Withdrawing and Your Financial Aid


The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) monitors enrollment levels (number of credit hours attempted) each term.  If you drop and/or withdraw from a course or courses and fall below the minimum credit hour requirements, you may be required to repay all or part of the aid you received.

You may also be subject to Documentation of Attendance, the Federal Return of Title IV Funds policy, and the immediate repayment of disbursed aid. The OFA cannot assume that you began attendance or otherwise engaged academically for the withdrawn courses; therefore, the OFA is required to document your attendance/participation with your instructors.

Dropping or withdrawing from courses can also affect your future eligibility for financial aid under the OFA Satisfactory Academic Progress standards available at www.wichita.edu/sappolicy.

Before dropping or withdrawing from a course, you should discuss your situation with a financial aid adviser to review the Documentation of Attendance and Return of Title IV Funds Policies as they relate to your circumstances and your financial aid. For additional information about the affect of a drop or withdrawal on your current and future financial aid, visit wichita.edu/finaiddrop.

Withdrawal & Wichita State Scholarships

If you fall below the required hours of enrollment, your scholarship awards will be withdrawn.  If you drop courses within Wichita State’s institutional refund periods, your refund will be used to repay a portion or all of your scholarship(s).  After the WSU refund period, if you fail to meet the requirements of your awarded scholarship, you may be required to repay your scholarship or have adjustments made to future scholarship awards.  You must contact your academic college and/or your awarding department for details on the impact of your withdrawal to current and future scholarships.

Withdrawal & Grants

If you are a Federal Grant Aid recipient (Pell, SEOG, and/or TEACH), Federal Student Aid Regulations require that you attended and engage academically in all classes for which Wichita State disbursed these funds.

Withdrawal & Student Loans

Any pending disbursement of your Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Grad PLUS, and/or Parent PLUS loan(s) may be cancelled if you withdraw or drop below half-time enrollment.

Additionally, the grace period on your federal loans will begin once you withdraw or drop below half-time enrollment (six credit hours for undergraduates; five credit hours for graduates). Direct loan borrowers have a six-month grace period before repayment begins.  Perkins loan borrowers have a nine-month grace period.

If you withdraw or drop below half-time enrollment, and you have a Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, or Grad PLUS loan, you should contact your loan servicer.  If you have a Federal Perkins loan, you should contact the WSU Perkins Loan Office at (316) 978-3333.

Withdrawal From Some Courses (Partial Withdrawal)

Dropping a course within the term may require you to repay a portion or all of the federal, state, and institutional aid you received. You may have to return funds based on your withdrawal date. Before dropping or withdrawing from a class, it is important to discuss your situation with a financial aid adviser.

Modular Withdrawal: For all courses offered in modules (such as courses that do not span the full length of the term), you will be considered to have withdrawn for federal financial aid purposes if you:

  • Cease attendance at any point prior to completing the payment period or period of enrollment OR
  • Drop all future classes that you were scheduled to attend between modules.

Unless Wichita State obtains written confirmation from you at the time of the withdrawal that you will attend a module that begins later in the same payment period or period of enrollment, you will be considered to have withdrawn.  Without confirmation of future attendance, Wichita State must begin the Return of Title IV Funds process immediately.  If the written confirmation of future attendance is received, but you do not return as scheduled, you will be considered to have withdrawn from the term.

Withdrawal From All Courses (Complete Withdrawal)

Withdrawing does not always mean completing the withdrawal process; it also means ceasing attendance in all coursework. For Federal Student Aid purposes, there are two types of withdrawing from coursework:

  • Officially withdrawing is when you notify the Registrar’s Office of your intent to withdraw or you complete the process of withdrawing from all academic coursework for the term, therefore being assigned a grade of W for all classes and earning no credits for the term. There is a deadline to complete this process with the Registrar’s Office.
  • Unofficially withdrawing is when you never complete the withdrawal process but stop attending or participating in all academic coursework and earn no credits for the term (all grades of F, W, NC, U, NB, etc.) This is still considered to be withdrawing from the university. The determined last date of attendance is your date of withdrawal.
  • Special Circumstances: In unique circumstances, when you have completed one or more courses within the term, but do not complete all the credit hours for which you registered, the Office of Financial Aid will determine whether or not you are considered to be a withdrawn student for Federal Student Aid purposes.
    • Please keep in mind that although our office may not need to return any Federal Student Aid in these special circumstances, your last date of attendance will be reported as ceasing attendance (withdrawing) for enrollment reporting. This could impact many aspects, including student loan repayment, insurance benefits, or other benefits received for being enrolled in a higher education institution.

If you withdraw from all of your courses, cease attendance, or are dismissed prior to completing 60% of the term, you and Wichita State may be expected to repay some or all of the federal financial aid disbursed to you for the semester, including any refunds you have received.  The date of withdrawal or last date of academic engagement (as verified by your instructors) determines how much aid you and the university are expected to repay to the aid programs.  A sample calculation is provided at the end of this document.

If you completely withdraw prior to the start of your courses, or never attend, all federal financial aid—including loans—must be returned to the federal aid programs.  All refunded amounts will be required to be returned to the WSU Accounts Receivable Office in 201 Jardine Hall.

Additionally, if you withdraw within a WSU refund period (as outlined in the WSU Semester Schedule of Courses), the OFA is required by federal law to determine whether your refund should repay a portion or all of the financial aid that you were disbursed or received as a refund for excess
financial aid. 

After you withdraw, if the OFA is required to return more money than is available from your tuition refund (if applicable), you will be required to pay the difference to Wichita State.

Federal Return of Title IV Funds Policy

The WSU Office of Financial Aid is required by the Department of Education to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, cease attendance, or are dismissed prior to completing 60% of the semester.

This is the required federal return policy and does not take into account WSU’s institutional tuition refund policy.  The return of funds for Title IV recipients is a federally mandated calculation which determines the portion of federal loans and grants you earned by comparing your period of enrollment to the number of days completed before you officially or unofficially withdrew.

If Wichita State is required to return more money than is available from any tuition refund, then you will show unpaid tuition and will be responsible for paying that difference to the WSU Accounts Receivable Office.

The recalculation is based on the percent of earned aid using the following formula: The amount of Title IV financial aid that you earned is determined by multiplying the percent of the term completed by the total amount of Title IV aid disbursed or that could have been disbursed.

The percent completed is determined by dividing the days attended in the semester by your period of enrollment:

Percent Completed = "Days Attended in the Semester" / "Period of Enrollment"

  • If the percent completed exceeds 60%, per federal regulations, 100% is used as the earned percent.
  • If the percent completed is 60% or less, the percent earned equals the percent completed.
  • Compare the amount of earned aid and the amount already disbursed to the student to determine the amount of aid that is unearned.  If the amount earned is less than the amount disbursed, Title IV financial aid must be returned.

Title IV Funds Return Distribution

As prescribed by federal law and regulation, the refund is applied to the programs in the order they are listed:

  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 Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)
  7. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  8. Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
  9. Other Title IV Aid Programs

Return of Title IV Funds Example

Example: Sebastian Shocker initially enrolled in 14 credit hours at Wichita State for the fall semester.  His tuition and fees totaled $4,700.11.  Sebastian received the following Title IV financial aid funds:

  • $990 Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • $1,732 Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • $1,524 Federal Pell Grant

After attending 29 days of the semester, Sebastian decided to withdraw from Wichita State and informed all appropriate departments.  Since he withdrew after the 100% refund period, Sebastian was not eligible any tuition refunds for his classes.

Result: Wichita State was required to return a total of $3,138 to the U.S. Department of Education.

  • $990 to his Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • $1,732 to his Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • $416 to the Federal Pell Grant

As a result of the Return to Title IV calculation, all of Sebastian's loans and a portion of his Pell grant were returned.  Thus, the return of the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans reduced the outstanding balance of those loans with the loan servicer. 

Because Sebastian did not receive a tuition refund, he owes Wichita State $3,138.

Calculation for the Return of Sebastian’s Title IV Funds

  1. Divide the number of days attended by the period of enrollment. 
    Example: 29 days completed/111 days in enrollment period = 26.1% of term completed.
  2. Subtract percentage completed from 100. 
    Example: 100-26.1 = 73.9% of term not completed.
  3. Multiply total federal aid by percent of term not completed.  
    Total Federal Aid = $1,524 Pell Grant + $1,732 Direct Subsidized Loan + $990 Direct Unsubsidized Loan = $4,246 Total Federal Aid.  
    Example: $4246 x 73.9% = $3,138.
  4. Use lesser of:
    - Amount of unearned federal aid = $3,138;
    - The amount resulting from multiplying the assessed tuition and fees by the percentage of term not completed.  $4,700.11 x 73.9% = $3,474. 
  5. Result
    Amount of unearned aid to be returned by WSU is $3,138.

    WSU is required to return $990 to Sebastian's Direct Unsubsidized Loan, $1,732 to his Direct Subsidized Loan, and $416 to the Federal Pell Grant.  Since Sebastian will not receive a tuition refund because he withdrew after the 100% tuition refund period, he will owe Wichita State $3,138.