Withdrawals and Return of Financial Aid

Financial Aid Implications for Withdrawing from Your Courses

A “withdrawal” is a change in registration after the official Drop Deadline for the course. You should read and understand our withdrawal process before taking action; withdrawals may affect your financial aid in a number of ways. Examples include: creating a balance due you need to pay to the college, accepting additional aid, returning overpaid/excess loans, and more.

Recalculation of Aid

Your federal aid is awarded assuming you will complete each term you enroll in. When you withdraw from all of your classes, the College must determine the percentage of aid you earned based on how much of the term you completed.

The law specifies how the College must determine the amount of federal aid that you earn when you withdraw from school. The federal Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and the Federal Direct Loan Program are covered by this law.

Return of Funds

If more aid was disbursed to your account than you earned, the College must return the unearned aid to the U.S. Department of Education. This often results in a balance due to the College that you are responsible for.

Post Withdrawal Disbursement

If less aid was disbursed to your account than you earned, you may be eligible to receive those funds as a Post Withdrawal Disbursement. You may be required to accept the funds before the College is permitted to disburse to your account.


In some cases, you may be responsible for returning excess loan and/or grant funds beyond what the College is required to return.

You are responsible to return all excess loan funds, which you (or your parent for a PLUS Loan) must repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the servicer of your loan over a period of time.

Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with your school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.


You will be notified by mail of any changes in your financial aid package due to your withdrawal as well as any balance due to the College. You may also view your current financial aid package and bill on Webcat anytime.

Unofficial Withdrawals

If you stop attending all of your classes without officially withdrawing you are considered to have unofficially withdrawn from the term. The College will be required to determine the percentage of aid you earned for the term, similar to when a student officially withdraws. Since the College is not required to take attendance, we are permitted to use the 50% point of the term as your withdrawal date.

Future Aid

When you withdraw from a term (officially or unofficially), the Office of Financial Aid will cancel all future aid. If you plan to return within the same academic year, you may submit the Award Revision Request form to have your aid reinstated.

Withdrawals may also affect your eligibility for aid in the future. If you continue to attempt more credits than you are able to complete you will negatively affect your completion rate. An unofficial withdrawal will result in an “AF” grade (administrative failure) that will negatively affect your GPA and completion rate. Both GPA and completion rate are factors used in determining your eligibility for future aid. Read the College’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for more details and implications.


You have a 6-month grace period on each federal direct loan you borrow. If you return to school before the grace period has ended your loans will not enter repayment. You will also have a new grace period the next time you stop attending. If you use the entire grace period on a loan, that loan will immediately enter repayment upon your withdrawal. When you withdraw from a term (officially or unofficially), the Registrar's Office will report your enrollment status to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse which will trigger the start of your grace period or loan repayment.

Exit Counseling

Anytime you withdraw from, stop attending school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will need to complete Exit Counseling, even if you plan to return in a future term.

Returning Within the Same Semester

Written confirmation of your intent to return during the same semester is required to avoid a return calculation of federal aid if you meet the following conditions:

  • Withdraw from all your current coursework in a semester
  • Plan to return for late start coursework in the same semester
  • The official Drop Date for the late start course has not passed

Written confirmation may be provided on the Course Withdrawal form or by emailing the Office of Financial Aid at the time of your withdrawal.

You should always contact your advisor and the Office of Financial Aid before you withdraw to understand the impact of your withdrawal in relation to Satisfactory Academic Progress and the balance that you may incur due to the return of financial aid funds.