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Withdrawals and Class Participation Processes, Policies & Procedures

Withdrawals and Class Participation Processes, Policies & Procedures

The purpose of this page is to create a definitive venue for all students to review the effects of:

  • Failing to participate in a class or classes,
  • Reducing the class load, or
  • Withdrawing from a class or all classes.

Likewise, it is also the intent of this page to provide critical information for Federal Financial Aid recipients of the impact of these three things.

Drop verses Withdrawal

  • A drop occurs up through the 15th day of the term during the period of no academic entry. A dropped course will not appear on your transcript.
  • A withdrawal occurs after the 15th day of the term after the period of no academic entry, but still within the term. A withdrawal will result in a grade of a “W” or “F” on your transcript. Students should see specific dates for summer modules and terms. Students may withdraw after the 15th day up through the 58th day of the term.

Three Types of Withdrawals
There are three types of withdrawals. They are official withdrawals, unofficial withdrawals and partial withdrawals. The following is some specific information about each type of withdrawal.

The Official Withdrawal

  • An official withdrawal is a complete withdrawal where a student who has followed the appropriate procedures ceases to attend all classes. The university recognizes that sometimes students have no alternative but to leave the school due to many and various legitimate reasons.
  • It is understood that such a withdrawal may be only for a short time, such as the rest of the term or permanent; however, it is the school’s desire to have that student return when and if circumstances permit. A student who follows the appropriate procedures when withdrawing from the school will find it easier to return to the school at a later date.

The Unofficial Withdrawal

  • The unofficial withdrawal is also a complete withdrawal where unfortunately, the student either never attended or ceased to attend all classes without following the appropriate withdrawal procedures. This situation may make it very difficult for the student to return to the school should they desire to do so at a later date.

The Partial Withdrawal

  • A partial withdrawal is when a student withdraws from one or more classes, but remains enrolled in at least one class.

Two Ways to Completely Withdraw from Class(es)
A student may completely withdraw by:

  1. Successively withdrawing from class(es) until the student is no longer registered for any class for the term, or
  2. Withdrawing from all class(es) at one time so the student is no longer registered for any class(es) for the term.

The Withdrawal Process
The student whose intent it is to withdraw from one or more classes can do so by withdrawing on the web or in person. See the following for more detail in each of these methods.

Withdrawing on the Web

  • Students who withdraw on the web need to be aware that some instructors do not permit web withdrawals. Students should refer to the instructor's class syllabus to determine if a web withdrawal is permitted by the instructor of the class from which they are withdrawing.
  • Once the web withdrawal is submitted, both the student and the instructor will receive an e-mail notification of the withdrawal. At the time of the withdrawal, students are assigned a grade of "W;" however, it is the instructor's right to change the "W" to an "F" if it is determined to be warranted through the final grading process.

Withdrawing in Person

  • A student may withdraw in person by presenting a properly signed and completed "Registration Change" form to One Stop Student Services. At the time of the signing of the "Registration Change" form the instructor will also assign the student a grade of "W" or "F."

For more information on specific dates see the section below entitled, “Important Dates in the Withdrawal Process".

Actions which are not considered as an official notification of withdrawal include:

  • Assuming classes will be cancelled for non-payment,
  • Never starting a class(es) without proper notification,
  • Ceasing to attend class(es) without proper notification,
  • Giving written or verbal notice to anyone other than an appropriate One Stop Student Services employee, or regional campus student services designee,      
  • Stopping payment on a check used to pay tuition and/or fees, and
  • Crossing out class(es) on the schedule or bill and making partial payment based on that action.

The effective date of a withdrawal
To meet internal and federal requirements, it is important for the university to determine a specific date that the student withdrew from the school. The university will use the earliest of the following dates in its determination:

  • The date of the student’s verbal or written notification to One Stop or regional campus student services designee of their intent to withdraw,
  • The date of the student’s complete web withdrawal, or
  • The date the student has ceased to participate in all classes; however, it must be noted that ceasing attendance in a term cannot be accepted by the university as official notification of the student’s intent to withdraw. If it is determined that the last day of participation in the term is earlier than the date of the student’s withdrawal, then for federal purposes, that last day of participation must be considered as the withdrawal date in calculating the student’s earned aid.

Important Dates in the Withdrawal Process (consult the appropriate academic calendar or tuition refund schedules for specific dates).

  • A student dropping the class(es) by the end of the 8th calendar day of the term, regardless of the instructional fee date or the payment due date on the bill, will receive a 100% refund.
  • A student dropping the class(es) between the 9th calendar day of the term and the end of the 15th calendar day of the term will receive a 50% refund.
  • Specific refund dates are posted for each summer term.
  • The above dates do not apply to modular-type terms or mini-sessions. Due to the abbreviated length of the modular-type term or mini-sessions the refund period is shorter and in proportion to the full term refund schedule.
  • After the 15th and up through the 58th calendar day of the term, the student who withdraws from one or more class will receive an automatic e-mail notification of the withdrawal. Students are assigned a “W” grade at the time of withdrawal, but instructors reserve the right to change the “W” to an “F” through the final grading process.
  • The exact schedule is reported to you when you register for classes. To see your registered classes sign onto class registration for the term.
  • The 58th calendar date is the last day of the term to withdraw from a class.

NOTE: Students are always encouraged to check with their advisors and/or instructors prior to withdrawing from classes so they are fully informed of any academic impact the withdrawal might have on them.

The Impact of Dropping and/or Withdrawing and Federal Aid
Federal funds are awarded to the student anticipating that the student will complete the class(es) for which he or she has registered in a given term. When a student does not complete the class(es), it is necessary for the university to review the aid the student received based on the classes from which the student has dropped or withdrawn. Students who completely withdraw from classes for any term are subject to the Return of Title IV (R2T4) refund calculation as dictated by federal regulations.

Prior to withdrawing from one or more classes, the student is encouraged to review the Return of Title IV (R2T4) information provided by the Student Financial Aid Office.

Partial Withdrawal of Classes and Federal Aid
Withdrawal of some, but not all the classes may affect your federal grant(s) if this partial withdrawal occurs within the first 15 days of the term. An undergraduate student who takes 12 hours or more is considered a full time student. If your withdrawal causes you to drop below 12 credit hours the following statuses apply:

  • 9 thru 11 credit hours is considered three-quarters-time,
  • 6 thru 8 credit hours is considered half-time, and
  • 1 thru 5 credit hours is considered less-than-half-time.

The following chart is an example of how this would work for a Pell Grant Award recipient:

Your EFC is "0" Credit Hours Pell Award Reduction Totals
Full-Time 12 1850.00  
Three-Quarters-Time 9-11 1387.00 463.00
Half-Time 6-8 925.00 925.00
Less-Than-Half-Time 1-5 463.00 1387.00

Note: Classes with grades of “X” (No Participation) or “WX” (Withdrawal Acknowledged with No Participation) will reduce your Pell award regardless of when the class is dropped or graded.

For more information and detail on this subject go to Aid Recalculation on the Financial Aid Web Page.

Complete Withdrawal of Classes and Federal Aid
Withdrawal from all classes requires the university to recalculate the student’s aid. The process for recalculating the aid is referred to as a Return to Title IV or R2T4. Regardless of when you withdraw from the classes, this calculation is required. The calculation is designed to allow the student to keep the aid he or she has earned as a result attending and participating in the classes. Once it is determined how much aid the student earned, the rest of the student’s aid must be returned to the federal government. The student should be aware that this process:

  • Requires the university to notify the lender that the student is no longer enrolled in the institution, which will subject the student to accelerated repayment responsibilities,
  • May leave the student with a debit balance due on the student’s account that must be paid before registering for the following term, and
  • Will result in the cancellation of future student loans that have been awarded for later academic terms.

Example: Bobby Bearcat withdrew from all his classes 24 days into the spring term. The Return to Title IV (R2T40 calculation determined that Bobby earned 31.6% of his aid (24 days attended ÷ 76 instructional days in the term). On behalf of Bobby the university had to return $1,439 of his federal aid. The result was that Bobby ended up owing the university that amount of money. A service block was put on his account, late fees accrued, and when his bill was not paid on time, all of his classes for the following term were dropped. Bobby now owes the university and cannot continue his education at the university until his bill is paid in full.

Modules and Federal Aid; Partial or Complete
Withdrawing from modules can be a partial or a complete withdrawal. Modules are any flex-class, flex-term, mini-term, mini-session where a class or classes in a program do not span the entire length of the school’s payment period used in disbursing federal grants and loans, or in other words,  do not stretch from the first day of the term to the last day of the term.

Specifically, this is referring to the university’s A, B, C, D, E, and F modules students take during any term. Though typically many of those modules are only offered in the summer, F modules are offered year-around often to distance learning students. This chart uses the summer of 2011 to demonstrate the various modules offered by the university.

SUMMER 2011
11U Parent-Term
11U.A 11U.B 11U.C
11U.D 11U.E
11U.F (varies throughout the term)

On October 29th, 2010, the Department of Education published final regulations on program integrity. These final regulations made some significant changes to the Title IV regulations. Tile IV funds affected by these regulations are Federal Pell Grants, FSEOG, assorted other grants and federal loans, i.e., Perkins and Stafford Loans.

One of the new regulations that will significantly change the way the university has done things in the past is referred to as R2T4 and Modules, which references the Return of Title IV (R2T4) Funds when the student withdraws from a modular term. This new regulation which was effective July 1, 2011basically states that a student is considered withdrawn when the student has not completed all the days he or she was scheduled to attend in the payment period.

To determine if the student is a withdrawal or not the government has given us three questions to ask and answer. They are:

  1. Did the student withdraw from a class, or not attend a class he or she had enrolled to take? If answered “no” this is not a withdrawal; however, if answered “yes” go to question 2.
  2. Is the student currently attending or active in another class? If answered “yes” this is not a withdrawal; however, if answered “no” go to question 3.
  3. Did the student confirm intent to attend a future class during the same term?

 Question 3 from the above set deserves its own explanation. The new regulation also states that the university is not required to treat a student who ceases to attend a modular class as a withdrawal if the student gives the university written confirmation of his or her intent to attend a later modular class in the term. The university’s web registration/withdrawal system is designed to record this written consent from the student.

 Example: In a summer term, Bobby Bearcat enrolls in one 3 hour class each in the A, B and C modules. Bobby completes the A module class, but two days into the B module class he withdraws from it. To determine if this is a withdrawal, apply the 3 questions to it.

  1. Did the student withdraw from a class? The answer is “yes”, as the student dropped the B module class. Go to question 2.
  2. Is the student currently attending or active in another class? The answer is “no” as he only had 1 class during the B module and once he withdrew from it he was not currently attending or active in any class. Go to question 3.
  3. Did the student confirm intent to attend a future class during the same term? The answer is not known, but the student would have given the university the answer to the question during the web withdrawal. Assuming Bobby indicated that he was not going to take the C module class, this would be a withdrawal, and Bobby’s aid would have to be recalculated based on the actual days he attended.

 Had Bobby indicated it was his intent to take the C module class, and later chose not to attend it, his aid would be adjusted based on the date that he dropped the B module class.

 Example: In a fall term, Bobby Bearcat enrolls in one 3 hour full term (parent-term) class and two distance learning modular class that each run back-to-back through ½ the term each. Bobby completes the first modular class, but drops the second modular class before it starts. To determine if this is a withdrawal, apply the 3 questions to it.

  1. Did the student withdraw, or not attend a class? The answer is “yes” as Bobby did not start the second modular class.
  2. Is the student currently attending or active in another class? The answer is “yes” as bobby is still enrolled in the parent-term class; therefore, this is not a withdrawal. There is no need to answer question 3.

 Example: In a fall term, Bobby Bearcat enrolls in three modular classes. Two of the classes run the first half of the parent-term and the third class runs the last half of the parent-term. Bobby completes the first two classes receiving passing grades in both, but does not attend the third class or second half of the parent-term. To determine if this is a withdrawal, apply the 3 questions to it.

  1. Did the student withdraw, or not attend a class? The answer is “yes” as Bobby did not attend the third class for which he had registered.
  2. Is the student currently attending or active in another class? The answer is “no.” The classes Bobby took at the first of the term are over. He is no longer attending or active in a class.
  3. Did Bobby confirm his intent to attend a future class during the same term? The answer is “no” as there are no more future terms to take a class. This is a withdrawal.

Prior to 7/1/2011 neither the above first or third example would have been withdrawals. This new regulation makes it more important than ever for students to take only the classes they need and to finish those classes.


Not participating in classes and its Effect on Federal Aid
Withdrawals are not the only thing that can negatively impact a student’s aid. Students who are determined by their instructor to have not participated in a class may receive an X or WX grade. When a student receives either an X or WX grade the university is required to adjust the student’s aid as though the student never registered for that class or those classes. This adjustment is made regardless of whether the student has previously withdrawn. A student receiving X or WX grades in all their classes will have all their aid returned to the federal government.

In some more complex situations, usually at the end of a term when grades are posted, when a student has previously withdrawn and a R2T4 calculation has been completed the university is required to adjust the student’s aid based on any reported X or WX grade and recalculate the R2T4 based on the adjusted amounts.

Note: A student challenging an X or WX grade has 45 days after the end of the term to resolve that grade to be eligible to have their aid restored.

Avoiding or Minimizing Reduced or Returned Aid
The best way for a student to avoid losing part of all his or her aid is to enroll for only the classes they intend to take and complete those classes. The following are some additional suggestions:

Before the term begins:

  • Review the class schedule to be sure the registration is for the right class.
  • Make all class changes (drops/adds).

After the term has begun:

  • Review the withdrawal policies and procedures to full understand the consequences of withdrawing from a class.
  • Check with the instructor(s) or adviser for alternatives to dropping a class.