Student financial aid and dropping or withdrawing from classes
Dropping classes or withdrawing may result in a reassessment of your university charges and/or a recalculation of your financial aid for the term. The exact consequences to you depend on a number of factors, including the type and amount of aid you have and the official date on which you drop classes or withdraw.
The consequences for each of these academic actions are different and are addressed below.
Hour drops - What happens when you withdraw from some but not all classes?
Financial aid awards and the budgets or costs of attendance that correspond with the financial aid awards are based on the assumption students will enroll full time during each term. Even though some students may not be enrolled full time at the start of any given term, there are multiple opportunities for students to add/drop/change classes early on in a term to eventually settle at full-time enrollment.
If by the term’s census date, (typically the third week for summer term and the fourth week for autumn and spring), a student is not enrolled full time (either having been initially, then dropping or having never been enrolled full time), adjustments will be made not only to financial aid received for the term in question but also to the budget or cost of attendance that corresponds with the financial aid offered in any given term. If changes are required, a student’s financial aid awards may be unavailable to view while adjustments are being made.
Less than full time
|Three-quarter time||Half time||Less-than-half time|
|Awards||Undergraduate: 9-11 hours|
Grad/Prof: 6-7 hours
|Undergraduate: 6-8 hours|
Grad/Prof: 4-5 hours
|Undergraduate: 1-5 hours|
Grad/Prof: 1-3 hours
|University scholarships and grants||Most awards will be reduced to $0. However, some may be adjusted for less than full-time enrollment. If an award does not remain on your statement of account after you reduce your course load, you must contact the donor for permission to retain the funds.|
|Federal Pell Grant (undergraduate only)||3/4 of full-time amount, except smallest awards||1/2 of full-time amount, except smallest awards||Pro-rated based on federal guidelines|
|Federal SEOG (undergraduate only)||Same as full-time amount||Same as full-time amount||$0|
|3/4 of full-time amount||1/2 of full-time amount||1/4 of full-time amount|
|Federal Perkins Loan, Nursing Student Loan, Federal Work-Study||Same as full-time amount||Same as full-time amount||$0|
|Health Professions Student Loan||$0||$0||$0|
|Long-Term University Loan||Same as full-time amount||Same as full-time amount||Same as full-time amount|
|Federal Direct Stafford Loan and PLUS||Same as full-time amount||Same as full-time amount||$0|
After the Student Financial Aid census date
Most financial aid will not be adjusted for hour drops after the Student Financial Aid census date. All hours for which you are enrolled as of the fourth Saturday of the term or which you schedule thereafter, will be counted as “hours attempted” for determination of whether you are making Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid. Hours dropped after the refund period count as hours unsuccessfully completed.
Federal Work-Study recipients: You will be ineligible to work at any point in the term that you drop below half-time enrollment.
The overall consequences of dropping courses depend on EACH of the following:
- the aid you have been awarded
- the number of credits you retain
- the point in the term you drop and the tuition refund period in effect
You could owe additional money to the university (which would be due immediately) or you could have additional funds returned to you from the university in the form of a refund. In some cases, you could have aid adjusted for future terms.
See the University Registrar site for current term dates.
If you are considering dropping a class and have any questions about the financial aid consequences, please contact the Student Service Center.
Withdrawal - What happens when you withdraw from all classes?
A withdrawal from all classes is an academic action that should occur only through a formal meeting with an academic advisor in your college office. Whether done through the formal process or through you dropping all of your classes online, a withdrawal from all classes can result in the reassessment of your university charges and the recalculation of your financial aid.
As with dropping a class, the specific financial consequences for you depend on several factors:
- the amount and type of financial aid you have been awarded for the term
- the amount of initial charges, as well as adjusted charges
- the point in the term you withdraw (including the refund period in effect)
You could owe additional money to the university (which would be due immediately), or you could have additional funds returned to you from the university in the form of a refund. In some cases, you could have aid adjusted for future terms.
The following institutional policy references should help you gain an understanding of the consequences for you if you withdraw from all classes during the term.
Institutional refund policy
Please refer to the Registration and Fees and Important Dates table on the University Registrar site for the institutional refund dates. In cases of withdrawal, campus specific charges such as COTA, RPAC, ATI and Campus Safety are refunded 100 percent through the first week of classes and are not refunded thereafter. Student Health Insurance charges are refunded 100 percent through the second Friday of the school term if the student drops below eligible credit hours or withdraws from classes. For students withdrawing from the university after the second Friday of the school term, health insurance premiums will not be refunded. Residence hall charges (if applicable) are pro-rated through the eighth week based on the date the room key is returned.
Note: This policy is only applicable when you formally withdraw via your college office or when you drop all of your courses online. If you stop attending without notification, you are not eligible for a refund. See the section below on "Unofficial Withdrawals" for additional information.
Financial aid adjustment policy for withdrawals
The following chart describes the consequences, by type of aid, when you withdraw or stop attending ALL of your classes.
Consequences of withdrawal
|Aid source||Example aid programs||Effects of withdrawal on term aid|
|Federal Title IV||Pell Grant, SEOG, Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS), TEACH Grant||For withdrawals prior to the 60 percent point of the term, a calculation must be done to determine the amount of aid that must be returned to the aid programs. After the 60 percent point of the term, all aid is considered earned.|
|Federal Title IV||Federal Work-Study||Once you withdraw at any point in the term, you are no longer eligible to work on a Federal Work-Study job.|
|Federal Title VII and Title VIII||Nursing Student Loan, Health Professions Student Loan||For withdrawals before the Student Financial Aid census date, all funds are returned to the aid program. After the fourth Friday of the term, aid is earned by the student.|
|State of Ohio||Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) and War Orphans Scholarship||Aid is refunded to the programs based on the institutional refund period (100 percent returned to the program during the 100 percent refund period, 75 percent during the 75 percent refund period, and 50 percent during the 50 percent refund period). See the refund periods in the table above.|
|The Ohio State University||Most university scholarships and grants, including but not limited to, Provost, Trustee, Scarlet and Gray, Freshman Foundation and Land Grant||For withdrawals through the SFA Census date, all funds are returned to the program. After the fourth Friday of the term, aid is retained by the student. (Some scholarships are subject to different rules.)|
Return of Title IV process for federal aid
The federal government mandates that students who withdraw from all classes may keep only aid earned up to the time of withdrawal. If you have federal Title IV aid (see table above) and you fail to complete at least 60 percent of a term, Student Financial Aid must determine how much of your aid, if any, must be returned to the federal aid programs based on the percent of the term you completed. Once you complete 60 percent of the term, you are considered to have earned 100 percent of your aid. The term length is defined as the first day of classes through the last day of finals.
The federal regulations determine how the order of program funds are returned. Funds returned to the federal government are used to reimburse individual federal programs. Financial aid returned (by the University and/or the student/parent) is allocated, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:
- Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Federal Subsidized Direct Loan, Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan or Grad PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Other Federal Loan or Grant Assistance
If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If your post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, your school must get your permission before it can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don't incur additional debt. Your school may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). The school needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If you do not give your permission (some schools ask for this when you enroll), you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.
If you receive (or your school or parent receive on your behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, your school must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:
- your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
- the entire amount of excess funds.
The school must return this amount even if it didn't keep this amount of your Title IV program funds.
Financial aid withdrawal time frame
Typically it takes approximately two weeks for the Return of Title IV calculation to be completed.
If you simply stop attending classes, rather than officially withdrawing through your college office or dropping all of your classes online, you will be subject to the same financial aid consequences addressed above. You will also be subject to the following additional consequences:
- You will not be eligible for a fee refund on any charges.
- You will receive EN grades (failing grade for non-attendance), negatively affecting your GPA.
- EN grades are not always available before the end of the term; this may affect the timing of any subsequent aid disbursements which may result in an outstanding amount owed to the university.
If you withdrew from all courses and one or more of your courses were a session course, confirmation of attendance for session two is required.
Students will receive a request to complete an Enrollment Confirmation form to indicate to Student Financial Aid if you will or will not be attending a second session course.
If not attending, the Return of Title IV process will begin. If attending a second session course, a Return of Title IV calculation will not be completed. Failure to enroll in the second session will result in the Return of Title IV calculation being completed.
If you are considering withdrawing and have any questions about the financial aid consequences, please contact the Student Service Center.