Dropping courses can impact your financial aid in several ways. Aid is based on your enrollment level on the Census Date of each term. On this date, budgets and financial aid are adjusted and locked based on the number of eligible credits you are registered for at that time. Therefore, the timing and number of credits when you drop a course can change the impact on your aid.

If you drop any courses before the 100% or 50% tuition refund deadlines, your student account charges should be automatically adjusted. Contact the Student Account Services office for further information.

Withdrawing from all courses, failing to complete courses (unofficially withdrawing), or not participating in courses, may result in the partial or full loss of aid eligibility for that term. Future term eligibility will depend on continuing to make Satisfactory Academic Progress and other aid renewal requirements.

Most types of aid require a particular enrollment level to remain eligible for the term, and generally, students' aid offers are set up based on full-time enrollment. Dropping below your expected enrollment level before the Census Date will likely change your aid eligibility.

If you plan on being less than full-time before the term begins, please submit an enrollment revision form to the Office of Financial Aid. See our less than full-time page for more information on how that can impact your aid.

Enrollment Levels

  • Full-time: 12+ credits (undergraduate) | 9+ credits (graduate)
  • Three-quarter-time: 9-11 credits (undergraduate)
  • Half-time: 6-8 credits (undergraduate) | 5-8 credits (graduate)
  • Less-than-half-time: <6 credits (undergraduate) | <5 credits (graduate)

If you will be less than half-time, be sure to stay in contact with your loan servicer. Half-time enrollment is required in order to keep federal loans in the “in-school deferment status”. Find more on our Loan Repayment page.

Dropping Before Aid Disburses

Before your aid disburses towards your student account balance, dropping courses can cause some of your aid to be held* (not disbursed) until you either add additional courses or your aid is automatically revised after the Census Date. You can also contact the Office of Financial Aid to request your aid be adjusted based on a reduced enrollment.

*Note some types of aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant, may still disburse even if you are in fewer credits than your expected enrollment.

Dropping After Aid Disburses

After your aid disburses for the term, dropping courses will cause your aid to be automatically revised after the Census Date based on your updated enrollment level. Some of your already disbursed aid may need to be reversed off your student account, which will cause an increased balance or new bill owed to the university.

Dropping or withdrawing from individual courses after the Census Date will generally not impact financial aid that has already been disbursed for the term. However, if you withdraw/drop from all your courses (or fail to complete any courses), a return of federal aid may be required. See the Withdrawal page for more details.

Additionally, any aid not disbursed yet may need to be revised based on your updated enrollment level. For example, federal student loans cannot disburse if you drop to less than half-time, even after the census.

Dropping or withdrawing from courses after the census date can also impact future term eligibility based on the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy. These will lower your SAP pace of completion.

If a student is enrolled in courses that do not span the entire 11-week term (modules),  there are special rules that apply. You are paid federal financial aid based on all of the modules (entire payment period) you are registered for at the time of disbursement. If you do not complete all of those modules, a return of federal funds may be required.

Be sure to monitor your OSU student email carefully. If you drop, withdraw from, or do not fully complete your current modules, you will be considered withdrawn from the term even if you are still enrolled in a future modules. In this case you may be emailed a request to complete a survey verifying your intent to participate in future modules. If you do not complete this survey, a return of federal aid may be required. See our Withdrawal page under “How is the return of federal aid calculation different for short sessions/modules?” for more detailed information on how drops, withdrawals, and non-completion can impact your aid.

The Federal Pell Grant must always be adjusted to exclude payments for any course you do not participate in. If you drop a course before that course session began, we are required to reverse any Pell Grant payments made for that course. Reversed Pell will be returned to the Department of Education. This reversal of aid may create a new bill on your OSU student billing account.