Withdrawal and Leave of Absence
Any student who has received a federal Stafford loan, a PELL Grant or a Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant has received Title IV funding.
Official withdrawals are student-initiated by creating the online workflow within myHSC. Please refer to Office of the Registrar Withdrawal Procedures.
Return of Title IV Funds
Any student who has received a federal Stafford loan, PLUS loan, GradPLUS loan, PELL Grant or a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) has received Title IV funding.
Title IV funds are awarded under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is offered. Federal regulations mandate the return of financial aid funds if a student withdraws within a certain timeframe during the enrollment period. Since a student begins earning Title IV funds on the first day of attendance, the school may be required to perform a return calculation if the student withdraws. This process is called the Return of Title IV and uses the number of days in attendance and the total days in the enrollment period to determine and return a percentage of funds.
The Office of Student Financial Aid reviews all student withdrawal information to determine if there is any affect to financial aid awards. Federal regulations mandate the return of financial aid funds if a student withdraws within a certain timeframe during the enrollment period.
If a student receives financial aid and:
- The withdrawal process is initiated prior to the first class day, OSFA is required to return all disbursed funds to the respective federal, state and institutional programs.
- The withdrawal process is initiated during the term or block, OSFA will calculate how much financial aid was earned based on the amount of days the student attended. All unearned funds will be returned to the respective federal, state and institutional program. The returned funds which were disbursed to the student will appear on the student bill as an outstanding balance due. All unearned Federal Title IV aid will be returned in the following order:
Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan
Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan
PLUS or GradPLUS loans
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Other types of aid (non-Title IV) may be revised depending on the policy of the administrating agent.
Grant fund amounts are contingent upon enrollment status. Awards may be reduced as a result of a withdrawal, LOA or less-than-full-time enrollment status.
- The withdrawal is after the student has completed 60% of the term or block (calculated for each term and component), the student will have earned all of their financial aid and no return will be required/processed.
A student who has stopped attending all classes and receives all “F” grades during a term or block without officially withdrawing is considered to have unofficially withdrawn. OSFA will review students who have received all F’s on their transcript and contact the student to determine how much of the term’s grade and financial aid was earned/unearned.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Both official and unofficial withdrawals impact a student’s SAP status. Please refer to our Financial Aid Eligibility page for more information.
Leave of Absences
A leave of absence (LOA) is a temporary interruption in a student's program of study. LOA refers to the specific time period during a program when a student is not in attendance. An LOA must meet certain conditions to be counted as a temporary interruption in a student's education instead of being counted as a withdrawal requiring a school to perform a Title IV (federal Stafford loans, subsidized and unsubsidized) return calculation.
In order for an LOA to qualify as an approved LOA for Title IV return calculations:
- there must be a reasonable expectation that the student will return from the LOA; the LOA, together with any additional leaves of absence, MUST NOT EXCEED a total of 180 days (six months) in any 12-month period; This 12-month period begins on the first day of the student's initial LOA.
- a student returning from an LOA must resume training at the same point in the academic program that he or she began the LOA; and
- the institution may not assess the student any additional institutional charges, the student's need may not increase, and therefore, the student is not eligible for any additional federal student aid (Title IV funds);
- if the student is a Title IV loan recipient, the school must explain to the student the effects that the student's failure to return from an LOA may have on the student's loan repayment terms, including the expiration of the student's grace period
A student granted an LOA that meets the criteria in this section is not considered to have withdrawn, and no return calculation is required. If the student does not meet the criteria in this section, the student is considered to have ceased attendance and to have withdrawn from the school, requiring the school to perform a Title IV return calculation.
Exit Counseling Requirements
Federal regulations governing the Federal Stafford Loan program specify that loan recipient(s) must complete exit loan counseling upon graduation, withdrawal or dropping below half-time enrollment status. Exit counseling enables students to become informed borrowers by providing valuable information concerning loan repayment options, deferments, loan consolidation, borrower rights and responsibilities, and debt management strategies. The counseling session also gives students an opportunity to update their personal and contact information.
A borrower's loan history can be viewed online through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). A previously assigned PIN is required for access to this information. Please be aware that the information on the NSLDS site is updated by lenders and guarantors and may not include the most current data.
The online counseling process is the fastest and most convenient way to satisfy the exit counseling requirement. This process can be completed HERE.