Withdrawal & Return of Aid Policy

To officially withdraw from the University, students must follow the established deadlines, policies, and procedures found in the Catalog. Each semester, Records and Registration publishes Policies & Registration information including deadlines to withdraw from courses, and the associated tuition and fee proration, if applicable. 

Visit the Registrar Withdrawal page for more details. Read on for financial aid policy and procedure related to student withdrawals. 

Official Withdrawals

When a student withdraws completely from the university, two separate processes occur—the Records and Registration prorates tuition and some fees (according to the Student Withdrawals policy published in the Catalog), and the Office of Financial Assistance (OFA) prorates financial aid according to Federal Student Aid (FSA) Return of Title IV Funds calculation guidelines.

When a student completes an official withdrawal from the university, the student will be billed for any amount of federal/state aid that is considered an advanced payment. In addition, if the student is due a refund of tuition and fees, a portion of that refund may be retained to repay federal aid on the student's behalf. If the withdrawal takes place before completing 60 percent of the term, the OFA will calculate an earned aid percentage based upon the number of days attended, divided by the total number of days in the term. This percentage will be multiplied by the total amount of federal aid received. The result is the amount of aid a student earned before withdrawing and is, therefore, allowed to keep. The difference between the federal aid disbursed to the student account and the amount of aid a student earned must be returned to the federal programs in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan
  2. Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan
  3. Direct PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal SEOG
  6. TEACH Grant
  7. Other Title IV Funds

If a student received funds from the state or an outside agency, or institutional funds, the student will be billed for any amount of funds that is considered an advanced payment. The OFA must follow the guidelines specified by those organizations regarding withdrawals. For most aid types a prorated return is required.


Unofficial Withdrawal

If a student stops attending all classes during a semester and does not go through the University' withdrawal process, the student is treated as an "unofficial withdrawal". At the end of each
semester, OFA identifies all students who did not earn a passing grade in at least one credit-bearing class. OFA will document the last date of attendance as reported by instructors. Using that
information, students will be reviewed under the Return of Title IV Funds calculation as described above. 


Reducing Enrollment/Dropping Classes (Reducing Hours)

Reducing hours before the add/drop date established by Registration each semester can have a serious impact on financial aid eligibility. If a student is assessed a lower tuition and fee rate, a refund may be generated. However, the refund may be withheld if financial aid is reduced as a result of the decreased enrollment hours. In such cases, the refund is used to repay the financial aid overpayment on the student's behalf. If the refund is insufficient to cover the reduction in aid, the student will be billed for the remaining charges. If students are considering dropping or withdrawing from classes, and are receiving financial aid, students should contact the Office of Financial Assistance to determine if and how  aid eligibility will be affected. It is important to contact the Office of Financial Assistance prior to dropping/withdrawing from a course.

Withdrawing from classes after the add/drop period (provided that students do not fully withdraw) does not affect the current term financial aid or enrollment hours; however students will receive a grade of "W" for the course(s) withdrawn. This could impact future eligibility by lowering a student's completion ratio. See the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for more information about completion ratio requirements.

If  enrollment hours are retroactively reduced (processed after the add/drop deadline for the term) such that a student does not meet the minimum enrollment for the aid programs received, this may affect both the tuition assessment and eligibility for financial aid for the term the retroactive reduction to enrollment hours was processed for. This can occur at any point during the term, as well as after the term has ended.

If students have questions about withdrawing and how changes in  enrollment can affect  current or future financial aid eligibility, contact the Office of Financial Assistance (OFA).

Responsible Unit