Withdrawal, Leave of Absence, and Refund Policies
If a student should elect to withdraw from his/her program for any reason before the completion of his/her training, the student is expected to inform Western Technical College. Whenever possible, the notification shall be either in written or in-person format. Withdrawal notifications by telephone, e-mail, or other communications method are deemed an “official withdrawal” based upon the credibility of the communication in the judgment of an appropriate College official. In some cases, the College may also accept third-party notifications, particularly when the student may be incapacitated or otherwise unable to communicate with the College.
Leaves of Absence (LOA)
A leave of absence (LOA) is a temporary interruption in a student’s program of study and should only be requested in emergencies and extenuating circumstances including but not limited to; medical reasons, military service, or jury duty. All requests for a LOA must be submitted in writing, and must be both signed and dated. Written requests for leaves of absences shall include the reason for the request and the amount of time needed. All LOAs must have prior approval by the Program Director. The Academic Dean or School Director may approve a LOA in the absence of the Program Director.
Leaves of absence shall be reasonable in duration, preferably not to exceed 45 calendar days. Western Technical College highly discourages any requests for an additional leave of absence; however, Western Technical College may grant more than one LOA in the event that an unforeseen circumstance arises, such as medical reasons, military service, or jury duty. The LOA, together with any additional leaves of absence, must not exceed a total of 180 days in any 12-month period.
Students who are on an approved LOA, not exceeding more than 30% of their current course, will have time to make up missed course work. If a LOA exceeds 30% of the student’s course, it will be left to the discretion of the Program Director whether the student may attempt to complete the required make-up work and challenge the course exam for credit. If the Program Director does not approve such an attempt or if the student fails to pass the challenge exam, the student will be required to retake the course in its entirety. Due to the sequential nature and prerequisites of many of the courses in each respective program, students may be required to return to the same point in their studies in which they began their LOA. According to the discretion of the Program Director and contingent on course scheduling and availability, the student may be required to: (1) audit classes until they can return to the point of study in which they began their LOA, (2) attend a different schedule, or (3) double class loads by attending multiple schedules.
Please be advised that the Leave of Absence is an administrative and academic function. In almost every case, the LOA will not meet the necessary requirements to be considered an “approved leave of absence” for purposes of federal student financial aid. Hence, a LOA for academic purposes is most often treated as a withdrawal for financial aid purposes, triggering the federal Return to Title IV process (see below). Upon return from the LOA, the student’s financial aid package will be re-created according to the federal student aid regulations.
- Retaking a course may affect the student’s graduation date and depending on course schedules and availability, may require the student to change class schedules for the remainder of their training.
- Students on a LOA remain in Active Status; therefore, they are still obligated to maintain payments due to Western Technical College.
In order to graduate, a student’s accumulative absences (including Leaves of Absence) must not exceed 15% of the total program hours.
Drop & Termination / Re-Admittance
Students who have dropped from the college or have been terminated for violation of the College policies and standards, attendance or academic issues may request consideration for re-admittance by writing a letter to the School Director specifically explaining the following:
- What variables prevented them from maintaining satisfactory attendance, academic requirements or adhering to the Western Technical College policies and standards?
- What has been done to correct the issue(s)?
- What can the college expect from the individual if allowed to return?
In addition, the student must be able to demonstrate that he/she has the financial resources to complete the program.
Return to Title IV/ Refund Repayments Policy (R2T4)
When a student withdraws or his/her enrollment is otherwise terminated, the College will not only calculate the amount of tuition/fees that will be refunded to the student (if any), but also the amount of federal financial aid (aka “Title IV”) that must be returned to the Federal Student Aid Programs (if any). This process is referred to as “Return to Title IV” (R2T4). The calculation of R2T4 has no relationship to the tuition and fees that the student may owe to the College. The R2T4 calculation is performed using formulas created by the U.S. Department of Education.
Title IV funds are earned throughout the Payment Period in a prorated manner based upon calendar days. R2T4 is required up to the 60% point in the payment period based upon the pro-rata methodology. (The “payment period” is generally one-half of the students scheduled program at the College, or the semester, depending on the program). After the 60 percent point in the payment period, a student is considered to have earned 100 percent of the Federal Student Aid funds they were eligible to receive.
The percentage of the payment period completed is the total number of calendar days in the payment period for which the assistance has been awarded, divided into the number of calendar days completed by the student in that period as of the date of withdrawal (not including any College breaks of four days or more).
If, based on the calculation, the student has earned less than the amount of Title IV funds disbursed, the unearned funds must be returned. The College must return the lesser of:
- the amount of federal financial aid funds that the student has not earned, or
- the amount of institutional charges that the student incurred for the payment period multiplied by the percentage of federal financial aid funds that were not earned.
The student (or parent, in the case of a PLUS loan) must return or repay, as appropriate:
- any Federal Direct Student Loan Program or Federal PLUS funds in accordance with the contracted terms of the loan, and
- the remaining unearned federal grant funds (not to exceed 50 percent of the grant owed) as an “over-payment” of the grant (see below).
R2T4 refunds are calculated according to applicable federal laws. All returned funds for which the College is responsible will be issued by the Business Office promptly after the College has determined that the student has withdrawn and the applicable return calculations have been completed (generally within 30 days of the withdrawal date, but never more than 45 days).
Any amount of unearned federal grant funds that a student must return directly is called an “over-payment”. The maximum amount of a grant over-payment is one half of the grant funds received or scheduled to be received. While this occurs very rarely, students in this circumstance must make arrangements with the College and/or the U.S. Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds. Failure to do so will result in loss of future eligibility for Federal Student Aid and potential other legal actions by the U.S. Department of Education.
Financial Aid Programs R2T4 Refund Sequence
Unearned funds returned by the College must be credited to outstanding balances on Title IV loans made to the student or on behalf of the student for the payment period for which a return of funds is required. Those funds will be credited to outstanding balances in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan,
- Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan, and
- Federal Direct PLUS Loan received on behalf of the student.
If unearned funds remain to be returned after repayment of all outstanding loan amounts for the payment period, the remaining excess must be credited to any amount awarded for the payment period in the following order:
- Federal Pell Grant.
- Federal SEOG, and
- Other grant or loan assistance authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act
The College will disburse Federal Pell Grant funds that had not yet been disbursed at the time of the student’s withdrawal/termination, but for which the student remains eligible under the R2T4 calculation. In the case of student or parent loan funds, the College will calculate the student (or parent’s) eligibility for a “post-withdrawal disbursement”. The College will advise the student and/or parent borrower of the amount(s) available and the fourteen calendar day deadline to accept or decline the post-withdrawal disbursement. If a response is not received from the student and/or parent within the permitted time frame or the student declines the funds, the College will not request the funds from Title IV programs. If the post-withdrawal disbursement is accepted, the funds will first be used to settle any outstanding financial obligation to the College.
The College will notify the student in writing of the amount and type of any financial aid funds that must be returned, the amount of any over-payment, and/or eligibility for a post-withdrawal disbursement.
A full refund will be made to any student who has had a tour of the College’s facilities and cancels the enrollment contract within 72 hours (until midnight of the third day excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) after the enrollment contract is signed, or within the student’s first three scheduled class days if the student has not previously toured the College’s facilities.
- Refund computations will be based on scheduled clock hours of class attendance through the last date of attendance. Leaves of absence, suspensions, and school holidays will not be counted as part of the scheduled class attendance.
- The effective date of termination for refund purposes will be the earliest of the following:
- The last day of attendance, if the student is terminated by the school;
- The date of receipt of written notice from the student; or
- Fourteen school days following the last date of attendance.
- If tuition and fees are collected in advance of entrance, and if after expiration of the 72 hour cancellation privilege the student does not enter school, not more than $100 in nonrefundable administrative fees shall be retained by the school for the entire residence program or synchronous distance education course.
- Students who decide to leave their program within the first 14 school days of starting their program will be entitled to a full tuition refund, less administrative fees not to exceed $100, and will be eligible for a full refund of books, tools, and supplies (including uniforms) if returned to Western Technical College in good condition.
- If a student enters a residence or synchronous distance education program and withdraws or is otherwise terminated, the school or college may retain not more than $100 in nonrefundable administrative fees for the entire program. The minimum refund of the remaining tuition and fees will be the pro-rated portion of tuition, fees, and other charges that the number of hours remaining in the portion of the course or program for which the student has been charged after the effective date of termination bears to the total number of hours in the portion of the course or program for which the student has been charged, except that a student may not collect a refund if the student has completed 75 percent or more of the total number of hours in the portion of the program for which the student has been charged on the effective date of termination.
- Refunds for books, tools, or other supplies should be handled separately from refund of tuition and other academic fees. The student will not be required to purchase instructional supplies, books and tools until such time as these materials are required. Once these materials are purchased, no refund will be made.
- A student who withdraws for a reason unrelated to the student’s academic status after the 75 percent completion mark and requests a grade at the time of withdrawal shall be given a grade of “incomplete” and permitted to re-enroll in the course or program during the 12-month period following the date the student withdrew without payment of additional tuition for that portion of the course or program.
- A full refund of all tuition and fees is due and refundable in each of the following cases:
- An enrollee is not accepted by the school;
- If the course of instruction is discontinued by the school and this prevents the student from completing the course; or
- If the student’s enrollment was procured as a result of any misrepresentation in advertising, promotional materials of the school, or representations by the owner or representatives of the school.
A full or partial refund may also be due in other circumstances of program deficiencies or violations of requirements for career schools and colleges.
Refund Policy for Students Called to Active Military Service
A student of the College who withdraws from the school or college as a result of the student being called to active duty in a military service of the United States or the Texas National Guard may elect one of the following options for each program in which the student is enrolled:
- if tuition and fees are collected in advance of the withdrawal, a pro-rated refund of any tuition, fees, or other charges paid by the student for the program and a cancellation of any unpaid tuition, fees, or other charges owed by the student for the portion of the program the student does not complete following withdrawal;
- a grade of incomplete with the designation “withdrawn-military” for the courses in the program, other than courses for which the student has previously received a grade on the student’s transcript, and the right to re-enroll in the program, or a substantially equivalent program if that program is no longer available, not later than the first anniversary of the date the student is discharged from active military duty without payment of additional tuition, fees, or other charges for the program other than any previously unpaid balance of the original tuition, fees, and charges for books for the program; or
- the assignment of an appropriate final grade or credit for the courses in the program, but only if the instructor or instructors of the program determine that the student has:
- Satisfactory completed at least 90 percent of the required coursework for the program has:
- Demonstrated sufficient mastery of the program material to receive credit for completing the program.
- The payment of refunds will be totally completed such that the refund instrument has been negotiated or credited into the proper account(s), within 60 days after the effective date of termination.
*In all cases, refunds will meet or exceed the requirements of TWC, §§132.061 and 0611.