Leave of Absence
What is a Leave of Absence?
A leave of absence (LOA) is a temporary interruption in a student’s program of study. A leave of absence must meet certain conditions, for it not to be considered a withdrawal which requires Return Calculation.
- Merryfield has a published LOA policy, which states that all requests for leave of absence must be submitted in writing, including reason for request to the Registrar or a designated administrative staff for approval.
- An approved leave of absence cannot exceed 180 days within a 12-month period. The effects of failure to return from leave will have on the student’s loan repayment terms, which impact the expiration of the student’s grace period.
- If the student requesting LOA and is a Title IV loan recipient, it must be made clear prior to Merryfield granting LOA. The effects of failure to return from leave will have on the student’s loan repayment terms, which impact the expiration of the student’s grace period.
- A student that has been granted leave of absence is not considered to have withdrawn, and upon return within the approved timing, continues to earn financial aid previously awarded for the period.
- Once the student returned from his or her LOA, the loan period will be extended and the graduation date will be updated.
- Please note: Any “Leave of Absence” will shorten the “Grace Period” as to when your loan repayment will start. Loan repayments start 6 months after your graduation date.
Example: If you had to take a LOA for 30 days, your grace period to start repaying your loan would start in 5 months rather than 6 months.
A student or parent may cancel or modify an authorization at any time. A cancellation or modification is not retroactive—it takes effect on the date that the school receives it from the student or parent. If a student or parent cancels an authorization to use FSA funds to pay for other allowable charges, the school may use FSA funds to pay any authorized charges incurred by the student before the notice was received by the school. If a student or parent cancels an authorization to hold excess funds, the funds will be paid directly to the student or parent as soon as possible, but no later than 14 days after the school receives the notice; unless there is a written permission to hold the credit balance, which is payable at the end of the loan period.
In some instances, where a student or parents as an urgent situation that cannot wait and they are away from school to update the authorization form, they can request their funds to be sent to them verbally or by a written request.
Authorization to hold an FSA credit balance
Merryfield will ensure that all elements of an authorization to hold an FSA credit balance are conspicuous. Merryfield authorization includes the following elements:
• An explanation of what the FSA funds are covered by the document and it also specifies the time period covered.
• An authorization that clearly provides the student or parent with the information he or she needs to make an informed decision.
• Merryfield will ensure that student or parent will be fully informed that he or she may refuse to authorize any individual item, that he or she may cancel such authorization at any time, and that a cancellation is not retroactive.
• Merryfield A credit-balance authorization will provide details that are sufficient to give the student or parent an idea of how credit balance will be used.
Paying prior-year charges
- In general, FSA funds may only be used to pay for the student’s costs for the period for which the funds are provided. However, Merryfield may use current-year funds to satisfy prior award year charges for tuition and fees, room, or board (and with permission, educationally related charges) for a total of not more than $200. We will not pay prior-year charges in excess of $200.
- FSA funds may not be used to repay a student’s loan. Loan payments are not part of the cost of attendance for the period of enrollment.
The costs of education and other services that Merryfield provides a student are associated with the “year” for which the education and services are provided.
How credit balances are identified
Every Monday the business office will run an AdHOC report in our third party software to identify any credit balance(s) that needs to be issued. Once identified, the business office will review the student’s record and identify if a check needs to be issued or if there is an authorization on file to hold the credit balance(s) until the end of the loan period or otherwise directed by student. If a student does not authorize us to hold the credit balance until the end of the loan period, the school will issue the credit balance within 14 days.
Who will send Credit Notices?
The business office will immediately mail or make the credit notices available for pick up after the funds have been posted to a students’ ledger; if the student is on a leave of absence it will be mailed immediately. The financial aid office is responsible for printing credit notices for students.. Even though we have a passive confirmation process, students have the option to sign their award letter. A copy of the award letter will also be given to the student for his or her records upon request.
In an instance where the award amount was changed, the student will be informed only if it negatively affects the student’s aid. The students will be notified by email or in-person and the student is required to sign an updated award letter confirming that they are aware of the change(s).
Students can notify the business office or the financial aid office directly or in writing if he or she wants to cancel or reduce any portion of their federal student loan(s). Students will also receive directives on how to reduce or cancel their loans on the credit notices. Merryfield has a loan cancellation form available for all students and notices on their credit notices with directions on how to properly complete this request.
How Merryfield Handles Overpayments
Students who owe funds to a grant program are required to make payment of those funds within 45 days of being notified that they owe this overpayment. During the 45 day period students will remain eligible for Title IV funds. If no positive action is taken by the student within 45 days of being notified, Merryfield Academy of Pet grooming will notify the U.S. Department of Education of the student’s overpayment situation. The student will no longer be eligible for Title IV funds until they enter into a satisfactory repayment agreement with the U.S. Department of Education.
During the 45-day period, the student can make full payment to Merryfield school of Pet grooming of the overpayment. The school will forward the payment to the U.S. Department of Education and the student will remain eligible for Title IV funds. Students will need to make check payable to Merryfield Academy.
If a student is unable to pay his or her overpayment in full, they can set up a repayment plan with the U.S. Department of Education. Before doing so, the student is required to contact Merryfield Academy’s Financial Aid Office. The student will need to make sure we have referred the situation to the U.S. Department of Education before any repayment plan can be set up.
For examples, of the Return of Title IV Funds calculations or questions regarding the overpayment policy, please contact the Financial Aid Office.