What Happens to Financial Aid When A Student Withdraws from School?

If a student decides to withdraw from all of his/her classes after the semester begins, the Financial Aid Office must review the student's file to determine if the student has financial aid and if the student has earned the amount awarded.

If a student has financial aid, a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation must be performed to see how much aid the student has earned and how much must be returned to the funding source.

The Financial Aid Office must do the following:

1. Determine the percentage of the term the student completed.

If the student completed more than 60% of the term, the student has earned 100% of his/her financial aid. If the student has completed less than 60%, the student has only earned that percentage of financial aid.

To determine the percent of aid earned, the Financial Aid Office will divide the number of days attended in the term by the total days in the term. Scheduled breaks of five or more days are not included (i.e. spring break).

2. Add all Title IV aid that was actually disbursed and the amount of Title IV aid awarded that could have been disbursed.

Multiply the total aid by the percentage earned. This determines the dollar amount earned for the term.

3. Subtract earned aid from the aid that was actually disbursed.

This determines the amount of unearned aid that needs to be returned.

4. Determine who is responsible for returning what amount.

The Financial Aid Office returns the lesser of:

  • total unearned aid; or
  • the total amount as determined by multiplying institutional charges by the percentage of aid unearned.

The student returns the difference between the total unearned aid and the amount returned by the institution.

5. Return the unearned aid back to the Title IV programs in the order specified by law.

The student is responsible for returning the amounts required to the appropriate funding source. Any grant money that the student is required to return is reduced by 50%.

6. The order in which aid is required to be returned is:
  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Direct Loans
  3. Federal Direct (Parent or GRAD) PLUS Loans
  4. Federal Pell Grants
  5. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  7. Federal TEACH Grants

Sample Refund Calculation

  • Institutional charges for the term $9608.96 (includes tuition, housing, lab fees, bookstore charges)
  • The term has 75 days in the payment period.
  • Student withdrew on day 23.
  • 23 days divided by 75 days = 31% of earned aid

Aid Disbursed:

Type of Aid Amount
Pell Grant $3047
SEOG $300
ACG $375
Sub Loan $1750
PLUS Loan $5000
Total Aid $10,097

Earned Aid:

$10097 x 31%= $3130.07
Aid x Earned % = Earned Aid

Aid to Be Returned By School:

$9608.96 x 69% = $6630.18
Tuition x Unearned % = Aid to be returned by school

Aid to Be Returned by Student:

$10097 - 3130.07 = $6966.93
Aid - Earned Aid = Unearned Aid

$6966.93 - 6630.18 = $336.75
Unearned Aid - Aid to be returned by school

$3347 x 50% = $1673.50
Grants x 50%

$336.75 - 1673.50 = $-1336.75
Unearned aid - 50% of grants = Aid to be returned by student

In this case the student is not required to return grant funds because the aid to be returned by student is less than 0. If the student would be required to return grant funds the student must make satisfactory repayment arrangements within 45 days. If no payment arrangements are made, the student's information will be submitted to the US Department of Education for collection.

When the aid is returned to the appropriate sources, the student will have an outstanding balance due to the University (amount of aid returned by the University).

Military Tuition Assistance Refund Information

Military Tuition Assistance (TA) is awarded to a student under the assumption the student will attend for the entire approved term. If a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of TA funds. To comply with Department of Defense policy, any unearned TA funds will be returned on a proportional basis through at least the 60 percent portion of the period for which the funds were provided. We will recalculate TA eligibility for student who fail to attend, drop out, withdraw (officially or unofficially), or are dismissed prior to completing greater than 60 percent of the enrollment period. The enrollment period is computed from the “classes begin” date to the “last day of classes” date. TA funds are earned proportionally during an enrollment period, with unearned funds returned based upon when a student stops attending.

Recalculation is based on the percent of TA funds earned using the following formula:

15 Week Session Withdraw Calculation

  • Before or during weeks 1-2: 100% Return
  • During weeks 3-4: 90% Return
  • During weeks 5-6: 75% Return
  • During weeks 7-8: 50% Return
  • During week 9: 40% Return (60% or course completed)
  • During weeks 10-15: 0% Return

7 Week Session Withdraw Calculation

  • Before or during week 1: 100% Return
  • During week 2: 75% Return
  • During week 3: 50% Return
  • During weeks 4-5: 40% Return (60% of course is completed)
  • During Weeks 6-7: 0% Return

Withdrawal/Drop Refund Deadlines

Refunds for federal Financial Aid recipients in attendance at the University are computed through 60 percent of the term according to refund guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Unearned Aid for all Financial Aid recipients are returned to aid accounts or to lenders in a specified order and within time frames mandated by federal regulation. Examples of federal refund calculations are available in the Financial Aid Office.

Withdrawal/Drop Refund Deadlines for Tuition and Housing Fees

Tuition Refund Dates

If you are the recipient of a federal loan/grant (Pell, SEOG), and if all aid posted to your student account exceeds your fees for the semester, you can expect a refund. Students with out-of-pocket payments exceeding their fees for the semester can expect a refund.

Tuition Refund Dates

Credit Balance Policy

A Title IV credit balance occurs whenever the amount of Title IV funds credited to a student’s account for a payment period exceeds the charges assessed to the student for the semester. A credit balance can also occur when a student pays in excess of the charges assessed for the semester. All credit balances are paid based on the Title IV credit balance policy. Shawnee State University utilizes BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMTX, Inc. to process all student refunds. Credit balances are paid to the student as soon as possible, but no later than 14 days after

  • the first day of class of a payment period if the credit balance occurred on or before the first day of class of that payment period;
  • the balance occurred if the credit balance occurred after the first day of class of a payment period.

If Shawnee State University determines a Parent PLUS loan creates the credit balance, the refund is issued to the parent. However, the parent may authorize SSU to issue the student the credit balance due from a PLUS loan by indicating such on the PLUS loan application.

Students or parents may opt out of having the credit balance issued as a refund by contacting the Student Business Center to have the excess funds returned to the program source. You may contact the Student Business Center at (740) 351-4357 or

Withdrawals and Return of Title IV Policy

Withdrawals and Return of Title IV Policy (PDF)

Federal regulations state that students who withdraw from all classes may only keep the federal financial aid (i.e., Title IV funds) they have “earned” up to the time of withdrawal.

These regulations apply when the student officially or unofficially withdraws.

  • Official withdrawals include medical withdrawals, exceptions to enrollment appeals and any student who has been administratively withdrawn or expelled.

Procedures to Officially Withdraw

Information about dropping courses is available on the Registrar’s Office website.

Students may drop/withdraw from classes via the web by logging into MySSU or by visiting the Student Business Center located in the University Center.

If a student has a hold, they should visit the Student Business Center. Students may drop/withdraw from classes until the designated withdraw date published by the Registrar’s Office. See the academic calendar for specific information regarding withdraw dates and the Bursar’s Office for tuition refund dates.

If the student does not begin attendance or stops attending classes, it is the student’s responsibility to drop or withdraw from classes. Failure to do so will result in a grade of F.

Unofficial Withdrawal or Failure to Earn a Passing Grade in Any Courses

Non-attendance, by itself, is not an acceptable reason for not dropping a class in a timely manner.

Students who do not receive any “earned” grades are considered to be unofficial withdrawals that stopped attending all of their courses prior to the end of the term.

If a student who began attendance and has not officially withdrawn fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course, SSU must assume, for Title IV purposes, that the student has unofficially withdrawn, unless the institution can document that the student completed the semester.

This includes any student, who has a combination of the following grades for all courses for the semester:

  • WD, NR, NC, F, I or IP

SSU is required to determine if coursework was completed or if the student stopped attending. Fifty percent of the aid used to pay direct educational costs (tuition, fees, room and board) must be returned to the lender or aid program.

Professors are required to enter a last date of attendance for each failing grade (F or NC) submitted. These dates are used to determine if the student has unofficially withdrawn.

Withdrawal Date

The withdrawal date for a student who withdraws is the earlier date of:

  • The date the student began the withdrawal process; or
  • The date the student otherwise provided the school with official notification of the intent to withdraw; or
  • The date the institution becomes award the student ceased attendance; or
  • The midpoint of the payment period or period of enrollment for which Title IV assistance was disbursed if the student ceases to attend without official notification and withdrawal.

At SSU, the office designated for a student notification to withdraw is the Student Business Center.

Treatment of Title IV Aid when a Student Withdraws

The law specifies how SSU must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that the student earns if they withdraw. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, TEACH Grants, Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans, Director GRAD PLUS Loans, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG).

When the student withdraws during the payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV program assistance that they have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If the student received (or the school or parent received on their behalf) less assistance than the amount earned, the student may be able to receive those additional funds. If the student received more assistance than they earned, the school and/or student must return the excess funds.

Return to Title IV Funds Refund Calculation

The amount of assistance that the student has earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if the student completed 30% of the payment period or period of enrollment, they earn 30% of the assistance originally scheduled to receive. Once the student has completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the student earns all the assistance that they were scheduled to receive for that period.

If the student receives (or school or parent receives on their behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, the school must return a portion of the excess equal to the lessor of:

  1. The institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of the funds, or
  2. The entire amount of excess funds.

Withdrawal before the First Day of Class

If the student officially withdraws, drops out, or is expelled before the first day of class, all federal financial aid funds paid for that payment period for institutional or non-institutional costs will be removed.

  • The student remains responsible for all charges incurred when aid is removed.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements

If the student did not receive all of the funds that were earned, they may be due a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the school must obtain the student’s permission before it can disburse the funds. The student may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that they do not incur additional debt.

  • The school may automatically use all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school).
  • The school needs permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If permission is not granted, the student will be offered the funds.
  • However, it may be in the student’s best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce their debt at the school.

Percentage of Payment Period Completed

The percentage of the payment period completed is calculated by dividing the total number of calendar days in the payment period into the number of calendar days completed as of the student’s withdrawal date.

Institutional Charges

Institutional charges are tuition fees, room and board (if the student contracts with the institution for room and board) and other educationally-related expenses assessed by the institution.

Calculation of Title IV Assistance Earned by the Student

The percentage of Title IV assistance earned is equal to the percentage of the payment period completed as of the withdrawal date.

  • If the withdrawal date occurs after the 60% point, then the percentage of Title IV assistance earned is 100%.

This percentage is then applied to the total amount of Title IV grant and loan assistance that was disbursed (and that could have been disbursed) to the student, or on the student’s behalf in the case of a parent PLUS loan, for the payment period for which it was awarded.

Calculation of Title IV Assistance Unearned to be Returned

The unearned amount of Title IV assistance to be returned is calculated by subtracting the amount of Title IV assistance earned by the student from the amount of title IV aid that was disbursed to the student or on behalf of the student in the case of a parent PLUS loan.

Responsibility of the Institution for Return of Unearned Aid

SSU will return all unearned funds back to the aid program and the student will be responsible for any balance this creates.

Responsibility of the Student for Return of Unearned Aid

If the Return to Title IV calculation results in an amount to be returned that exceeds the school’s portion, the student must return the remaining amount.

Any loan funds that the student must return, they (or parent for a PLUS loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, the student makes scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.

If the return of the funds creates a balance due on the student account, the student will be responsible to pay the balance on their SSU account.

Order of Return of Title IV Funds

A school must return Title IV funds to the programs from which the student received aid during the payment period or period of enrollment as applicable, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Direct Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loans
  4. Federal Direct (Parent or GRAD) PLUS Loans
  5. Federal Pell Grants
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  7. Federal TEACH Grants
  8. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

Any federal college work study funds that the student has earned prior to withdrawal will not be returned.

Timeframe for the Return of Title IV Funds by the Institution

SSU must return the funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after the date or its determination that the student withdrew.

An institution must determine the withdrawal date for a student that does not provide notification to the institution no later than 30 days after the end of the earlier of the payment period or period of enrollment.

Student Notification

SSU will notify a student in writing within 30 days of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew and either owes a Title IV or HEA overpayment or owes funds to SSU.

Retroactive Withdrawals

If funds have been returned for a student based on his or her official or unofficial withdrawal, those funds cannot be reinstated if the student petitions for, and receives a retroactive withdrawal (official, medical withdrawal, or exception to enrollment).

Withdrawal from Sessions or Parts of a Term

If the student withdraws from current classes, but is registered in a later starting class for the semester, we are required to calculate the amount of unearned aid to return to federal programs, unless it is indicated in writing that the student will attend the future courses.

Credit Balance after Return of Title IV Calculation

Credit balances remaining after an R2T4 calculation will be issued to the student (or parent as result of a PLUS loan) as soon as possible but no later than 14 calendar days after the date of determination.

How to Withdraw

Withdrawal from the University is defined as dropping all classes on or after the earliest start date of any of your classes taken during the session/semester. This means all regular Shawnee State University classes for which you are registered.

You must go to the Student Business Center to initiate the withdrawal process. If you have any questions about withdrawing from the university, please reach out to the Student Business Center at (740) 351-4357 or Consult the Academic Calendar Important Dates for deadlines.

Any student receiving Title IV financial aid should seek advisement from the Office of Financial Aid prior to processing a complete withdrawal.