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Withdrawals and Financial Aid

You may decide that you must withdraw from a class or classes sometime after the semester begins. Withdrawing from class can have short-term and long-range affects on your eligibility to receive financial aid payments. In general, withdrawals can have a negative impact on your ability to receive and keep receiving financial aid.

Over time, excessive numbers of withdrawals can cause you not to meet satisfactory academic progress standards for Federal or State aid.

Before You Withdraw

We suggest that you speak with your instructors and an academic advisor if you think you have to withdraw from a class. Decisions related to academic programs should not be based solely on financial considerations, and an advisor can perhaps lead you to a better solution – one that doesn’t require you to withdraw.   You may want to consider the information provided here in any decision to withdraw from a class or classes.

When You Withdraw – Short-Term Effects

Your semester tuition and fee bill will be adjusted according to the college’s Tuition Refund Policy.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) students who fall below half time status (6 credit hours) must notify the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid. Federal student aid may be adjusted including FWS funds.

Students awarded Federal financial aid* will be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds Policy:

  1. Federal Law specifies how a school must determine the amount of Federal financial aid* that a student earns if he/she withdraws, drops out, is dismissed, or takes a leave of absence prior to completing more than 60% of a payment period.

  2. The amount of Federal financial aid assistance that the student earns is determined on a pro-rata basis.  Once the student has completed more than 60% of the payment period, all financial aid assistance is considered to be earned.

    Percent earned = Number of calendar days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total calendar days in the payment period with an allowance for any scheduled breaks that are at least 5 days long.

    Percent Unearned = 100% minus percent earned.

  3. When a student receives Federal financial aid in excess of earned aid,

    The School Returns the Lesser of: Institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage, or Title IV Federal financial aid disbursed multiplied by the unearned percentage.

    The Student Returns: Any loan funds are repaid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note; that is, scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time. Any grant amount the student has to return is a grant over-payment, and arrangements must be made with the school or Department of Education to return the funds.

  4. The student is billed for funds the college is required to repay. The Business Office invoices the student and accounts not paid within 90 days are turned over to a collection agency.

    *Federal financial aid includes the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (SEOG).


    This means that you may have to repay all or part of the financial aid disbursed for the semester in which you withdraw if you do not complete more than 60% of the semester.

A student who withdraws from a class within the term must still be attending another class or is considered to be a withdrawal, even if registered for future classes starting in the term.  The student must – at the time of withdrawal from a class, if they are not attending another class -  provide a written statement to the college indicating their intent to attend a future class within that term, or the student is a withdrawal; a Return to Title IV calculation must be completed.  (If student doesn’t actually attend that future class, a Return to Title IV calculation is still required; withdraw date/last date of attendance dates back to originally confirmed date).


Questions to Ask

1. Did the student stop attending a class that he/she was scheduled to attend?

  • If yes, go to question 2

2. At the time the student stopped attending this course was he/she continuing to attend other courses?

  • If yes, the student is not a withdrawal
  • If no, go to question 3

3. At the time of withdrawal, did the student provide written confirmation of anticipated attendance in a later starting, registered course within the term?

  • If no, student is considered a withdrawal, and a Return to Title IV calculation must be completed
  • If yes, no Return to Title IV calculation is required unless the student doesn’t attend or quits the future part of the term


Remember: Recalculation of aid for enrollment-status changes due to dropped or never attended classes is required before any Return of Title IV calculation is completed.

Effective for the 2012-2013 academic year any student that receives the North Carolina Education Lottery Grant (NCELS) and/or the North Carolina Community College Grant (NCCCG) that withdraws prior to the 35% of the semester will be required to repay a portion of these funds.

When You Withdraw – Long-Range Impact

All course withdrawals recorded on your permanent record may affect your eligibility to meet Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and could result in a loss of future Federal financial aid.



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