Refund and repayment policy

Return of Title IV Financial Aid Policy

A student recipient of Federal Title IV funds (i.e., Federal Pell, SEOG or TEACH grants or Perkins, Direct  or PLUS loans) who withdraws from the school before completing 60% of the term is subject to the Return of Title IV Calculation to determine the percentage of Title IV funds required to be returned to the federal government.  The Return of Title IV calculation is a federally mandated formula to determine how much federal funding was “earned” up to the time of withdrawal. 

The Title IV funds that were disbursed in excess of the earned amount must be returned to the federal government by the school and/or you. If you received a refund from financial aid, which was to be used for education-related personal expenses or housing expenses, you may be required to return a portion of those funds to the school. This portion represents funds that were intended to pay your education-related expenses through the end of the semester. The amount to be returned to the school will be determined by your institutional costs, refunds you might have received for non-school expenses and the funds that must be returned to the government.

The amount to be returned to the federal government will be calculated from the date you officially withdrew from classes or, in the case of an unofficial withdrawal, the last date you were involved in an academically related activity.   An official withdrawal occurs when a student follows the published process for withdrawing from the school prior to the end of the term. 

To determine the amount of aid you earned up to the time of withdrawal, Sauk Valley Community College’s Office of Financial Aid will determine the percentage of the semester you attended. The percentage used to determine the return of federal student aid funds is equal to the number of calendar days remaining in the semester divided by the number of calendar days in the semester. Scheduled breaks of more than five consecutive days are excluded.  The resulting percentage is then used along with your school costs and total federal funds that you received (funds that were disbursed directly to your school student account and possibly refunded to you) or that you were eligible to receive, to determine the amount of aid that you are allowed to keep.

Any unearned Title IV aid must be returned to the federal government within 45 days of the date of the determination of your withdrawal. Sauk Valley Community College’s Office of Financial Aid will notify you with instructions on how to proceed if you are required to return funds to the government.  Any funds returned after the Return of Title IV Aid calculation is completed and processed are then used to repay Sauk Valley Community College’s funds, state funds, other private sources, and the student, in proportion to the amount received from each non-federal source, as long as there was no unpaid balance at the time of withdrawal. All aid sources are repaid before any funds are returned to the student.

Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reduce the outstanding balances in individual federal programs.  These funds must be returned to the federal government within 45 days and must be allocated in the following order:  

  1. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
  3. Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS)
  4. Federal Direct Grad Plus
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  7. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  8. Federal Teach Grant

 A student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement if, prior to withdrawing, the student earned more federal financial aid than was disbursed. Post-withdrawal disbursements of grant funds will be made within 45 days. If a student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement for Title IV funds, it will be processed for the student, and a refund will be issued within 14 days of the credit balance.

If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, Sauk Valley Community College must get the student’s permission before it can disburse the loan. Post-withdrawal disbursements will be offered to the student within 30 days. Students may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds to avoid additional debt. The student will receive a notice, and the signed, original document must be returned to the school within 14 days.

Sauk Valley Community College may automatically use all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition and fees. However, the school needs the student’s permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not give his/her permission, the student will be offered the funds. However, it may be in the student’s best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce the student’s debt at the school.  

It is also important to understand that accepting a post-withdrawal disbursement of student loan funds will increase a student’s overall student loan debt that must be repaid under the terms of the Master Promissory Note. Additionally, accepting the disbursement of grant funds will reduce the remaining amount of grant funds available to the student should the student continue his/her education at a later time.

Withdrawal from the College

Full-time students who decide to withdraw or take a leave of absence from the College must notify the Dean of Student Services or their designee, complete the withdrawal process, and clear all obligations with the College. Grades for students who withdraw from the College after the second week of classes will be recorded as “W”.  Students withdrawing from the College may, with official permission, do so during the designated withdrawal period. Students who stop attending classes without completing the proper college procedure may receive a grade of “F” in all courses.

For tuition refunds and financial aid refunds, the date of withdrawal is the date the student notifies the Dean of Students Office they are withdrawing.

Student Initiated

During the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters, a student may drop a course by filing a drop form online at svcc.edu/admissions. From the third through the tenth week of the class, a student may withdraw from a course by filing a drop form online that will be forwarded to the instructor. The instructor’s acknowledgement indicates that the instructor is aware of the withdrawal and has had an opportunity to discuss reasons for the withdrawal and possible alternatives. The instructor must indicate the official last date of attendance on the drop form. A grade of “W” will be recorded on the student’s transcript. This does not relieve the student from their obligation to make payment for this class.

Deadlines for withdrawal will be pro-rated for classes that meet less than 16 weeks, including summer sessions. Contact Admissions & Records for specific dates. Students should contact Academic Advising and/or Financial Assistance prior to withdrawing from any class. Dual-enrollment students must contact their high school counselor and SVCC Dual Credit Coordinator prior to withdrawing.

Students who stop attending without completing the proper college procedure may receive a grade of “F” in the course.

Instructor Initiated

Prior to the final examination, an instructor may withdraw a student if the instructor believes a student cannot successfully complete the course. Admissions and Records will notify the student of this withdrawal. The student will receive a final grade of “W” as outlined above. Students should consult individual instructors about his/her policy on withdrawing the student from the course. Any time a “W” grade is assigned, the official last date of attendance must be recorded. Students may appeal this withdrawal by using established department and College appeal procedures. Students enrolled in classes requiring course/programs internal or external mandatory levels of compliance may be withdrawn if they are found during the course of the course/program to be out of compliance. The student appeal process will be used to adjudicate when necessary.

Students who stop attending without completing the proper college procedure may receive a grade of “F” in the course.

Unofficial Withdrawal

  • Occurs when a student leaves the school without notice, Or
  • When all courses in which the student is enrolled are given an F grade due to non- completion of the course.
  • The student’s last date of attendance or participation in any academic activity will be the date used to calculate the Return of Title IV Funds.


PELL/SEOG refunds are made by check to students who are registered, don't have holds on their accounts, and whose disbursed aid exceeds their SVCC charges. Check Student Self-Service for your refund status and also check to be sure you've taken all necessary steps for your aid to be disbursed. Refunds on credit balances will be processed within 14 days. 

PELL/SEOG refunds are disbursed before 60% of the semester has been completed for Fall/Spring/Summer semesters.   All checks will be mailed directly to the students.  Please keep you current address updated in the Admissions Office to ensure your check being mailed to the correct address. 

Reviewed 1/1/2024