Treatment of Federal Student Aid when A Student Withdrawals
Request for Withdrawal/Leave of Absence: Undergraduate and graduate students who wish to drop all classes or withdraw from the University (or take a leave of absence) must initiate the withdrawal process through the Registrar's Office. For information, please visit www.pacific.edu/registrar.
Financial Aid: Federal Return of Title IV Aid provisions and other regulations and policies dictate what happens to financial aid when a student starts classes and then withdraws or goes on leave of absence. Please note that once you withdraw at any point in the term you are no longer eligible to work on a Federal work-study job.
If you leave school during a semester, the Financial Aid Office must use your withdrawal date to determine the amount of federal Title IV aid you earned before withdrawing.
If you received more federal aid than the amount you earned, the excess must be returned to the federal financial aid program or programs from which it was paid. (If you received less than the amount earned, you may be eligible to receive a post withdrawal disbursement.)
Percent of Term Completed/Percent of Aid Earned: The law provides that, if you withdraw after completing more than 60% of a semester, you have earned 100% of the federal aid you were scheduled to receive that semester. However, up through the 60% point in the term, the amount of federal aid earned is determined on a pro-rated basis.
For example, if you withdraw after completing 30% of a semester, you have earned 30% of the federal aid awarded for that semester and 70% of your federal aid dollars must be returned.
NOTE: The funds remaining in your student account after federal aid is returned might not cover your charges.
If, prior to withdrawing, you have taken money out of your account, you will owe the University for the unearned aid that is returned to federal programs on your behalf.
Withdrawal Date: By regulation, the date used to determine how much federal Title IV aid you have earned is the date on which you contact the Registrar's Office and begin the withdrawal process, drop all your classes, or otherwise notify the University of your intent to withdraw. (The University may use a different withdrawal date as the basis for tuition adjustments or transcript changes.)
This federal withdrawal date triggers the start of the six-, nine-, or twelve-month grace period after which you have to start repaying your student loans.
If you drop-out or stop attending classes without processing a withdrawal or leave of absence it is referred to as an unofficial withdrawal. Your withdrawal date is the midpoint of the semester and half your federal aid for that semester may be returned, retroactively, to the federal programs.
The requirements described above apply to Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Stafford and PLUS loans and Federal Perkins Loans.
Some non-federal aid, including Cal Grants and most University awards, can only be used to pay tuition. This is referred to as tuition-specific aid. Tuition-specific aid cannot exceed the cost of the tuition you are charged, therefore, if you withdraw during the University's refund period and your tuition charges are reduced, the tuition-specific awards in your financial aid package (if any) may have to be reduced or cancelled.
When tuition-specific aid must be adjusted, University awards are reduced first; then, if necessary, funds are returned to the Cal Grant program and/or other awarding agencies.
For more information on the University's refund period or the cost of tuition contact Student Accounts.
A student who withdraws might be entitled to keep part or all of his/her financial aid, please be aware that any loan amount that is not returned counts against your cumulative borrowing limit (known as aggregate limits) and will eventually have to be repaid, even though you didn't earn any units in the semester for which the funds were borrowed.
Similarly, a Cal Grant or Federal Pell Grant payment received for a semester from which you withdraw counts against your remaining semesters of Cal Grant/ Pell Grant eligibility.
If academic difficulties or other circumstances result in repeated withdrawals, you could eventually fall below the Satisfactory Academic Progress units completion requirement and lose eligibility for financial aid.
EXAMPLE: TREATMENT OF FINANCIAL AID WHEN A STUDENT WITHDRAWS
Jane, a sophomore, qualifies for financial aid from federal, state, and University programs. She begins the fall semester as a full-time student and her fall aid is deposited in her Pacific student account.
On September 14 (calendar day 22 of the 112-day semester), Jane withdraws from the University for personal reasons. The Financial Aid Office must now review her financial aid package and make any adjustments that may be necessary.
Federal Aid: Jane was enrolled for 19.6% of the semester and has earned 19.6% of her federal Title IV aid. The unearned Title IV funds (80.4%) are returned to federal aid programs in a sequence prescribed by regulation, as follows:
|$2,239 Stafford Loan (after deduction of loan fee)||$2,239 returned|
|$1,000 Perkins Loan||$1,000 returned|
|$2,675 Pell Grant||$2,320 returned|
|$1,000 Supplemental Educational Opportunity
|$ 00 returned|
Tuition Aid: In addition to federal aid, Jane's financial aid package includes a Regents' Scholarship, a UOP Grant, and a Cal Grant A-all of which are tuition awards.
Because she withdrew early in the University's refund period, Jane's fall charges have been reduced by 80%, and her total fall tuition aid now exceeds her adjusted charges.
To correct this situation, the Financial Aid Office cancels her fall Regents' Scholarship and UOP Grant and returns part of her fall Cal Grant payment to the Cal Grant A program:
|$3,000 UOP Grant||$3,000 cancelled|
|$5,000 Regents' Scholarship||$5,000 cancelled|
|$4,854 Cal Grant A||$1,631 returned|
NOTE: Jane's fall Cal Grant was initially paid for full-time enrollment. Although some of the funds are returned when she withdraws, the California Student Aid Commission still counts this payment as one full-time semester of eligibility used and subtracts a semester from Jane's remaining eligibility.
RETURN OF TITLE IV FUNDS ORDER: The federal regulations regarding Return of Title IV funds are to be returned in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source.
The order of repayment to programs is as follows:
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Direct PLUS
- Federal PELL Grant
- Academic Competiveness Grant (ACG)
- National SMART Grant
- Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)