Title IV aid in full, to set up a satisfactory repayment arrangement with the Mendocino College Business Office. If no payment has been or to set up a satisfactory repayment arrangement with the Department of Education.

Grant overpayments will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) marked with the appropriate flag corresponding to the action taken by the student.  This report will take place within thirty days after:

•    The student signs a satisfactory repayment agreement;
•    The student fails both to repay the overpayment and to enter into a repayment arrangement with the college within the 45-day period
•    The student fails to meet the terms of the agreement signed by the college

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

When the determination is made that the student did not receive all of the earned Title IV aid and the withdrawal date has been determined, Mendocino college will make the funds available to the student. Federal loan funds will be made available within 30 days of the date our office determined the student withdrew. Federal grant funds will be made available within 45 days of the date our office determined the student withdrew.

Return of Funds

If the student receives more Federal Student Aid than the amount earned, Mendocino College, the student, or both must return the unearned funds in a specified order as follows:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford loans (other than PLUS loans)
  • Subsidized Direct Stafford loans
  • Direct PLUS loans
  • Federal Pell Grants for which a return of funds is required
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) for which a return of funds is required

When a Return of Title IV funds is due, Mendocino College and the student may both have a responsibility for returning funds. Funds that are not the responsibility of Mendocino College to return must be returned by the student. Mendocino College exercises its option to collect from the student any funds Mendocino College is obligated to return, and funds required for Mendocino College to return will become a debt on the student’s account which the student will be responsible for paying. This charge is not reported to the Department of Education and simply remains as a debt on the student’s account with Mendocino College.