Return of Financial Aid When a Student Withdraws

The federal government mandates that students who withdraw from all classes may only keep the financial aid they have "earned" up to the time of withdrawal. Funds that have been disbursed in excess of the earned amount must be returned by the University and/or the student to the federal government. Thus, the student could owe aid funds to the University, the government, or both. 

A student is considered to have officially withdrawn when he or she notifies the University of his or her intent to withdraw from all classes. The date of the official notice will be used to calculate the amount of financial aid to be returned; in the absence of an official notice of withdrawal, the student's last date of attendance at an academically related activity will be confirmed with the faculty; the last date of attendance at an academically related activity will also be confirmed for a student who has not officially withdrawn and who receives a combination of all "F" and/or “W” grades at the end of the semester.  The official date of withdrawal or the last date of attendance will be used for calculating the amount of financial aid to be returned to the federal government.  Please refer to the section entitled Course Withdrawals for withdrawal policies and procedures.

To determine the amount of aid the student has earned up to the time of withdrawal (either official or unofficial), the Financial Aid Office divides the number of calendar days the student has attended classes by the total number of calendar days in the semester (minus any scheduled breaks of five days or more). The resulting percentage is then multiplied by the total federal funds that were disbursed for the semester; institutional funds, state funds, and alternative loans will be prorated in the same manner. (Note that if the student remains enrolled and attends class beyond the 60% point of the semester in which aid is received, all federal aid is considered earned and not subject to a refund calculation.)

This calculation determines the amount of aid earned by the student that he or she may keep (for example, if the student attended 25% of the term, the student will have earned 25% of the aid disbursed). The unearned amount (total aid disbursed minus the earned amount) must be returned to the federal government by the University and/or the student. The Financial Aid Office will notify and provide instructions to students who are required to return funds to the government.

Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reimburse the individual federal programs from which the student received the aid. Financial aid returned (by the University and/or the student or parent) must be allocated, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  3. Other Federal Loan or Grant Assistance

It is also possible that the student may have “earned” the aid, but it was not yet disbursed to the student’s account. Post-withdrawal disbursement occurs when the student receives less federal student aid than the amount earned (based on withdrawal date). The Financial Aid Office will determine if the student is entitled to a post-withdrawal disbursement and will then offer, in writing, a disbursement of the earned aid that was not received. All post-withdrawal disbursement offers will be made within thirty days of the date Monmouth determined that the student withdrew. The student must respond within fourteen days from the date that the University sends the notification to be eligible to receive the post-withdrawal disbursement. If the student does not respond to the University’s notice, no post-withdrawal disbursement will be made. The student may accept or decline some or all of the post-withdrawal disbursement. Accepted post-withdrawal disbursements will be made from aid programs in the following order:

  1. Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  3. Other Federal Loan or Grant Assistance

Students whose circumstances require that they withdraw from all classes are strongly encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office and their academic advisor before doing so. At that time, the consequences of withdrawing from all classes can be explained and clearly illustrated.  Financial aid counselors can provide refund examples and further explain this policy to students and parents.

Students who withdraw from the University may also be entitled to a refund of a portion of their tuition, fees, and room/board charges, dependent upon the point in time at which the student withdraws. See Refund Policy for detailed information on the University’s tuition, fee, and room/board refund policies.