Federal Return of Funds Policy

Who Is Affected

Students should understand that any class drops, adds or changes at any time during the semester can affect their financial aid. The student should check with the Financial Aid and Student Employment Office for further information before changing his/her enrollment.

The return of funds policy for financial aid recipients applies to tuition, fees and book/supply charges. The return of funds policy for financial aid recipients differs from the Southwestern Illinois College refund policy found in the college catalog.

A student is subject to the federal return of funds policy if he/she:

  • Receives Title IV financial aid (Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, Direct Loans)
  • AND
  • Withdraws or is withdrawn by the instructor for excessive absences from ALL enrolled hours on or before the 60% point in time of the enrollment period.

Withdrawal

Students not attending classes in which they have enrolled must be withdrawn; SWIC does not have a "leave of absence" policy. Official withdrawals are processed by Enrollment Services. The student may initiate the withdrawal process via his/her eSTORM account or by completing a "Drop/Add/Section Change" form, available from Enrollment Services at the Belleville, Granite City and Red Bud campuses.

When the student submits the form to Enrollment Services (either in person or by eSTORM) he/she has begun the withdrawal process; that date will be used to determine the percentage of the enrollment period the student completed. Instructors may also withdraw students for nonattendance or may assign a final grade of WF for nonattendance; in that event, the instructor's record of the last date of attendance will be used to determine the percentage of the enrollment period the student completed.

Calculating the Return of Funds

Financial Aid and Student Employment will calculate the student's liability for return of funds using the formula provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Students are advised to obtain an accounting of their return of funds liability from the Financial Aid and Student Employment Office before withdrawing from all classes.

Student and School Responsibility for Return of Funds

Within 30 days of notification of the date of the student's complete withdrawal from classes, SWIC will:

  • Send the student notice of liability and repayment options
  • AND
  • Repay the school portion of return of funds liability. The student will be billed for this liability.

Within 45 days of the date on the notice of liability, the student will:

  • Repay in full his/her return of funds liability to Southwestern Illinois College

After 45 days of the Notice Of Liability, if the student has failed to repay the return of funds liability, it will result in the student being referred to the U.S. Department of Education and loss of federal Title IV aid eligibility.

Return of Funds Distribution

The distribution of any return of funds is prescribed by law and regulation*:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal PELL Grant
  • FSEOG
  • Other Title IV aid programs

* Federal programs that the institution does not participate in are not included in the distribution.