Scholarships & Financial Aid

Return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid Funds

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Students who receive Title IV federal funds and who withdraw from the School are subject to the federal Return of Title IV Funds regulations. If a student withdraws prior to completing 61% of a semester, a pro-rated portion of the federal financial aid dollars must be returned to the federal programs. In addition to the amount of federal aid MSM must return, students who received financial aid for other educational costs, including off-campus living expenses, may be required to repay a portion of those funds to the federal programs. A return of funds could result in a balance being owed to the School. The School will reimburse the Department of Education directly, and students are then responsible for paying any balance, which is applied to the student bill. Failure to pay this balance will make a student ineligible to enroll at MSM.

Manhattan School of Music is required to determine the earned and unearned portions of federal aid. The last day of attendance reported for any of the courses the student was registered for is used as the last day of attendance in the calculation. Through the 60% point in each payment period or period of enrollment, a pro-rated schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. The unearned portion must be returned to the federal program from which it was awarded. After the 61% point in the payment period or period of enrollment, a student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds they were scheduled to receive during the period.

Federal Financial Aid Programs Included in Return of Federal Financial Aid

Federal financial aid programs included in the calculation of the unearned portion to be returned are the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Direct Plus Loan, Federal Direct Grad Plus Loan, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.  Federal Work-Study awards and Institutional Scholarships are not included in the calculation.

Order in Which Title IV Funds are Returned

Following Department of Education guidelines, unearned aid is repaid to the following sources, in order, up to the total net amount disbursed from each source.
1. Unsubsidized Direct Loan
2. Subsidized Direct Loan
4. Direct PLUS (Graduate Student)
5. Direct PLUS (Parent)
6. Pell Grant
7. FSEOG Grant

Time Frame for Return of Title IV Funds

Funds that are to be returned to the Department of Education are sent as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after the date MSM determined the student withdrew. If the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement, such notification will be provided to the student within 30 days of the date the school determined the student  withdrew. If a post-withdrawal disbursement is applicable to the student’s account, payment must be made as soon as possible, but no later than 180 days after the date MSM determined the student withdrew.  Similarly, if there is a grant overpayment to report, the student will be notified within 30 days of the date the school determined the student withdrew.

Formula Calculation

If a student takes a leave of absence or withdraws prior to the 61% of attendance, a calculation is performed to determine the percentage of federal funding to be returned to the federal government. After the 61% of attendance the student would be entitled to their full federal funding for that academic semester.

If a student withdraws prior to disbursement of financial aid, which occurs after the add/drop period of each semester, eligible students will receive their federal aid to their student account. An evaluation (R2T4) will then be performed to calculate federal aid that would need to be returned to the federal government.

In cases of an unofficial withdrawal, which occurs if official notification is not provided by the student due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, or other instances where the student withdraws without providing official notification, then the date of withdrawal is defined as the last day of attendance. 

Student Liability

If a student is below the 61% liability, Title IV funding will be returned directly to the federal government. If a balance remains on the student account, the student is liable for payment to Manhattan School of Music. If the balance is not paid prior to the start of the next semester, the student will not be eligible to register.

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

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