Withdrawing from classes may have serious consequences on your financial aid award. Before considering dropping classes or withdrawing from the university, students should consider the following implications:

  • What is the impact on financial aid for the current semester?
  • What is the impact for future semesters?
  • What are university policies for refunding tuition, housing, meal plan, or other charges?

There are differences between dropping a single class and dropping all of your classes.  Before dropping any courses, we encourage you to review the:

Registrar’s Add/Drop Calendar
Fees/Tuition Assessed for Drops or Withdrawal
Withdrawal Policy (pdf)

If you drop some classes

The Bursar Office will determine whether the amount you were charged for tuition should be adjusted, based on the date of withdrawal.

The Financial Aid Office will determine if any aid disbursed to you has to be adjusted.  Some financial aid programs are adjusted based on enrollment on the Census Date (10th day of the semester).  While we generally don’t have to adjust aid if you drop a course(s) after the Census Date, your attempted credits for SAP are based on your enrollment on the Census Date, so dropping later will affect your Pace.  If you are receiving financial aid, you are strongly encouraged not to drop below half-time enrollment.

The Registrar’s Office will determine whether the course shows up on your transcript with a ‘W’ or not at all.

If you withdraw or drop all of your classes

The Bursar Office will determine whether the amount you were charged for tuition should be adjusted, based on the date of withdrawal.

The Financial Aid Office is required to determine whether any financial aid funds need to be returned to the original funding sources.  This is called a “Return of Title IV” calculation and is required in order to be in compliance with Federal regulations. Students do not earn 100% of their aid until after the 60% point of the term. So, if they withdraw from classes at the 50% point in the semester, they have technically earned 50% of their aid.  Unearned funds must be returned to federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs, and in many cases, this will cause the student to owe a balance to the university. More information on this calculation can be found here. When a student drops all classes, there is a high probability that they may incur a tuition balance; especially if they drop after the point in the semester where they are responsible for 100% of the tuition charges. Students withdrawing from all classes due to medical reasons may want to consult with the Dean of Students Office regarding a possible Medical Tuition Credit.

In addition to the possible return of financial aid funds, all students are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a degree. “Attempted Credits” for the Timeframe and PACE components of SAP are measured as of the tenth day of classes (the Pell Census date).  All courses in which the student was enrolled on the tenth day of classes will be counted as “attempted,” no matter what circumstances prompted the withdrawal.  If a withdrawal causes a student to fall below the required “PACE” or exceed the maximum Timeframe and become ineligible for aid, students may wish to meet with a financial aid advisor to appeal their aid eligibility. Students are encouraged to review the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Unofficial Withdrawals

If a student stops attending classes without completing the official withdrawal process, the student is considered an unofficial withdrawal. At the end of each semester, the Financial Aid Office receives notifications of students who received non-attendance grades in each of their classes. Students who do not have documented evidence of participation prior to the 60% of the semester will have their financial aid adjusted accordingly.

Students Attending Module Courses

Courses which do not span the length of the semester are “module” courses. This includes 8 week courses during fall and spring terms and most courses attended during the summer. Students may be considered to have withdrawn, even if a module course is completed. If a student drops one or more courses and is no longer actively attending any courses, the student may be considered withdrawn for financial aid purposes and aid must be adjusted accordingly, except in the cases where at least half-time credits (six credits for Undergraduate, four credits for Graduate) have already been completed with a passing grade, completed a class with a passing grade that encompasses at least 49% of the period of enrollment, or have completed graduation requirements prior to dropping future modules. Students who dropped module classes but are still enrolled in future modules may be required to submit written confirmation they plan to attend those courses.