How withdrawing from classes affects your FAFSA

Before withdrawing from all your courses, either one-by-one until you are no longer enrolled or all at once, it’s always a good idea to check with One Stop to make sure that it will not negatively affect you. If you receive loans or grants from the government, be aware that a federal regulation, simply named Return of Title IV Funds (or R2T4) may leave you owing a balance to the university, even if you received a refund from your aid. This is why:

  • When you receive aid from the FAFSA, the Education Department expects you to complete your classes. If you withdraw from all of your classes during any given semester, Bursar Operations will apply a formula to your account.
  • The formula consists of the number of calendar days that you attended class. That is the amount of aid that you earned. If you did not attend enough classes, (and, thus, didn’t earn enough aid) then a portion of your loans or grants may get returned to the government.
  • Unfortunately, by that point, the aid has already paid for your bill. If you remove any of it, you may end up owing a balance…because the aid that paid for your tuition and fees is no longer there, paying your bill; so, you would be responsible for paying it.

Furthermore, withdrawing from all your classes can have long-term repercussions on your FAFSA aid, as well:

  • As previously mentioned, the Education Department expects students to complete their classes if they receive loans and grants from them; therefore, all students who receive aid from FAFSA are reviewed for their academic progress once a year.
  • To remain eligible to receive loans and grants from the government, you must complete 67% of the courses in which you register each semester. If you withdraw from all your courses in a semester, you would have a 0% course-completion percentage (also called “Pace”).
  • Depending on how many credits you have completed already, a 0% course-completion rate for a semester would have a serious impact on your future financial-aid eligibility.

So, if you are thinking about withdrawing from your courses…don’t. But, if you absolutely have to, please contact the One Stop Center to see how it would affect you.