Refund of Fees

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (HEA98) represent a major shift in the return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid when a student withdraws from the university. The policy governs all federal grant and loan programs (Pell, SEOG, Stafford Loans, Perkins and PLUS loans), but does not include the Federal Work-Study program.

In general, the law assumes that a student “earns” approved (verified) federal financial aid awards in proportion to the number of days in the term prior to the student’s complete withdrawal. If a student completely withdraws from school during a term, the school must calculate, according to a specific formula, the portion of the total scheduled financial assistance that the student has earned and is therefore entitled to retain, until the time that the student withdrew. If a student receives (or the University receives on the student’s behalf) more assistance than he/she earns, the unearned funds must be returned to the Department of Education or to the Federal Stafford or parent’s Federal PLUS loan lenders. If a student’s charges are less than the amount earned, and a refund is due, the student may be able to receive those additional funds. Students who have not completed the verification process are ineligible to receive any financial aid.

The portion of the federal grants and loans that the student is entitled to receive is calculated on a percentage basis by comparing the total number of days in the semester to the number of days that the student completed before he/she withdrew. The policy governs the earned and unearned portions of the student’s Federal Title IV Financial Aid only. It determines how much, if any, the student and/or the school may need to return. This policy does not affect the student’s charges. The University’s withdrawal policy will be used to determine the reduction, if any, in the student’s tuition and fee or room and board charges. The student is responsible for paying any outstanding charges to the university.

Withdrawal Policy

When a student withdraws from the University during the first twenty (20) days of classes during a long semester, six (6) days during a summer session of more than five weeks but less than 10 weeks and two (2) days during a session of five weeks or less, the University will refund a portion of the tuition and fees charged to a student. The percentages refunded are as follows:

Long Semester (10 weeks or longer)

  1. prior to the first class day – 100%
  2. during the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th class days – 80%
  3. during the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th class days – 70%
  4. during the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th class days – 50%
  5. during the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th class days – 25%
  6. after the 20th class day – none

Summer Session of More Than 5 Weeks But Less Than 10 Weeks

  1. during class days (1-3) - 80%
  2. during class days (4-6)- 50%
  3. after the 6th class day- None

Summer Session of 5 Weeks or Less

  1. 1st class day- 80%
  2. 2nd class day- 50%
  3. after 2nd class day- None

The “first class day” is determined by the beginning of a semester or summer session. The first class day is not defined by individual courses. Please refer to the academic calendar for the first class day date.

The refund will be returned to the student only if the student did not receive financial aid assistance from either Title IV programs or state programs. In the cases where the student did receive assistance from these programs, the refund will be returned to the programs in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Loan,
  • Subsidized Loan,
  • Perkins Loan,
  • PLUS Loan,
  • Pell Grant,
  • FSEOG Grant,
  • TPEG Grant,
  • RPEG Grant,
  • NPEG Grant and
  • Texas Grant.

The student’s official withdrawal date will be determined by the University as:

  1. The date the student began the University’s withdrawal process.
  2. The midpoint of the semester if the student withdraws without notifying the University.
  3. The student’s last day of attendance at an academically-related activity as documented by the University.

If it is determined that the University must return to the Title IV programs monies in excess of any tuition and fees or room and board, the student will be responsible for those monies.

Any grant funds that the student is required to return to the federal programs are considered an overpayment. The student must either repay the amount in full to the University within 45 days of notification of the overpayment or make satisfactory payment arrangements with the Department of Education Collections that the student owes an overpayment. At that point, until the student pays the amount in full to the Department of Education or makes repayment arrangements with the Department of Education, the student will lose his/her eligibility to receive future federal financial aid at any institution.

Upon Dropping a Course or Courses

A 100% refund difference of applicable tuition and fees collected will be made for courses from which students drop (not withdraw) by the Census date for a semester or part of term. There will be no refunds for courses dropped after the Census date. Per the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) the following Census dates apply:

Fall and Spring Semester

Length of Term (Weeks) Census Date
2 or less 1st Class Day
3 2nd Class Day
4 3rd Class Day
5-6 4th Class Day
7 5th Class Day
8 6th Class Day
9-10 7th Class Day
11 8th Class Day
12 9th Class Day
13-14 10th Class Day
15 11th Class Day
16 12th Class Day

Summer Semester

Length of Term (Weeks) Census Date
2 or less 1st Class Day
3 2nd Class Day
4 3rd Class Day
5-6 4th Class Day
7 5th Class Day
8 6th Class Day
9 7th Class Day
10 or more 12th Class Day

For the specific Census date for each term, refer to the published Academic Calendar.

Refund Policies

The following policies are used for refunds:

  1. Refunds are processed according to published schedules from the Student Business Services Office. Refunds will be processed through BankMobile and students may choose to receive their refund in one of the following methods:
    1. ACH to their personal account at a financial institution
    2. BankMobile Vibe checking account
    3. Mailed check
      The default method is by mailed check if a selection is not made.
  2. Any financial obligations owed the University will be deducted from the refund before the balance is mailed to the student.
  3. Students with a state hold may receive their refund by mailed check regardless of their BankMobile selection.
  4. A student who is required to withdraw because of failure in the work of a previous semester will receive a refund in accordance with the above schedule.

Tuition Rebates for Certain Undergraduates

The purpose of this program is to provide tuition rebates that will provide a financial incentive for students to prepare for university studies while completing their high school work, avail themselves of academic counseling, make early career decisions and complete their baccalaureate studies with as few courses outside the degree plan as possible. Minimizing the number of courses taken by students results in financial savings to students, parents and the state. To be eligible for rebates under this program, students must meet the following conditions:

  1. they must have enrolled for the first time in an institution of higher education in the Fall 1997 semester or later;
  2. they must be requesting a rebate for course work related to a first baccalaureate degree received from a general academic teaching institution;
  3. they must have been a resident of Texas as set forth under Chapter 21, Subchapter B of this title (relating to Determining Residence Status) and have been entitled to pay resident tuition at all times while pursuing the degree;
  4. if enrolled for the first time in fall 2005 or later, graduate within four calendar years for a four-year degree or within five calendar years for a five-year degree if the degree is in architecture, engineering or any other program determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to require more than four years to complete, and;
  5. they must have attempted no more than three hours in excess of the minimum number of semester credit hours required to complete the degree under the catalog under which they were graduated.

Hours attempted include transfer credit, course credit earned exclusively by examination (except that, for the purposes of this program, only the number of semester credit hours earned exclusively by examination in excess of nine semester credit hours is treated as hours attempted), courses that are dropped after the official census date, for-credit developmental courses, optional internship and cooperative education courses and repeated courses. Courses dropped for reasons that are determined by the institution to be totally beyond the control of the student shall not be counted. For students concurrently earning a baccalaureate degree and a Texas teaching certificate, required teacher education courses shall not be counted to the extent that they are over and above the free electives allowed in the baccalaureate degree program.

The rebate for eligible students is a maximum of $1,000. Eligibility requirements and application forms are available via the Registrar’s website: http://www.tamusa.edu/registrar/forms.html.