Federal Refund Policy

There are two distinct types of refund policies. One is Rivier University’s Institutional Refund Policy. The second is the federal Return to Title IV Refund Policy, outlined below.

Return to Title IV Funds Policy

General Information

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions to apply the Return to Title IV Funds Policy for students withdrawing from all of their classes and/or from the University who receives Title IV financial aid. The Title IV programs include: Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, TEACH Grants, Direct Loans, Direct Plus Loans, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs).

The requirements for Title IV Program funds when you withdraw are separate from any Rivier refund policy. Therefore, you may still owe funds to Rivier to cover unpaid institutional charges. The University will charge the student for any Title IV Program funds that Rivier was required to return.

If you withdraw after the 60% point of a semester, you are entitled to retain all Title IV aid for that semester. However, if you withdraw prior to the 60% point of the term, unearned Title IV funds as determined by the federal policy must be returned to the various programs. These funds must be returned even if the University provides no refund to the student. This means you could owe the University and/or the U.S. Department of Education a significant amount of money.

Post Withdrawal Disbursement

If you did not receive all of the funds that were earned prior to withdrawing, a post-withdrawal disbursement may be due. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, you must give permission before the funds can be disbursed. Rivier may automatically use all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges. Permission is required to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other University charges. You will be notified of post-withdrawal disbursement eligibility within 30 days of the date of withdrawal determination. The University must return the Title IV funds within 45 days of the date the school determines the student withdrew.

Documenting Attendance

If you are a Pell Grant recipient, the University must verify you began attendance in all classes used to determine financial aid eligibility before processing a Return to Title IV funds calculation. If a faculty member indicates that you never attended, the University will first adjust the disbursed aid if there is a resulting change in eligibility and then calculate the Return of Title IV funds. As a result, you may owe the institution for the amount of unearned aid. If you never attended any classes, all aid will be canceled and you will be billed for all outstanding charges.

Determining Earned Aid

Though your aid is posted to your account at the start of each semester, you earn the funds as you complete the semester. Title IV financial aid is earned by the calendar day, not class day. This includes weekends, holidays, and breaks of less than five consecutive days. The University is required to determine the amount of Title IV aid each withdrawing student has earned and then either disburse any additional funds you may be entitled to up to the amount earned, or return funds in excess of the amount earned which you already received.

If you withdraw during your enrollment period, the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or the University or your parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by Rivier.

When any student receiving Federal Title IV financial aid withdraws from Rivier during the enrollment period, the amount of the Title IV funds (not including Federal Work Study) that a student earned during the enrollment period is calculated as of that student’s withdrawal date.


Office of Financial Aid