Dropping Classes / Withdrawal

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Enrollment changes can have a significant impact on your current financial aid as well as your future financial aid eligibility. Your tuition and fees may be adjusted whenever you add, drop or withdraw based on the SIU Refund Policy. As a result of dropping or withdrawing from your classes, your financial aid may be reduced, or in some cases canceled. Also, dropped or withdrawn classes are counted in determining your future financial aid eligibility through the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. You are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office prior to dropping or withdrawing from any classes. Detailed information about dropping classes and/or withdrawal can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Unofficial Withdrawal

If you stop attending all classes during a semester and do not go through SIU Carbondale’s withdrawal process, you are treated as an “unofficial withdrawal”. At the end of each semester, SIU Carbondale identifies all students who did not pass at least one class. The Financial Aid Office will work with colleges, departments and instructors to document your last date of attendance. Using that information, you will be reviewed under the Return of Funds calculation. This date will also be reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and your enrollment status will be updated.

Reduced Hours of Enrollment

The amount of your aid eligibility is dependent upon the number of hours in which you are enrolled and billed. This is normally established on the tenth day of classes. If you add classes after the tenth day, your bill may be increased. If you drop classes after the tenth day, your bill will not be adjusted unless you totally withdraw and are subject to the pro-rata refund policy. There are some exceptions to these general rules for students who are enrolled in courses that only meet for part of the semester (such as eight week courses) that start after the tenth day of classes.

  • Federal Pell Grant: You must be enrolled and billed for at least 12 credit hours in a semester to receive the full amount of the Pell Grant awarded. If you are billed for fewer than 12 credit hours, the Pell Grant amount will reduce according to your hours of registration.

  • ISAC MAP Grant: You must be enrolled and billed for at least 15 credit hours in a semester to receive the full amount of the MAP Grant awarded. The grant will reduce by 1/15 for each credit hour below 15 hours of registration. For example, if you are registered for 16 credit hours when classes begin and receive all of your financial aid, including the full MAP Grant award, but drop a three hour course before the tenth day of the semester-long course or before the fifth day of a second eight week course, your “billed” hours change and your MAP Grant will reduce accordingly. This change may create a bill in the middle of the semester.
  • Most other grants, scholarships and  Federal Direct Loans: You must be enrolled and billed for at least 6 credit hours. If you are billed for less than 6 credit hours, many grants and scholarships will be canceled and loans will be returned to the loan servicer and charged back to your University account.

If there is a larger reduction of financial aid than reduction in tuition, you will be billed for the difference.

Return of Funds

The Federal Return of Title IV Funds policy mandates that students who officially or unofficially withdraw from all classes may only keep the financial aid they have earned up to the time of withdrawal. State and institutional programs require similar treatment. Financial aid funds that were disbursed in excess of the amount earned must be repaid. The Federal Title IV programs that are included this policy are: Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, TEACH Grants, Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs).

The return of Title IV funds is a complex process involving the collaboration between departments at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  If a financial aid recipient withdraws during a semester, the Financial Aid Office must calculate the amount of financial aid the student did not earn. This is determined based on the number of days the student has attended for the semester. The date of withdrawal used in the calculation is based on the date the student submits their intent to withdraw or the last date of an academically related activity.

Determine the withdraw date

  • A student may obtain an official withdrawal through the Registrar’s Office by contacting Withdraws and Petitions.
  • Students who receive a WF or WU grade for all classes for a semester will be unofficially withdrawn from the University effective the "last date of attendance."
    • Instructors assign undergraduates the grade WF or WU for those students who have not officially withdrawn from the class, have ceased attending, and have failed to complete the requirements of the course.
    • Along with a WF or WU grade, instructors must note the last date the student completed an academically related activity. An academically related activity is evidenced by a daily attendance record, the last examination taken, the last assignment completed, the last laboratory or tutorial or study session.

 Calculate the percentage of enrollment period completed

  • The percentage of enrollment period completed is determined by dividing the total number of calendar days in the enrollment period into the number of calendar days completed in that period as of the withdrawal date.
  • The total number of calendar days in a payment period includes all days (including weekends) within the period.
  • Schedule breaks of at least five consecutive days are excluded from the total number of calendar days in the enrollment period and the number of calendar days completed in that period.

Calculate the amount of Title IV aid earned

  • If the withdrawal date is equal to or greater than 60 percent of the enrollment period (semester), the student has earned 100 percent of the Title IV aid for that semester.
  • If the withdrawal date is less than 60 percent of the semester, the amount of Title IV funding the student has earned is calculated by using the federally mandated calculation to determine the percentage of Title IV funds that have been earned by the student for that semester.
  • This percentage is then applied to the total amount of Title IV funding that was disbursed (or could have been disbursed) for the semester as of the withdrawal date.

Allocate unearned aid

  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) is required to return the lesser of the total amount of Title IV funds the student has not earned or an amount equal to the charges if the total amount to be returned exceeds the charges incurred by the student. Unearned aid will be returned to the aid programs in the following order:
    1. Unsubsidized Direct Loans 
    2. Subsidized Direct Loans
    3. Direct PLUS Loans
    4. Federal Pell Grants
    5. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
    6. FSEOG
    7. TEACH Grants
  • Charges include tuition and fees and can include other educational related fees assessed by SIUC.
  • Unearned Title IV funds must be returned within 45 days of the student's withdrawal.
  • SIUC will return the unearned Title IV funds on the student's behalf.
  • The returned funds will be debt to SIUC and it is the responsibility of the student to contact the Office of the Bursar for repayment.

Communication of returned funds

  • The Financial Aid Office will notify the student and/or parent of the amount of financial aid that has been removed from the student’s University account and returned to the financial aid programs.
  • The return of funds to financial aid programs are processed at least weekly and always within thirty days from the date the withdrawal was processed.

 Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

  • If a student withdraws before receiving a financial aid disbursement, under certain circumstances, the student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. The Financial Aid Office will contact the student (or parent in the case of a Parent PLUS Loan) to request permission to disburse these funds.  If the signed authorization is not received in the timeframe indicated on the letter sent to the student, the funds will be cancelled.

Calculations are done on a case-by-case basis after the withdrawal date is established.