Scenario: We are changing our academic calendar by moving up the end date of the spring term (semester, trimester, quarter). In this case, students would still be completing the term; however, it would be shorter.
Answer: No. According to guidance NASFAA has received from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the students who complete the shorter term in this scenario are not withdrawals and return of Title IV funds (R2T4) calculations are not required.
When you end the term early, you are reducing the length of the academic year, however. If reducing the term results in an academic year of less than 30 weeks of instructional time, then you will need to seek approval from ED by sending an email to CaseTeams@ed.gov to request a temporary reduction in the length of its academic year. They can grant a reduction to as little as 26 weeks. See the April 3, 2020 Electronic Announcement for more information on requesting ED approval.
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