Financial Information: Title IV Aid

Treatment of Federal Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws from SMU

The law specifies how SMU must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that you “earn” if you withdraw from school. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grant, Federal ACG Grant, Federal SMART Grant, Federal Direct Stafford Loan, PLUS Loan, Federal SEOG, Federal Perkins Loan and in some cases, certain state grant aid (LEAP/SLEAP), to students.

When you withdraw during your term payment 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 less assistance than the amount that you “earned,” you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you “earned,” the excess funds must be returned by the school.

The amount of assistance that you have “earned” is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of your term payment period, you earn 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the term payment period, you “earned” all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.

If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, you may choose to decline the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. Your school may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement (including loan funds, if you accept them) for SMU tuition, fees and room and board charges. For all other SMU charges, the school needs your permission (with the completion of the “Authorization to Credit Account” (ACA) form completed when you entered SMU) to use the post-withdrawal disbursement. It may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.

Any amount of unearned grant funds that must be returned is called an overpayment. The amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the unearned amount. SMU will return the amount of unearned grant funds to the Department of Education for you.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from SMU’s refund policy. Therefore, you may still owe funds to SMU to cover unpaid institutional charges. SMU may also have to charge you for any Title IV program funds that SMU was required to return. You can review SMU’s refund policy of reduction of tuition and fees at the SMU Financial Aid Office's Website, or by calling 214-768-3417.

Students who receive any financial aid should discuss prior to withdrawal the financial implications of the withdrawal with their financial aid advisors in the Division of Enrollment Services—Financial Aid by calling 214-768-3417.

You can view the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from SMU at the SMU Registrar's Website.

If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243).  TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913.  Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web at