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Federal Financial Aid is “earned” through attendance as a student progresses through a semester. If a student does not complete the semester, or fails to begin attendance, the university may be required to return aid to the federal government. When this happens, the student usually owes the school for the aid that was returned.

Withdrawal Process

Withdrawals at UM Western are through our Registrar’s Office. You can view this information on the Registrar’s Website and you can request the withdrawal form from the Registrar’s Office located in the Short Administration Building or emailing them at: [email protected].

Types of Withdrawals

Official Withdrawal, the student completes and submits notification to the Registrar’s Office.

Unofficial Withdrawal, the students does not complete the withdrawal process but ceases attendance, never begins attendance or receives no passing grades for the semester.

Withdrawal Date

If a student does not complete the Official Withdrawal form and ceases attending, never began attendance, or receives no passing grades for the semester, the student is an Unofficial Withdrawal.  A student’s official or unofficial withdrawal date is determined by:

  • the date the student began the institution’s withdrawal process or officially notified the institution of intent to withdraw; or
  • the last date of attendance by the student at a documented academically related activity.

Return of Title IV Funds

The Financial Aid Office determines the amount of aid ‘earned’ by the student for a term using a federal formula known as Return of Title IV (R2T4) funds. The R2T4 calculation is done if the student withdraws (officially or unofficially) from a term and had received or may receive federal financial assistance in the form of a Federal Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, Iraq/Afghanistan Service Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Direct Loan (subsidized or unsubsidized), or Federal Parent PLUS loans.

The percentage of Title IV aid to be returned is unearned aid which is equal to the number of calendar days attended (numerator) by the student for the semester (based on the withdrawal date) divided by the total number of calendar days (denominator) in the semester (scheduled academic breaks of five consecutive days or more are excluded).

After all Title IV aid return requirements have been satisfied, any credit balances on a student’s account will be first applied to any federal grant repayments or overpayments, then to any outstanding institutional charges, and finally any remaining credit balance will then be refunded to the student.

If the calculation results in a return of aid, the student will owe the school for the funds returned to the federal government. Occasionally, a post-withdrawal disbursement will be made if a student shows eligibility for Title IV aid that had not previously disbursed.  

Distribution Priority for Return of Title IV Funds

Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
Federal Parent PLUS Loan
Federal Pell Grant Program
Federal Iraq/Afghanistan Service Grant

Federal SEOG Program
Federal TEACH Grant

Student Notification

If funds are required to be returned, the student will receive a mailed letter as well as a copy of the R2T4 Calculation from the Financial Aid Office.

What are the Federal Withdrawal Guidelines

If a student withdraws after the 60% of the semester, there is a possibility the student earned all their federal funding. This 60% is based on days of attendance for the semester. Other Title IV guidelines listed below:

  • If a student is a Pell Only recipient, then the denominator is the number of days within the semester or blocks of which the student began attendance
  • All other Title IV aid sources requires the full semester as the denominator
  • If a student successfully completes coursework applicable to the student’s Title IV-eligible program of study equal to or greater than what the school considers to be half-time (6+ credits) enrollment for the payment period or period of enrollment, an R2T4 is not required BUT a reallocation of Title IV aid may be required. (Unsuccessful grades: F; FN; W; I; DN; or NP)
  • If a student successfully completes coursework applicable to the student’s Title IV-eligible program of study in one module or a combination of modules that equals 49% or more of the number of countable days in the payment period or period of enrollment, an R2T4 is not required BUT a reallocation of Title IV aid may be required.

How does a Withdrawal effect my Financial Aid Eligibility?

Withdrawing or failing courses may affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) negatively which in turns could cause you to lose federal financial aid eligibility.

You are encouraged to review the SAP policy on a regular basis.

Please contact the Financial Aid Office PRIOR to dropping any courses or withdrawing so we can inform you of how your financial aid will be affected and if you may owe funds back to UM Western due to the R2T4 process.