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Return of Title IV Funds

In accordance with Federal regulation 34 CFR 688.22, El Paso Community College (EPCC) is required to determine the percentage of Title IV program assistance that you earn if you withdraw from school. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs), Direct Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans.

Calculation and Percentage of Title IV Earned

Though your aid is posted to your account at the start of each period, you earn the funds as you complete the period. If you withdraw during your payment period or period of enrollment, EPCC will define these terms for you and tell you which one applies to you. The amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula provided by the Department of Education. If you received less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds in the form of a post-withdrawal disbursement. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or you.

The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earn 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.

Programs Offered in Modules

A program is offered in modules if a course or courses do not span the entire length of the payment period. Any student who withdraws or otherwise ceases attendance from a program offered in modules on or after July 1, 2021, must be evaluated under the new withdrawal exemptions. You will not be subject to returns of your Title IV program assistance if you meet one of the following exemptions for courses offered in modules:

  • A student who completes all the graduation requirements before completing the days in the payment period; is not considered to have withdrawn. This withdrawal exemption applies to all programs with or without modules.
  • A student who successfully completes 49 percent or more of the number of days in the payment period (excluding scheduled breaks of five or more consecutive days and all days between modules) of one module or a combination of modules; is not considered to have withdrawn.
  • A student who successfully completes coursework equal to or greater than half-time enrollment for the payment period; is not considered to have withdrawn. Successful completion means earning a passing grade.

A student not meeting any of the above withdrawal exemptions and is considered withdrawn, all standard R2T4 requirements apply.

Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, El Paso Community College is utilizing the Return of Title IV waiver for students that submit an attestation stating the withdrawal is due to a COVID-19 circumstance. Students can submit this attestation to the Financial Aid Office.


Students receiving less federal student aid than the amount earned may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If your post-withdrawal disbursement includes Federal Direct Loan funds, El Paso Community College must get your permission before it can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. EPCC may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for current outstanding tuition, fees, and room and board charges; if you have contracted with the school by submitting the Financial Aid Authorization Form. EPCC needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other institutional charges. If you do not give authorization, you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.

There are some Title IV funds that you were scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed to you once you withdraw because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if you are a first-time, first-year undergraduate student and you have not completed the first 30 days of your program before you withdraw, you will not receive any Direct Loan funds that you would have received had you remained enrolled past the 30th day.

Amount of Unearned Title IV Aid

Students receiving excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, El Paso Community College must return a portion of the excess funds equal to the lesser of:

  1. your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
  2. the entire amount of excess funds.

El Paso Community College must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of your Title IV program funds.

For any loan funds that you must return, you will repay the loan funds in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you will not be required to repay any loan funds immediately, but instead, you will make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.


Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. The student does not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. The student is responsible for making any payment arrangements with El Paso Community College or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.

EPCC Refund Policy and Official Withdrawal Requirements

The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy at El Paso Community College. Therefore, the student may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. EPCC may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. The El Paso Community College refund policy, requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing are available at:

Students with any questions about the Title IV program funds, please contact the Financial Aid Office, or the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Additional information is available at