I. Scope

This policy applies to all financial aid and tuition refunds for students enrolled in programs at Earlham School of Religion.

II. Policy Statement

This policy applies once the semester begins to all students withdrawing or taking a leave of absence for any reason, including disciplinary action. The enrollment terms are August Intensive, Fall Semester, January Intensive, Spring Semester and May Intensive. Students who withdraw or take a leave of absence before the first day of classes will have all charges and financial aid for that term canceled. For students who withdraw or take a leave of absence on or after the first day of classes for a semester, the charges will be reduced and aid will be recalculated in accordance with this policy. If after these recalculations a balance remains owed to the student, a refund check will be issued approximately one month after the student leaves Earlham School of Religion. Any balance due to the College after application of this refund policy is still the responsibility of the student, per our Statement of Student Financial Responsibility.

Earlham School of Religion’s refund policy assumes that:

  1. a student or fund will not receive a refund/return of funds in an amount greater than the student, or fund has paid; and
  2. refunds/return of funds are first paid according to federal policies on the return of Title IV funds, then to other aid programs, then to the student.

III. Return of Title IV Federal Funds

1. Date of Withdrawal

The Joint Seminaries Registrar’s Office will determine the date of official withdrawal and notify the Director of Finance and Operations, as well as other offices who need to know of the withdrawal. If a student did not begin the official withdrawal process or provide notification of their intent to withdraw, the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew is the last date of academic activity. These withdrawal dates are used as the withdrawal dates in calculating the Return of Title IV Federal Funds.

2. Federal Financial Aid

A student who receives federal financial aid (Federal Direct Loans, unsubsidized and/or graduate PLUS) and who leaves ESR before completing 60 percent of the semester will have federal financial aid eligibility recalculated on a pro-rata basis. To make this calculation, Earlham divides the number of calendar days the student has attended classes by the number of calendar days in the semester (minus any scheduled breaks of 5 days or more). The resulting percentage is multiplied by the amount of federal funds disbursed, or eligible to be disbursed to the student’s account to determine the amount of federal funds the student is eligible for, and what funds need to be returned.

Federal Title IV Student Aid fund(s) are returned to the appropriate program(s) according to federal regulation. Currently, federal regulations require “unearned” Federal Title IV funds to be returned on a pro-rata basis when a student withdraws. For example, if a student who has received Federal Title IV aid withdraws and 30 percent of the semester is completed, then 70 percent of their federal aid is “unearned” and must be returned. Funds returned to the federal government are used to reimburse individual federal programs and must be returned as soon as possible after the withdrawal but no later than 45 days after the date of withdrawal. Aid is returned to federal programs in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:

  1. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Grad PLUS Loan

3. Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

If the student receives less federal student aid than the amount earned, the school must offer a disbursement of the earned aid that was not received. In other words, if all requirements for eligibility of a federal loan or grant program had been met but the aid had not yet disbursed at the time of the student’s withdrawal, the student may be eligible for a disbursement of federal aid after withdrawal. In order to have federal loan funds applied to the account that were earned, but not yet disbursed, the school must get authorization from the student (in cases of Federal Direct Loans or Federal Direct PLUS loans). An authorization form must be sent from the school to the student within 30 days of withdrawal if the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement, and the school has 180 days to disburse the federal Direct Loan funds or Federal Direct PLUS Loan funds.

IV. Reduction of Charges

Reduction of Tuition and Fees

A student who officially withdraws from Earlham School of Religion on or after the first day of classes for a semester will have tuition for that semester reduced according to the following schedule:

Intensives (August, January, and May) Percent Reduction
Prior to or on Day 1 of the term Full Refund
Day 2 of the term 50% Tuition Refund
After Day 2 No refund


Semesters (Fall and Spring) Percent Reduction
End of Week 2 / Drop Deadline Full Refund
End of Week 4 50% Tuition Refund
After the end of week 4 No refund


*Refer to the Academic Calendar for dates.

V. Return of Additional Financial Aid

Financial aid is calculated assuming a student will be enrolled during the entire enrollment period. If a student leaves ESR prior to the end of the semester, eligibility for both federal and institutional aid must be recalculated.

1. Earlham Funded Financial Aid

Upon completion of federal calculations and the amount of federal aid (if any) to be returned , ESR calculates the student’s eligibility for ESE aid. “Unearned” ESR-funded aid is returned to the appropriate ESR funds on the same pro-rata basis as for federal funds.

2. Other Funding

Financial aid funds from other external agencies are returned following the requirements of the agency awarding the aid.

VI. Approval and Amendments

The U.S. Department of Education establishes general requirements for the treatment of federal student aid funds when a student withdraws. Earlham policies on return of Title IV funds are amended periodically to comply with federal guidance.

General institutional procedures, as well as the refund schedule, are approved annually by the Chief Financial Officer.

Policy specifications

Last revision: 12/15/2022
Responsible party(ies): ESR Business Office; Joint Seminaries Registrar
Approved by: Chief Financial Officer
Effective date: 12/15/2022
Associated division(s):
Associated audience(s):
Associated container(s):
Policy home: https://earlham.edu/policy/return-of-title-iv-financial-aid-and-reduction-of-charges-school-of-religion