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Students are awarded financial aid at the start of an academic year, but funds are ‘earned’ based on attendance and successful completion of courses. If a financial aid recipient withdraws during a semester, the student may not have earned the funds received, and the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid must re-calculate aid eligibility based on the length of time the student attended. This is called a Return to Title IV Calculation, or R2T4. The calculation is determined based on the number of days the student attended for the semester. 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.
Federal regulations determine the order in which funds are returned to government aid programs. Funds are returned in the following order:
A student is determined to be an official withdraw if all courses have been dropped or the student has been withdrawn from ALL courses for any given semester. The date used in the Return to Title IV calculation is the date that the student dropped or withdrew from all courses, or the last date of academically related activity if this is known to be different (example-medical withdraw, notification from faculty or advisor, military deployment).
Funds will be returned to the Department of Education within 45 days of the withdraw date.
If a student withdraws before receiving a financial aid disbursement, under certain circumstances, the student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. The Financial Aid Office will contact the student (or parent in the case of a Parent PLUS Loan) to request permission to disburse these funds. If the signed authorization is not received in the timeframe indicated on the letter sent to the student, the funds will be cancelled.
If a student stops attending without withdrawing from the courses, the student is considered an unofficial withdrawal, and a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation will be performed to determine the aid earned. When a student receives a course graded with an “F” grade, faculty are required to report a last week of attendance along with that failing grade. For example, an “F10” would indicate the student stopped attending in the 10th week of class. While this number doesn’t show on the transcript, The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will review these grades to determine the total length of time the student attended, and perform a return of title IV (R2T4) aid calculation based on this information. The date used for this calculation will be the last date of the highest numbered week associated with the students F grades. For such students that a date cannot be determined, the mid-point of the semester will be used as the last date of attendance. Students will be notified of changes in eligibility following the same process as ‘official’ withdraws.
Courses which do not span the length of the semester are considered to be "module" courses. This includes 7 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 is considered withdrawn for financial aid purposes and aid must be adjusted accordingly. Students enrolled in future modules may be required to submit written confirmation they plan to attend those courses.
The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid is notified bi-weekly of students who have dropped or withdrawn from all courses. For students who appear on this list, and have officially withdrawn, a Return to Title IV Aid calculation will be completed within 45 days from the date the withdraw occurred. For students who withdraw unofficially, a report will be processed after grades post each semester, and the Return to Title IV calculation will be completed within 45 days of that date.
The student will receive a paper letter from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid typically within one to three weeks after fully withdrawing from classes in any semester. This letter will inform the student of what aid was returned and other pertinent information regarding loan repayment. The Cashier’s Office will mail a billing statement shortly after this to inform the student of any remaining balance to the institution or to the Department of Education.
According to our Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy, the university must keep track of the number of credits a student attempts versus the number of credits completed. Student who do not maintain at least a 67% completion rate are ineligible for aid for future semesters. All classes with a "W" grade are considered attempted credits. You can click here to read our full SAP policy for details.
Students are granted a 6 month grace period for Direct loans (subsidized and unsubsidized loans), and 9 months for a Federal Perkins Loan. When a student withdraws, the withdrawal date begins the calculation of the grace period. If the student is unable to or is not planning to return to school within the 6 or 9 month grace periods, the loans will enter repayment. If the student is planning to return to school at or near the end of the grace period, the student should anticipate receiving notifications of payments due, and MAY be required to make one or more student loan payments before the loans return to an in-school deferred status. Students must also remember that to qualify for an in-school deferment, you MUST be attending at least “half time”. Students returning from a withdrawn status should continue to make payments until notified otherwise. Failure to make payments can have serious consequences on credit and future aid eligibility. Students can learn more about their loans by going to the National Student Loan Data System.