Withdrawing from a Semester

Withdrawing from a Semester

Learn more about what may happen to your financial aid should you need to withdraw.

The Department of Education mandates that PA College recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw (officially or unofficially), are dismissed, or take an academic leave of absence. This must be done because financial aid eligibility is based upon enrollment; while aid is given before the semester is over, it is “earned” by attendance.

An official withdrawal is when a student submits the online form of his/her intent to withdraw.

An unofficial withdrawal is when a student stops attending all of his/her classes during the semester, but does not follow the college procedure to officially withdraw as outlined in the Catalog, and therefore fails to successfully complete the term (i.e., receives all final grades of W, F, Z, or a combination thereof).

When a student completely withdraws from PA College while receiving Title IV aid, the Office of Student Financial Services must determine what portions of the student’s aid must be returned to the financial aid programs. PA College uses the federal formula created by the Department of Education to calculate the amounts of “earned” versus “unearned” aid. This process is required no matter what the circumstances are that resulted in the failure to complete classes.

In the case of an official withdrawal, your withdrawal date will be determined by the College as:

  1. the date you began the College’s withdrawal process or the date you officially notified the Registrar of your intent to withdraw

In the case of an unofficial withdrawal, your withdrawal date will be determined by the College as:

  1. the midpoint of the semester; or
  2. your last date of attendance at an academically-related activity as documented by the College

Number of days completed ∕ Number of days in the semester = % of aid earned

Once a student has completed 60% of the semester (percentage of aid earned is 60% or more) the student is considered to have earned the total aid awarded for the semester. While no aid will need to be returned after this point, the calculation is still performed.

When a student withdraws before the 60% mark, the amount that was unearned must be returned, on your behalf, to the Federal Department of Education fund from which it was received.

100% — % of aid earned = % of aid unearned

If this unearned aid was formerly returned to you (refunded) or used to pay your student bill, you will owe this amount to the College once it has been returned to the financial aid programs on your behalf.

The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal. The goal is to complete the returning of funds within 14 days of the date of determination. Any return of financial aid funds may cause a balance, which the student will be responsible for paying. Once you have withdrawn or ceased to attend your classes, no additional refunds can be given until the calculation has been performed, and any required aid has been returned.

Order of Return to Federal Programs

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Parent PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Once the return has been made, you will be notified of your resulting eligibility and any outstanding charges at the last address we have on file. Failure to update your address may result in you missing this notice but will not alter the responsibility for the charges resulting from your withdrawal.

Please note that withdrawing, officially or unofficially, also negatively impacts your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). While the circumstance that necessitates your withdrawal can be used in considering an appeal, circumstances cannot result in the disregard of the withdrawal.

How to avoid negative consequences? While you can never fully avoid the consequences of failing to complete a semester, we can help you prevent them from interrupting the completion of your degree. Please meet with the Student Service Center prior to finalizing the withdrawal process.