Statement of Policies
Registration and Withdrawal
Federal student aid funds for graduate students are available only to students who are enrolled in a degree program. Post-doctoral students are not eligible for federal student aid funds.
You must register for and complete at least six units each quarter in order to maintain eligibility for your financial aid funds. If you do not meet the minimum enrollment requirement, you will be required to immediately repay the entire amount of federal student aid funds received, even if you have already spent these funds.
A student who wishes to withdraw from all courses should complete and submit a Leave of Absence form using the Student eForms platform in Axess . If the student has applied for financial aid, they should also notify the Financial Aid Office. Below is an explanation of how a student’s financial aid award will be adjusted when the student withdraws.
Withdrawal for an Entire Quarter
A student who has been awarded federal Title IV grant and/or loan funds for an academic quarter, but who does not actually begin class attendance for the quarter, is considered not to have earned any portion of the Title IV award for that quarter. The same is true for state Cal Grant awards and, generally, for scholarships from the university and from outside organizations. If awards have been disbursed to the student account on the basis of pre-enrollment for the quarter, these awards will be reversed, which may result in a balance due on the student’s university account. The student will need to resolve this balance before resuming enrollment. If the student does not plan to re-enroll within 180 days of the last date of class attendance, and they have borrowed student loans, they must complete loan exit counseling within 30 days of the last date of class attendance.
For a student who begins class attendance for an academic quarter, but withdraws from all courses before the end of the quarter, the official withdrawal date is generally the last date of class attendance as reported by the student on the Leave of Absence form. For a student who unofficially withdraws or otherwise ceases attendance, the university will attempt to determine the student’s last date of class attendance by contacting the student, their instructors, their academic advisor, their residence staff, and/or others with knowledge of the student’s situation. If an exact date cannot be determined, the university will estimate the withdrawal date based on all known information.
If a student has been awarded federal Title IV grant and/or loan funds for the quarter of withdrawal, the university will determine the percentage of these funds that the student has earned by dividing the number of calendar days during which the student was attending classes by the total number of calendar days in the quarter, excluding scheduled breaks of five days or more. Example:
For Autumn Quarter, a student’s last day of class attendance is October 15. The first day of the quarter is September 20, so the student attended for 26 calendar days. The last day of the quarter is December 10, and there is a scheduled break of nine calendar days for Thanksgiving, so the total number of calendar days in the quarter is 73. This student earned 35.6% of their aid award (26/73).
This percentage is then applied to the total amount of Title IV aid funds awarded to the student for the quarter to determine the amount of aid that the student has earned. Then, the total award is reduced to match the earned amount. The order in which the reduction is applied to the student’s different Title IV awards is as follows:
- Unsubsidized Direct Loans
- Subsidized Direct Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Federal Pell Grants
- TEACH Grants
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
A student’s Title IV award for the quarter consists of: Federal TEACH Grant $1,250; Unsubsidized Direct Loan $6,761; and Direct PLUS Loan $4,065. The total amount of the Title IV award is $12,076. The student earned 35.6% of their total Title IV award, or $12,076 x 35.6% = $4,299. The portion of the award that the student did not earn is $12,076 - $4,299 = $7,777. Using the order of funds shown above, the university cancels the entire Unsubsidized Direct Loan disbursement of $6,761 and reduces the Direct PLUS loan disbursement by $1,016, for a remaining Direct PLUS Loan amount of $3,049. The student has earned the full amount of the Federal TEACH Grant of $1,250.
A student is entitled to keep 100% of their Federal Work-Study earnings, up to and including earnings for the last date of class attendance.
State Cal Grant awards are reduced by applying the same withdrawal percentage that was used for the Title IV adjustment. For example, a student’s Cal Grant award for the quarter is $2,000. The student earned 35.6% of the award, or $712.
Non-federal education loans are generally pro-rated using the same withdrawal percentage.
The university is obligated to return unearned Title IV funds to the U.S. Department of Education as soon as possible, and no later than 45 days after determining that the student has withdrawn. The date of determination is the earliest date that the university became aware of the withdrawal.
If part or all of the student’s Title IV award has not been disbursed by the withdrawal date, the university will determine whether the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned portion of the award. If the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of Title IV grant funds, the university will disburse the funds to the student account within 45 days of the date of determination of withdrawal. If the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of Title IV loan funds, the university will notify the borrower of their eligibility within 30 days of the date of determination. The borrower will have at least 14 days from the date of this notification to decide whether they want to receive the post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds.
If the adjustment of the Title IV award due to withdrawal results in a credit balance on the student account that includes Title IV funds, the university will disburse the credit balance as a refund within 14 calendar days of when the credit balance was created.
In cases where part or all of a Title IV loan disbursement must be canceled due to the withdrawal calculation, the school may not be required to return the full canceled amount to the U.S. Department of Education. In this situation, the student is obligated to repay both the earned amount of the loan disbursement and the portion of the unearned amount that the school is not required to return, according to the terms of the promissory note.
If a student does not plan to re-enroll within 180 days of the last date of class attendance, and they have borrowed student loans, they must complete loan exit counseling within 30 days of the last date of class attendance.
Students who are considering a mid-quarter withdrawal should consider how their financial aid award will be adjusted. One important factor to keep in mind is that financial aid funds are earned only up to the withdrawal date (last date of class attendance). Financial aid funds will not be available to cover any housing or dining charges or other expenses that a student incurs after the withdrawal date. In addition, students should be aware that the aid adjustment described above may result in a balance due on the student account that will need to be resolved before the student resumes attendance. Students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss the implications of withdrawal before making a final decision.
Updated on September 29, 2022 10:36 AM