Does the R2T4 Waiver For Not Returning Unearned Aid Also Apply To Unofficial Withdrawals?

KA-34847 Helpfulness Rating 1,314 page views

This AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&A was updated on August 26 to include clarification from the August 21, 2020 Electronic Announcement for nonterm and nonstandard term programs that use the period of enrollment (rather than the payment period) in their return of Title IV funds (R2T4) calculations. It also reminds schools of the periods covered by the R2T4 waiver.

Yes. There is no exception in the May 15, 2020 Electronic Announcement guidance for unofficial withdrawals. Therefore, the R2T4 waiver (defined below) applies to all official and unofficial withdrawals during the payment period or period of enrollment within the covered period (defined below), even those who withdrew before the COVID-19 related disruption on campus or before March 13th in the payment period that includes March 13, 2020. It also applies if you are performing your all “F” grade review at the end of the term to determine if the student unofficially withdrew.

See the Electronic Announcement for more information. See also AskRegs Q&As:

R2T4 waiver refers to the fact that the CARES Act, waives the requirement for the school or the student to return Title IV funds when a student withdraws due to COVID-19 anytime during the entire payment period that falls within the covered period.

Covered period refers to the fact that the May 15, 2020 Electronic Announcement now allows schools to apply the R2T4 waiver to: 1) payment periods or periods of enrollment that include March 13, 2020; or 2) payment periods or periods of enrollment that begin between March 13 and the later of December 31 or the last date that the national emergency is in effect.

Payment Period Or Period of Enrollment: Remember that standard term programs must use the standard term payment period (semester, trimester, quarter) in the R2T4 calculation; they do not have the option to use the period of enrollment. A nonterm or nonstandard term program has a choice to use either the payment period or the period of enrollment in the R2T4 calculation. Therefore, it is NASFAA's understanding (because the Electronic Announcement language is unclear) that whichever period is used in the R2T4 calculation requires a determination of whether a student withdrew during that payment period or period of enrollment due to COVID-19.

August 21, 2020 Electronic Announcement Update: "Where an institution has opted to use the period of enrollment to calculate its returns for a non-term or non-standard term program, the waiver may apply to a student who begins attendance in a payment period that includes December 31, 2020 or the last date that the national emergency is in effect and withdraws after the conclusion of that payment period but within the applicable period of enrollment."

Note: This AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&A was previously updated on June 17, 2020 to point out that on June 16, 2020, ED made changes to the May 15, 2020 Electronic Announcement, which now expands the terms and nonterm payment periods to which the R2T4 waiver applies, as well as clarifies that the determination of COVID-19 related withdrawals are made on a payment period or period of enrollment basis.

 

AskRegs Q&As represent NASFAA's understanding of regulatory and compliance issues. They are FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY. While NASFAA believes AskRegs Q&As are accurate and factual, they have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). If you should need written confirmation of AskRegs information for audit or program review purposes, please contact your ED School Participation Division. NASFAA shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein; nor for incidental or consequential damages resulting from the furnishing, performance, or use of this material.