Financial Aid
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Withdrawal Policy - Return of Title IV Funds

Withdrawing from classes may have serious consequences on your financial aid award. Before deciding to withdraw from the university, students should consider the following implications:

  • What is the impact on financial aid for the current semester?
  • What is the impact for future semesters?
  • What are university policies for refunding tuition, housing, meal plan, or other charges?
  • What is the process to withdraw?

Impact on Current Financial Aid

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 to the Registrar's Office or the last date of an academically related activity, if this is known to be different (examples: medical withdrawals, active duty military call-up). Unearned funds must be returned to federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs, and in many cases, this will cause the student to owe a balance to the university. Once a student has completed more than 60% of the semester, the student has earned all financial aid for that semester.

Federal Return Calculation

The basic formula is:

Percent of term completed


Total Federal Aid


Earned Federal Aid

Total Federal Aid


Earned Federal Aid


Unearned Federal Aid

The school must return:

Institutional Charges


Percent of Unearned Aid


Funds to Return

For example, a student withdraws after attending 50% of a semester, and the student received $6000 in financial aid. The student earned $3000. It is possible the student could owe the university as much as $3000, depending on if they qualify for a refund on any charges and what types of aid they received.

Funds are required to be returned within 45 days from the date of withdrawal. Federal regulations determine the order in which funds are returned to government aid programs. Funds are returned in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Loan
  • Subsidized Loan
  • Perkins Loan
  • PLUS Loan
  • Pell Grant
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Other Federal Title IV Aid

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.

State Aid

State aid is not part of the Federal Return calculation.  The State of Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) determines how state funds are returned.  Federal methodology will be used to determine the amount of funds to be returned to HEAB. State aid programs will have priority for any credit balance remaining from an institutional refund after the federal return requirements are satisfied. 

Impact on Future Semesters

According to Satisfactory Academic Progress regulations, the university must keep track of the number of credits a student attempts versus the number of credits completed. Student who do not maintain at least a 67% completion rate are ineligible for aid for future semesters. All classes with a "W" grade are considered attempted credits.

University Refund Policies

  • The Registrar's Office publishes withdrawal deadlines for tuition refunds each semester.
  • Residence Life will prorate the room charge based on check out date.
  • The Hawk Card Office will prorate the meal plan based on time of withdrawal. Dining dollars and purple points are prorated based on usage.
  • Students with a parking pass should contact Parking Services to determine if they qualify for a refund.

Withdrawal Process

Official Withdrawals

Students must follow the withdrawal procedures outlined by the Registrar's Office to officially withdraw.  Students withdrawing for medical reasons should also complete a medical withdrawal form with the Dean of Students Office.  

Unofficial Withdrawals

If a student stops attending all of their classes without completing the official withdrawal process, the student is considered an unofficial withdrawal. At the end of each semester, for any student with a failing grade, faculty report if that student never attended the course or they report a date the student last attended during the semester.  The Financial Aid Office receives notifications of students who receive a 0.0 GPA and reviews the grades to determine the student's last day of attendance in each of their classes. In most cases, these students will be considered to have attended only 50% of the semester, and financial aid will be adjusted accordingly.  If the student attended past the 50% point, then the last day of attendance will be used to adjust the aid.

Students Attending Module Courses

Courses which do not span the length of the semester are considered to be "module" courses. This includes 8 week courses during fall and spring terms and most courses attended during the summer. Students may be considered to have withdrawn, even if a module course is completed. If a student drops one or more courses and is no longer actively attending any courses, the student is considered withdrawn for financial aid purposes and aid must be adjusted accordingly. Students enrolled in future modules may be required to submit written confirmation they plan to attend those courses.

Contact Ben Dobner in the Financial Aid Office if you have additional questions on how withdrawing will impact your financial aid.


Financial Aid Office
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
130 Hyer Hall
800 West Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190

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