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Department of Education Regulations Governing Title IV Disbursements
Credit Balances and Refunds
Credit balances may be related to payments from several sources, including from personal funds; Title IV Federal Student Aid; and non-federal aid funds, such as private loans and grants, and other external awards.
The University's policies and procedures for handling student account credit balances adhere strictly to federal and other regulatory requirements, as applicable, and vary depending on whether a credit balance is related to federal aid funds or not.
Credit balances may also be related to and affected by changes in a student's enrollment status during a quarter; changes to expected enrollments status prior to a term, including non-enrollment; changes to enrollment level that affect federal or other aid eligibility; or withdrawal.
If a student's enrollment status changes as a result of adding or dropping classes, the student's federal aid award may need to be adjusted and this may affect the amount of any refunds.
CREDIT BALANCES AND REFUNDS DUE TO FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID
Depending on the specifics of the situation, for students who have a credit balance and are recipients of Title IV federal aid, the level of aid awarded may need to be recalculated by the school's financial aid office.
The University will credit Title IV federal aid funds to a student's account only against allowable institutional charges, including:
- Current charges for tuition and fees, and room and board
- Other educationally related charges incurred by the student at the University, with the student’s or parent’s written authorization
- Prior-year charges, up to and not exceeding $200
CREDIT BALANCES AND REFUNDS DUE TO OVERPAYMENT OR OTHER, NON-FEDERAL STUDENT AID FUNDS:
If a student or parent overpays the student's account, related credit balances will be refunded to the student, regardless of the source of the payment.
For students who did not enroll during the quarter for which a credit balance exists in the student's account, the credit balance will be refunded to the student.
If a credit balance on a student's account is related to other, non-Title IV Federal Student Aid funds (for example, external awards, such as scholarships, grants, or private loans) the credit balance in the account may be reduced, may be returned to the source, or may be refunded to the student, depending on the specifics of the situation and the conditions of the award.
The University's policy is to monitor credit balances daily starting the first day of the quarter for the first two weeks, then every Monday and Wednesday after that as they are created in student accounts; Western also reviews student accounts for accuracy of charges and funds posted.
PRIORITY OF CREDIT BALANCES AND REFUNDS DUE TO TITLE IV FEDERAL STUDENT AID:
The University will automatically issue refunds for eligible credit balances related to Title IV Federal Student Aid funds.
Credit balances related to Title IV federal aid funds, per federal regulations, must be refunded no later than 14 days after either:
- the balance occurred if the credit balance occurred after the first day of class of that payment period; or
- the first day of class of a payment period if the credit balance occurred on or before the first day of class of that payment period.
Credit balances related to Title IV funds are always prioritized for refund processing, except as noted above.