Skip to content Skip to navigation

Withdrawing as a financial aid recipient

What happens if I withdraw from ASU?

Federal student financial aid is awarded to you under the assumption that you will be enrolled for a specified period of time, such as a session/term. When you are receiving these funds and are not enrolled as scheduled, ASU's Financial Aid and Scholarship Services office (FASS) is required to determine if you were enrolled long enough to keep all of the federal and institutional financial aid paid to you. Therefore, FASS office must calculate a "Return of Title IV Funds" any time you stop your enrollment (e.g., withdraw, drop, or stop participating in classes and receive a combination of all EN, E or W grades in a session or term) before the end of the term and you do not certify your intent to return in another session within the same term. Receiving all EN grades (failure to participate) will result in the cancellation of all federal and institutional financial aid excluding earned Federal Work Study and Employee Waivers.

If you consider dropping from a class, withdrawing or not participating, we recommend you consult with a financial aid representative to discuss your options. The financial aid funds you received for the term were based on the amount of credits you were enrolled in at the time of disbursement. Should your credits decrease, you may have to repay some or all of your financial aid funds. Use our calculator to see if your decision will result in a bill, and get an estimate of how much you could be required to repay.

You will be required to submit a Financial Aid Withdrawal Confirmation form within five days of initiating any withdrawal (please do not submit this form unless requested to on My ASU). Failure to submit this form will result in an immediate recalculation of your financial aid. If you do plan on returning for a session later in the same term, it is imperative to complete the form within the timeframe above.

What happens if I ...Consequence

…drop all of my classes before the term starts? 

If you drop all your classes before the term has begun, all of your financial aid for the term will be cancelled. This will result in a balance owed to ASU if your aid has already been disbursed.

…withdraw from or drop all of my classes after the term starts?

You earn all of your financial aid when you have participated in more than 60 percent of your scheduled enrollment for the term. The Return of Title IV funds calculation counts the number of days from the first day of class until the last date you were enrolled and compares that to the total calendar days of your scheduled enrollment for the term. This includes the first day of classes through the last scheduled day of exams, including weekends and holidays, and excluding any scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Services first determines if you have completed more than 60 percent of your scheduled enrollment for the term. If you have not completed more than 60 percent, the amount of your financial aid you are allowed to keep and the amount that must be repaid will be calculated.

…received all failing grades (E) for a term or session?

If you receive ALL failing grades for a term or session, you will be considered an unofficial withdrawal for financial aid purposes. Your financial aid will be subject to a Return of Title IV funds calculation using the midpoint (50%) of the term or session, and this will result in a reduction to the amount of aid you were eligible to receive.

…fail to participate in all my classes and receive all grades of EN?

If you received any federal or institutional aid and have all EN grades for a session/term, your aid will be cancelled and Federal funds will be returned to the U.S. Department of Education on your behalf. You will be billed by ASU for the amount returned to the U.S. Department of Education and for any institutional aid.

...received a combination of E, EN and W grades for a term or session?

If you receive a combination of E, EN and W grades for a term or session, your financial aid will first be subject to a recalculation for non-participation for any EN grade(s). This will result in a reduction to the amount of aid you were eligible to receive.

Next, a Return of Title IV funds calculation will be applied to your remaining financial aid using the later of the midpoint (50%) of the term or session or the course withdrawal date(s). This may result in a further reduction to the amount of aid you were eligible to receive.

Scholarship Recipients
If you received an ASU merit scholarship, please contact Financial Aid and Scholarship Services regarding the impact on continuing eligibility. If you received a private donor scholarship, please contact your private donor on how your withdrawal will affect your scholarship.
Federal Work-Study Students
If you are employed in a Federal Work-Study position and initiate a complete withdrawal, your employer will be notified by Financial Aid and Scholarship Services that you no longer qualify for Federal Work-Study funds and your employer must terminate your employment.
Military Service Men/Women
If you must completely withdraw due to military activation, immediately contact Veterans Services.
Medical/Compassionate/Administrative Withdrawals
The U.S. Department of Education does not allow for exceptions to this policy regardless of the reason that you withdraw or unsuccessfully complete your classes. If you initiate a medical or compassionate withdrawal, your withdrawal date will be determined by the information provided on the withdrawal form completed by you and your college. Financial Aid and Scholarship Services must determine what portion of your financial aid was earned and what portion must be returned to the financial aid programs.

How is the calculation done?

ASU's Financial Aid and Scholarship Services is required to:

  • Determine the number of calendar days in your scheduled enrollment.
  • Determine the number of calendar days you attended classes. 
  • Calculate the percentage of Title IV Aid earned and unearned.
  • Calculate the amount of institutional charges.
  • Determine the amount that must be returned to each Title IV program.
  • Return federal funds to the programs according to regulatory requirements.
  • Adjust financial aid awards as needed, which may result in charges due to ASU.

What is the recalculation process?

Financial Aid and Scholarship Services calculates the number of days you were enrolled before you withdrew, dropped, or stopped participating and compares that to the number of days in your scheduled enrollment for the term. You earn your financial aid award in proportion to the number of days completed in the session/term.

Number of calendar days completed in the session/term
÷
Total number of days scheduled to complete in the session/term

The number of calendar days in the numerator and denominator includes all days within the session/term, except for institutionally scheduled breaks of five or more consecutive days.

When you completely withdraw from ASU prior to completing more than 60 percent of your scheduled enrollment for the term, a portion of the Title IV financial aid you received (excluding Federal Work-Study) is considered to be an overpayment, and must be returned to their respective federal financial aid programs.

*Dates below are examples only and may not reflect ASU's academic calendar.

Example A*

Mary enrolls for the fall term in session A and session B. She completes session A but withdraws from the course she registered for in session B on 10/15. Because she did not complete her scheduled enrollment, Financial Aid and Scholarship Services must determine if she is eligible to receive all of her aid.

Did Mary complete more than 60 percent of her scheduled enrollment for the term?

Image of an example of a student withdrawing from a session.

Participated 8/18 to 10/07÷Total number of days scheduled to complete=Percentage of term completed
51 days÷102 days=50%

Because Mary did not complete more than 60 percent of her scheduled enrollment, Financial Aid and Scholarship Services must calculate how much of the financial aid she earned and is eligible to keep and how much was unearned and must be returned to the Financial Aid programs.

Example B*

Steve enrolls in session C only for the fall term. He withdraws from all the courses registered in session C on 9/20. At the time he withdraws, he submits the Financial Aid Withdrawal Confirmation form and states that he plans to enroll in session B.

Three scenarios can occur:

  1. Steve attends and completes his courses in session B – he will not be considered to have withdrawn from the term and a Return of Title IV calculation does not need to be performed.
  2. Steve begins attendance in session B and withdraws from session B within the session – he will be considered to have withdrawn and Financial Aid and Scholarship Services must determine if he is eligible to receive all of his aid based on his most recent withdrawal date, and the number of days of his scheduled enrollment will include all the days in session C.
  3. Steve does not fulfill his promise by attending session B – he will be considered to have withdrawn and Financial Aid and Scholarship Services must determine if he is eligible to receive all of his aid based on his original withdrawal date, and the number of days of his scheduled enrollment will include all the days in session C.

For scenario #3, did Steve complete more than 60 percent of his scheduled enrollment for the term?

Image of an example of a student withdrawing from a session.

Participated 8/18 to 9/20÷Total number of days scheduled to complete=Percentage of term completed
34 days÷120 days=28.3%

Because Steve did not complete more than 60 percent of his scheduled enrollment for the term, Financial Aid and Scholarship Services must calculate how much of the financial aid he earned and is eligible to keep and how much was unearned and must be returned to the Financial Aid programs.

What is the difference between earned and unearned Title IV funds?

Title IV Funds Earned – You earn Title IV funds in proportion to the percentage of time officially enrolled in the term (in Example A above, Mary earned 50% of her financial aid). If the aid earned is more than the amount that was disbursed, you will be offered a post withdrawal disbursement.

Title IV Funds Unearned – Unearned funds must be returned to the federal programs from which they originated (e.g., if Mary in Example A above is eligible for 50% of the Title IV aid, then the unearned funds will be 50% of the Title IV aid received). If there are any unearned funds, ASU must return the lesser of 1) the unearned Title IV aid or 2) the total unearned institutional charges, which consists of all charges for tuition, fees, and room and board, multiplied by the percentage of Title IV funds that was not earned.

What are the timelines for Return of Title IV funds?

Financial Aid and Scholarship Services must determine the amount of aid that was earned and how much was unearned; the unearned aid is returned to the U.S. Department of Education by ASU on your behalf. ASU is required to return these funds within 45 days from the date Financial Aid and Scholarship Services has determined you have withdrawn.

The amount of unearned aid will be returned to the U.S. Department of Education, which will create a balance due to ASU. This is posted as a charge to your ASU student account on My ASU and must be repaid to the university immediately. If the returned funds include any loans you borrowed, your loan principal will be lowered by the returned amount. Therefore, when your loans enter repayment the total amount borrowed will be lower.

In what order is Return of Title IV Funds returned?

ASU must return the funds to aid programs in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans 
  2. Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans 
  3. Federal Perkins Loans 
  4. Federal Direct PLUS Loans (parent and graduate)
  5. Federal Pell Grant 
  6. Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (SEOG) 
  7. Federal TEACH Grants
  8. Federal Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant

Federal Work-Study earnings are not affected by Title IV regulations concerning the return of unearned federal financial aid.

How do I withdraw from my courses at ASU?

Now that you understand that you may owe a portion of the financial aid you received back to the federal government and/or ASU if you withdraw; you should first contact your instructors to see if there is any way that you can complete the courses for which you are registered – this is the only way to avoid any possible financial consequences.

If your circumstances are such that you are not able to complete your classes, please click here for instructions. If you are planning to complete a course during the same term at a later start, be sure to submit the Financial Aid Withdrawal Confirmation form within five days of initiating any withdrawal.

Please remember, the institutional tuition refund policy is different than the financial aid Return of Title IV process. Click here to learn about ASU's tuition refund policy.

Can I register for the next term?

Once you have repaid any unearned funds due to the university, you will be eligible to enroll in the next term. Just remember: EN, E and W grades are considered in determining your Satisfactory Academic Progress and can negatively affect your future financial aid eligibility.