Students who withdraw from the university after the start of the term must complete a Withdrawal Form through the Registrar's Office and contact the Office of Financial Aid. If financial aid funds were used to pay tuition and fees, and a student withdraws, any refundable tuition amount is returned to the appropriate financial aid sources (refer to the tuition/fee refund schedule in the OSU Schedule of Classes).
What happens if I withdraw from or do not complete one or more courses in a term?
The impact of a partial withdrawal (official or unofficial) will vary greatly by term, student status, type of aid awarded, participation, and other factors. Students, who plan to drop, withdraw, or not complete one or more course, should contact the Office of Financial Aid for a personalized evaluation of how a partial withdrawal will impact their current and future aid eligibility.
Students are expected to understand the terms, conditions, and requirements that relate to their financial aid award. Additional information on retaining full financial aid eligibility may be found on the Financial Aid webpage:
What happens if I withdraw from all courses or do not complete any courses in a term?
The information below is a brief summary of the process that takes place when a student withdraws from all courses or fails to receive a passing grade for a given term. The policies and procedure listed are subject to change without advance notice based on changes in federal or institutional policies. This is not an exhaustive list of the rules pertaining to the Return of Title IV funds. Further guidance regarding these policies and procedures may be obtained by contacting the Office of Financial Aid. Reference material relating to the federal rules for this process may be found in Volume 5 of the Federal Student Aid Handbook.
Federal financial aid is awarded based on the expectation that a student will participate in all of their courses through the last day of the term. When a student does not complete the term, the Office of Financial Aid is required to review their eligibility for aid that has been or could be disbursed. A student is considered to have earned the full amount of disbursed federal aid if they participated in all courses and completed more than 60% of the term. In cases where full participation and more than 60% term completion cannot be verified, a return of federal Title IV and other types of aid may be required.
An official withdrawal may impact a student’s eligibility for current or pending financial aid. Students who withdraw from the university after the start of the term must complete a Withdrawal Survey through the Registrar’s Office (click "Withdraw for the Term") and should contact the Office of Financial Aid regarding the impact on their eligibility. The date of official withdrawal (as reported by the Registrar’s Office) may be utilized in the federal Return of Title IV funds calculation. If financial aid funds were used to pay tuition and fees, and a student withdraws, any refundable tuition amount is returned to the appropriate financial aid sources (refer to the tuition/fee refund schedule in the OSU Schedule of Classes).
A student is considered unofficially withdrawn if they fail to receive any passing grades in a given term. In the case of an unofficial withdrawal, the Office of Financial Aid is required to review participation reported by OSU and partner school instructors. This participation information is used to establish a last date of participation that may be utilized in the federal Return of Title IV funds calculation.
Return of Title IV Funds Calculation and Withdrawal Record
OSU is required to calculate the Return of Title IV financial aid funds for students that officially or unofficially withdraw during the academic term. Students who do not intend to complete the term for which they are enrolled, should follow the official withdrawal process as outlined by university regulations.
The Return of Title IV Funds calculation determines the amount of federal funds that must be returned by the institution as well as how much aid the student must return for the period of non-enrollment. For students who completed 60% or less of the term, a pro-rated schedule is used to determine the amount of aid that must to be returned. That means the percentage of aid that a student is eligible to retain for the term is based on the percentage of the term that they completed. If a return of aid amount is calculated, the funds must be repaid to the financial aid programs in the following order:
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Ford Loan
Federal Direct Ford Loans
Federal Perkins Loan
Federal Direct PLUS Loan
Federal Pell Grant
The amount of federal aid that you must repay is determined via the Federal Formula for Return of Title IV funds (Section 484B of the Higher Education Act). This law also specifies the order in which funds are to be returned to the financial aid programs from which they were awarded, starting with loan programs.
You may be required to make a repayment when cash has been disbursed from financial aid funds, in excess of the amount of aid that you earned (based on the date of your total withdrawal or last date of participation) during the term. The amount of Title IV aid earned is determined by multiplying the total Title IV aid (other than FWS) for which you qualified by the percentage of time during the term that you were enrolled.
If less aid was disbursed than was earned, you may submit a request to receive a late disbursement for the difference.
If more aid was disbursed than was earned, the amount of Title IV aid that you must return (i.e. not earned) is determined by subtracting the earned amount from the amount actually disbursed.
The responsibility for returning unearned Title IV aid is shared between the university and you. It is allocated according to the portion of disbursed aid that could have been used to cover university charges, and the portion that could have been disbursed directly to you once those charges were covered. OSU will distribute the unearned aid back to the Title IV programs, as specified by law. The return of funds will be completed within 45 days of the date the determination of the withdrawal. You will receive a letter by postal mail if the Return of Title IV Funds calculation was completed and a return of funds was required. If the Return of Title IV Funds calculation was not required but funds needed to be returned for other reasons, you will be notified through your OSU student (onid) email.
You will be billed for the amount that you owe to the Title IV programs, as well as any amount due to the university, as a result of Title IV funds that were returned that would have been used to cover university charges.
Withdrawing (official or unofficially) from a term may also impact a student’s eligibility for financial aid in future terms. Students should familiarize themselves with the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for federal aid and should contact the Office of Financial Aid regarding how federal and other types of aid may be impacted.
Summer Term Withdrawals
Withdrawals during the summer term at OSU are evaluated differently than the other terms due to the modules that make up this term. During the summer term a student’s completion percentage will be evaluated based on a calendar that encompasses all modules of enrollment.
During all terms a student’s Pell Grant will be adjusted to exclude payments made for courses in which participation cannot be verified. During the summer, the Pell Grant is also adjusted throughout the term to exclude payments for courses from which the student withdrew.
Withdrawals and the Degree Partnership Program
In cases of unofficial withdrawal an instructor reported last date of participation may be required to determine a student’s aid eligibility. The OSU Office of Financial Aid is not able to contact partner school instructors directly to obtain this information. After a term has ended DPP students may be contacted with instructions on how to complete this participation verification process. Due to the time sensitive nature of this process, it is very important for DPP students to check their OSU Student (ONID) email regularly to look for these financial aid notifications. Failure to verify participation may result in the reduction or full loss of financial aid eligibility for the term.