Federal Student Aid Refund Policy

To determine the amount of funds that must be refunded to federal student aid programs, the institution must determine the percentage of time the student has been in attendance during the semester. The maximum amount of time a student may attend classes and have funds returned to any of the federal programs is 60 percent.

The calculation for the return of federal student aid funds to the programs is completely separate from the calculation of charges and refunds with regard to Whitman scholarship. The following is an example of how the college would calculate the percentage of refund and the amounts to be returned to each program.

Jane, a sophomore, last attended class on October 21. She has attended 52 days of classes, and the percentage of her charges will be 52 percent (total number of days attended, 52, divided by the total number of days in the semester, 100). The amount of the refund (total costs for the semester less actual charges) is then 48 percent.

Fixed charges for the semester: $17,143
Jane’s scholarship for the semester: $10,000
Jane’s federal aid for the semester:
  Subsidized Stafford Loan: $500
  Parent PLUS Loan: $3,000
  Federal Perkins Loan: $1,500
Total: $5,000
Refunded to federal programs: $2, 400
  ($5,000 x 48%)
  Subsidized Stafford Loan: $500
  Perkins Loan $1,500
  Parent PLUS Loan $400
Total refunded to federal programs: $2,400
 

The funds that are to be returned to the various programs must be returned in a certain order. The following is a list of federal programs, in order of refund.

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  2. Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Pell Grants
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  7. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  8. Other federal, state, private, or institutional sources of aid
  9. The student

For students who receive Washington State Need Grant, refunds are calculated independently of federal aid. If the last date of attendance occurs after 50 percent of the term, the state grant award is considered 100 percent earned and no refund is necessary. Grant refunds are prorated according to the state’s Grant Repayment Calculator for withdraws occurring before the 50 percent mark.

In this example, the college would not reduce the amount of the student’s nonfederal scholarship. The college’s Institutional Refund Policy would govern the return of nonfederal funds.