Federal regulations require that the University have a fair and equitable refund policy for recipients of federal student aid (including the Federal PLUS Loan) who withdraw on or after the first day of a class for a period of enrollment for which the student was charged. 

Brown University adheres to the federal Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 and its updates regarding Title IV financial aid programs.  The University also has a refund policy that addresses the handling of institutional charges when a student withdraws or takes a leave during the semester.  The University’s Refund Policy and Return of Title IV Funds procedures are independent of one another.  A student who withdraws from the University or withdraws from a course may be required to return unearned aid and still may owe funds to the University.

Refund of Institutional Charges

If a student withdraws or goes on leave during the semester, institutional charges, such as tuition, fees, and room and board, will be reduced according to the Refund Policy published by the Bursar’s Office and the Registrar’s Office. 

Return of Title IV Funds

According to federal regulations, if a student who receives federal financial aid leaves the University during a semester, those federal Title IV financial aid funds may have to be adjusted and, in some instances, repaid to federal sources.  This applies to students who complete 60% or less of a semester for which federal aid has been awarded. 

The amount of federal aid that a student earns is determined on a pro-rated basis.  For instance, if a student completes 30% of calendar days in the semester, that student earns 30% of the federal aid he or she was awarded for that semester.  Once a student has completed more than 60% of the calendar days in the semester, all of the federal aid awarded to the student for that semester has been earned. 

If the student, the parent on the student’s behalf, or Brown University received unearned Title IV financial aid that must be returned, the school must repay to federal sources a portion of those funds equal to the lesser of either:

  • The institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of the student’s federal financial aid funds
  • The entire amount of unearned funds