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Financial Aid

Financial Aid Policies

Return to Title IV (R2T4) Policy

  • When a student withdraws from all courses, regardless of the reason, s/he may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds originally awarded. The return of funds to the federal government is based on the premise that a student earns financial aid in proportion to the length of time during which s/he remains enrolled.
  • Westcliff is required to determine the percentage of Title IV aid “earned” by the student and return the “unearned” portion to the appropriate federal aid programs. Westcliff is required to perform this calculation within 30 days of the date the school determines that a student has completely withdrawn. The school must return the funds within 45 days of the calculation. The R2T4 calculation is completed by the Financial Aid Office.
  • Federal regulations require a recalculation of financial aid eligibility if a student:
    • Completely withdraws;
    • Stops attending before the semester’s end;
    • Does not complete all modules (mini-sessions) in which the student is enrolled as of the start date of the mini session.
  • Westcliff University students who receive federal financial aid and who do not remain in attendance through the end of the semester could be responsible for repaying a portion of the financial aid originally received.
  • Students who do not begin attendance in classes are not eligible for federal financial aid and must repay all aid originally received.
  • A student will not be granted a LOA in the middle of a term, therefore for purposes of Title IV a student granted a temporary LOA will be considered withdrawn from the university during this time. An R2T4 will be completed and the student will have to apply for readmission.
    • For purposes of Title IV a student will be considered withdrawn from the University while on a LOA; therefore federal student loans are not eligible for an in-school deferment

Tuition Refund Policy

The student has the right to cancel the enrollment agreement and obtain a refund of charges paid through attendance at the first class session, or the seventh day after enrollment, whichever is later. In addition, the student may cancel or withdraw from a course after instruction has started, and receive a pro-rata refund for the unused portion of the tuition, if the student has completed sixty percent (60%) or less of the instruction in the current term. Students who attend sixty percent (60%) or more in a term will not be eligible for a pro-rata tuition refund.

Westcliff University will perform a tuition refund calculation for students who cease their enrollment, whether voluntary or involuntary, for the term in which the student ceases their enrollment. The following methodology will be used for tuition refund calculations.

The number of days attended in the term, divided by the total number of available days in the term.

For the purposes of a tuition refund calculation, attendance is defined as Substantive Academic Activities performed by the student. Substantive Academic Activities are inclusive of, but not limited to the following actions:

  • Weekly in-class meetings, whether on-campus or online;
  • Virtual Class Session (VCS) summary submissions;
  • Actions performed by Student on the WU Global Academic Portal (GAP) such as initial discussion posts, peer responses, and assignment submissions.

Students utilizing Title IV, federal student aid funds, may be eligible for a pro-rata tuition refund of money not paid from Title IV, federal student aid funds. A separate calculation for determining earned Title IV funds will be performed by the university (R2T4 Calculation)

All refunds will be paid within 30 days of cancellation or the last date of attendance.

  • Final Considerations about Withdrawing
    • Students may choose to withdraw from a course they are enrolled in by completing the Course Withdrawal Request form which can be found in the Catalog and Student Handbook. A grade of “W” will be assigned to a student who officially withdraws within the first 75% of the course.
    • The request for withdrawal from class(es) must be in writing and should state the reasons for the request. The school will make any refunds due within 30 days, regardless if the student has returned lessons and materials that might have been sent to the student before cancellation notice was received.
    • Students who withdraw from the college and later re-enter in the same program will continue at the same satisfactory progress and evaluation points in effect at the time of withdrawal.
    • A student who chooses to transfer from one program to another will only have the grades and credits that apply to the new program factored into their Program Grade Point Average (PGPA).

Professional Judgment

Students may pursue a Professional Judgment adjustment to their Financial Aid based on special or unusual circumstances.

A special circumstance refers to financial situations such as the loss of a job that justify an aid administrator adjusting data elements in the Cost of Attendance or EFC calculations.

An unusual circumstance is a condition that justifies an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation such as human trafficking, refugee or asylee status, parental abandonment, or incarceration. This is commonly called a dependency override.

If you would like to request a Professional Judgment adjustment to your Financial Aid based on a special and/or unusual circumstance please contact the Financial Aid office by using the Student Self-Service & Inquiry Form. The Financial Aid department may make adjustments that are appropriate to each student’s situation with the appropriate documentation. These are done on a case-by-case basis.

Financial Aid Code of Conduct

Westcliff University maintains the highest standards of administrative and academic integrity, and our employees conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner in their interactions with students and families. Westcliff University has set forth this policy to codify and clarify our corporate ethics standard with regard to education loan providers (lenders, servicers, and or guarantors). This policy pertains to employees of Westcliff University’s financial aid department, scholarship services, and employees who have responsibilities related to educational loans or other forms of student financial aid.


“Preferred” lender lists and endorsements of lenders: Westcliff University does not create, maintain, or distribute any listing of “preferred” or “recommended” education loan providers, nor will Westcliff University staff endorse any particular third-party private education loan provider or distribute promotional materials on behalf thereof.

Federal Loans Primary to All Others: Financial Aid Office staff will always discuss and recommend federal student and parent loan options as primary to any private education loan or other education loan options (when the student is eligible for federal student loans).

Promotion of Education Loans: Westcliff University does not engage in a “revenue sharing” arrangement with any private education loan provider, nor enter into any arrangement designed to promote the products, services, and/or public image of such entities.

Non-Discrimination in Loan Certification: The Financial Aid Office will certify any private education loan upon request for any eligible student through any private education loan provider. Financial Aid staff will neither favor nor discriminate against any particular provider in giving counsel to student and parent borrowers. However, nothing in this policy shall be construed to prevent Financial Aid Office personnel from giving students and parents good counsel to assist the borrower in making an educated loan product/lender choice.

Prohibition Against Gifts: Neither Westcliff University nor any of its employees (or their family members) will accept any gift, gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, benefit, or any other item from any private education loan provider. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting Westcliff University employees from conducting normal banking business with a lending institution that is also an education loan provider; or receiving discounts, premiums, or gifts that are available to the general public based upon that normal banking business.

Contracting Arrangements/Advisory Groups: Westcliff University employees may not accept from any private education loan provider any type of fee, payment, expense reimbursement, or other financial benefit as compensation for consulting, advisory, or other services provided relating to education loans.

Staffing Assistance: Westcliff University does not utilize private education loan provider staff to work in our offices, nor will we allow them to perform the work of school personnel in other locations.