Return of Federal/Title IV Funding – Calculation

This policy applies to students who withdraw, take a leave of absence, or are academically dismissed from the institution. Refunds of Title IV funds for these students are determined according to the following policy:

1.) The term “Title IV Funds” refers to the federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and for students enrolled at Harvard Chan School of Public Health includes the following programs: unsubsidized Direct Loans and Direct GradPLUS loans.

2.) A student’s withdrawal date is:

a) The date the student began the institution’s withdrawal process or notified the institution of intent to withdraw; or
b) The student’s last date of attendance as documented by academically related activity; or
c) The midpoint of the period of enrollment for a student who leaves without notifying the institution.

3.) Determining the amount of Title IV funds to be returned:

  • The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earn 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive.
  • Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.
  • You will not be subject to returns of your Title IV program assistance if you meet one of the following exemptions:
    • You complete all of the requirements for graduation;
    • You successfully complete a class or multiple classes that comprise at least 49 percent of the days in the term (in a program offered in modules); or
    • You successfully complete a class or multiple classes that comprise at least half-time enrollment (in a program offered in modules).
  • If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt.  If you do not give your permission you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.
  • For the purpose of billing and calculating refunds, the Winter Session is considered part of the spring semester
  • Refunds and adjusted bills will be sent to the student’s home address following withdrawal
  • In accordance with federal regulations, the return of Title IV funds is paid in the following order:
    1. Unsubsidized Direct Loans
    2. Direct PLUS Loans
  1. If you receive  excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, Harvard must return a portion of the excess funds equal to the lesser of:
    1. 1. your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
      2. the entire amount of excess funds.
    2. Harvard must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of your Title IV program funds.
      If Harvard is not required to return all of the excess funds, you may be required to return the remaining amount.
    3. For any loan funds that you must return, you will repay the loan funds in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you will not be required to repay any loan funds immediately, but instead, you will make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
  2. The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from the Harvard Chan refund policy for institutional charges. Therefore, you may still owe funds to cover unpaid institutional charges. Harvard may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. You can find Harvard Chan’s refund policy in the Student Handbook.
  3. 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
  4. Institutional and student responsibilities in regard to the Return of Title IV Funds
    1. Harvard Chan’s responsibilities include:
      1. Providing each student with the information given in this policy
      2. Identifying students who are affected by this policy
      3. Completing the Return of Title IV Funds calculation for students who are subject to the policy
      4. Returning Title IV Funds that are due the Title IV programs for which the institution is considered to have not earned.
    2. The student’s responsibilities include repaying their Title IV aid consistent with the terms of the student’s MPN any funds that were disbursed directly to the student and for which the student was determined to not to have earned via the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.
      1. Students with Federal/Title IV financial aid must notify OFA immediately of a pending withdrawal or leave, as Federal refunds must be made within 45 days of the date of withdrawal or leave. Students have the right to obtain a final calculation of the Return of Federal Funds.
Students should contact the Registrar’s Office for details on procedures for withdrawing or requesting a leave of absence.