Federal Aid


Drops, Withdrawals, and Federal Aid Eligibility

Financial aid is awarded with the assumption that students will attend the classes for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. To establish eligibility for any federal financial aid payments, students must complete the college's registration and bill payment process and begin attending classes. When a student ceases attendance prior to the planned ending date, the student may not be eligible for the full amount of financial aid funds the student was scheduled to receive.

Withdrawing from one or more courses can affect the eligibility to receive financial aid in future semesters.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

A withdrawal is considered an unsuccessful attempt at completing a course and will negatively impact the students eligibility to meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). There are both qualitative and quantitative measurements that factor into SAP, as detailed here. If the student fails to meet the requirements for SAP, they will not be eligible to receive financial aid, such as SEOG, Pell, and loans, in a subsequent semester.

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

To be eligible for a federal student loan (subsidized, unsubsidized, or graduate plus), a student must be enrolled at least half time (6 credits for undergraduate programs, 6 graduate credits for graduate programs). If a student drops or withdraws a class to fewer than 6 credits prior to the disbursement of the loan, the Office of Financial Aid is required to cancel the entirety of the loan. If a student fully withdraws from the term after the loan disburses, a calculation will be made to determine how much of the loan can be kept, and how much must be returned to the government. As a result, the student may receive a bill with the balance due from the Office of Bursar.

Federal Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grants are determined and awarded based on the exceptional financial need and student’s enrollment. Any change to the student’s enrollment may impact the Pell award eligibility.

  • If a class(es) is dropped by the 7th day from the start of the term, the Pell award will be reduced to reflect the new enrollment.
  • If a class(es) is dropped between the 2nd and 3rd week of the semester, but remain enrolled in the term, the Pell award will not be reduced for the term. This will appear as a WD grade.

Return of Federal Financial Aid (R2T4)

The federal government mandates that students who withdraw from all their courses in a semester can only keep the financial aid they have “earned” up to the time of the withdrawal. The Office of Financial Aid is required to perform the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) calculation to determine the amount of each type of “earned” and “unearned” Title IV aid. After the adjustments are made, the student will either receive a refund for any remaining credits or have an outstanding balance on their account.

Distribution of R2T4 Financial Aid Refund

The Federal Financial Aid Refunds returned to the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of the student are distributed among the financial aid programs in the following order:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Determining the Amount of Unearned Aid to be Returned

A student is not eligible for the full amount of Title IV aid if they withdraw before the 60% point in the semester. The Office of Financial Aid is required to determine the earned amount and percentage that students are eligible. The percentage earned is equal to the percentage of the semester that was completed. In such cases, you will be liable for the funds returned, billed by the college, and have to make payment arrangements with the Office of the Bursar.

The more days that are completed in the semester, the lower the amount of financial aid that must be returned. Once the student has completed more than 60% of the semester, they are allowed to keep 100% of aid even if a withdrawal occurs after that point. Below is the date of the 60% point for the 2021-2022 academic year.

2024-2025 Academic Calendar

(R2T4 60% point)

Academic Term Date of 60% point in the semester

Fall 2021


Winter 2022


Spring 2022


Withdrawal exemptions for R2T4

The U.S. Department of Education has issued Final Rules on Distance Education and Innovation which go into effect on July 1, 2021. Under the new regulations, there are three withdrawal exemptions.

Written Confirmation

A student is not considered to have withdrawn if the institution obtains written confirmation from the student at the time of withdrawal that he or she will attend a later module in the same payment period/period of enrollment.

  • For standard term (Winter/Spring) program, written confirmation is for a module in same payment period that begins no later than 45 calendar days after the end of the module the student ceased attending.
  • For non standard-term (Summer) program, written confirmation is for a date that is no later than 60 calendar dates after the student ceased attendance.

If a student fails to attend class(es) and receives passing grade, the Office of financial Aid is required to recalculate the R2T4 for the withdrawal term and return the “unearned” funds to the government. As a result, you may have an outstanding balance on your account.

49% and Half Time Successful Completion

A student who withdraws from a program offered in modules is not considered to have withdrawn for R2T4 purposes if the student successfully completes (earning a passing grade), and

  • One session that includes 49% or more of the number of days in the payment period; or
  • A combination of day attended in all modules that when combined contain 49% or more of the number of days in the payment period; or
  • Student complete at 6 credits in another module, even if they register full time.

This 49% and half-time successful completion only applied to summer and winter sessions.

Graduate Students

A student who completes all the requirements for graduation from his or her program before completing the days or hours in period that he or she has scheduled to complete is not considered to have withdrawn.

Post Withdrawal Disbursement (PWD)

A post-withdrawal disbursement of Federal Title IV aid occurs when the amount of Title IV aid earned by the student is greater than the amount of the Title IV aid disbursed for the semester. A student eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement will receive an email notification from the school.

Federal Pell and SEOG Grants

Grants will be credited to the student’s account without the student’s authorization within 45 days of the date the school determined the student withdrew.

Federal Direct Loans

If PWD notification includes loan funds, the student shall be notified promptly of their eligibility and requested to consent to the disbursement of loan. Students are given 14 days from the date of the notification to respond. If you fail to make a timely response, the college may choose not to make the post-withdrawal disbursement upon due notification to you.

The partial withdrawal of classes will not result in a return of Title IV aid to the government. Only completely withdrawing from the semester applies to the regulatory guideline. If you are considering withdrawing from your courses. We recommend contacting your academic advisor, the office of Financial Aid, as well as the office of Registrar to consider all the implications before withdrawing.