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Adding, dropping or withdrawing from classes should not be taken lightly. Financial aid funds are intended to assist students in completing coursework. Scholarship, grant, and loan recipients are therefore subject to refund and repayment obligations that may differ from university withdrawal policies.
As well, receipt of aid is contingent upon proof that you participated in your coursework. Failure to attend/participate in courses can limit your aid eligibility.
Generally, federal aid recipients who adjust their course load will have their aid adjusted based on the timing of the registration, if the course(s) appear on their transcript, and the amount of time they participate in the course. A student may have limited eligibility when adding classes and may be required to repay all or a portion of aid received depending on the point of dropping or a complete withdrawal.
In cases of Federal Direct Loans, failure to complete loan processes prior to dropping coursework to less than half-time status can limit eligibility until such time the student is again registered at least half-time.
NOTE: Adjustments to aid will occur at key evaluation points prior to each term and through the first 2 weeks of the term to determine your enrollment eligibility. Aid adjustments following the 15th day of the term will be based on a required re-evaluation of your eligibility if you withdraw completely from the term.
Adding or Dropping Courses During First Two Weeks
Students who add or drop courses during the first two weeks of the term will see their tuition charges and aid adjust based on their registered classes and verification of participation in a dropped course. Aid adjustments may not always occur as each change happens. To reduce negative or unanticipated aid fallout, students should always attempt to add classes before dropping others and do the combined adding and dropping on the same day.
Because this is the period of no academic entry*, withdrawing from a course during these two weeks means that the dropped course will not appear on your transcript.
While you may be eligible for a refund for a dropped course based on the timing of your drop, your aid (including scholarships) during this timeframe will adjust to your new enrollment status and, in the case of federal aid, participation in coursework. Part-time status during this timeframe can also result in an adjustment to your overall aid eligibility based on a revised budget.
ALERT: Tuition and housing refund schedules differ from the academic entry period. Students considering withdrawing from a class should be familiar with the appropriate refund schedule. Summer, in particular, has unique refund periods due to the variety of class lengths available.
Adding Courses After the Second Week
Adding classes to a previous enrollment after the initial two weeks of the term may not result in a change in your aid eligibility.
Your registration on the 15th calendar day of the term or enrollment at the time you become eligible for the aid (whichever is later) is used to calculate aid amounts. Therefore students should be registered by the end of the second week for all courses they wish for aid consideration.
Withdrawing From Classes After the Second Week
Students who drop courses after the second week are outside the period of no academic entry*. Their semester grade report and transcript will now show a W grade (or an F based on instructor prerogative).
Grades of W or F (and other negative grade marks) can affect your aid for future semesters or years. Carefully review the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress to ensure you are staying on track to retain aid eligibility.
Also, students who become aid eligible or accept aid after withdrawing with a W will have aid post to their bill based on remaining course enrollment.
Complete Withdrawal From Courses
Students who withdraw from all of their courses (at once or through a series of actions) may see more severe penalties. In addition to the actions noted below, you may be subject to federal aid return calculations.
If you fully withdraw from all courses during the initial 2 week non-academic entry period*, you will be subject to the following actions:
- Your aid will be prorated based on the timing of your withdrawal. If any loan credit remains, it may be returned to the lender to reduce your loan repayment balance.
- You will be reported to loan companies as no longer enrolled. Therefore, you may be subject to accelerated loan repayment responsibilities.
- Financial aid for future semesters may be canceled.
- If you return for a future semester, your aid can be re-awarded, but future refunds may be held until after the non-academic entry period.
If a complete withdrawal occurs after the second week, your federal aid continues to be subject to proration through the 60% mark of the term. Any aid adjustment will be made at the end of the semester after all grades are made official.
Reductions in aid based on your withdrawal or non-participation could cause a carry-over balance to a future semester. Failure to pay your online bill by the specified due date may cause late fees and service blocks to be assessed to your account.
Student loan borrowers with a complete withdrawal are also subject to loan exit counseling. Please complete this counseling so that you understand how your loan repayment will be influenced by your withdrawal and the timing of any future term registration.
Students in Federal Work-Study employment (and student departmental employees) must stop working for that term at the point of their complete withdrawal since they are no longer students. The only exception to this employment rule is summer term if the student remains registered for the upcoming fall term.
Students who do not participate in a course are subject to an X grade by the instructor. Even if you withdraw from a course after the non-academic entry or refund periods, a non-participation determination by the instructor must be accounted for in aid eligibility.
Following grade posting for the term, any course that is graded as X or where an instructor reports no participation must be taken out of consideration for federal financial aid. The federal aid for the term will be recalculated excluding that course. Depending on the remaining hours of registration, students may have their federal and other aid partially or fully reduced. Students with no remaining courses or having withdrawn from all attended courses are also subject to federal aid return calculations.
Students who do not attend and will not be participating in a course should drop the class prior to the start of the term (or, at the very least, within the two week non-academic entry period) to reduce any financial aid recalculation at the end of the term.
*Prior to autumn quarter 2006, the non-academic entry period was the first three weeks of the term (the same as the tuition refund schedule).
SPECIAL NOTE: Students who plan to both drop and add by changing out sections or courses should do so on the same day. Doing so on different days may result in crossing refund periods or being past the 15th date and not being eligible to receive aid for some courses.
A good rule of thumb to limit unintended consequences with the 15th day or other financial issues resulting from changing classes or sections is to ADD before you SUBTRACT. Add any classes you wish to have prior to dropping a class you want to leave. Following this sequence can be particularly helpful when you find out a class you want to add is full or otherwise not easily added when you have already dropped another class.