Official Withdrawal

Withdrawing from all courses is considered withdrawing from the University. If you have questions on Fairfield University’s tuition and/or university aid refund policy, please refer to the academic course catalogs for your respective school. Undergraduate students should refer to the Undergraduate course catalog for this policy. If you withdraw before 60% of the semester is complete (approximately 8-9 weeks into the semester) and you have received federal aid, then your financial aid award will be recalculated, according to the percentage of the semester you completed. The Federal Title IV formula for calculating this percentage is:

      (Days enrolled) – (Official breaks of five days or longer) = Total number of class days in the semester

Unofficial Withdrawal

If a student stops attending classes without notifying the University, we will be required to recalculate your federal financial aid using the last date of an academically related activity in which the student participated, as documented by the student's instructor(s). If our office is unable to obtain the last date of an academically related activity, we will be required to recalculate your federal financial aid using the midpoint of the semester. If our office is notified that a student is a "No Show" for the semester, then the student has earned 0% of their institutional, merit, state, and federal aid.

In either case, if the Office of Financial Aid is required to return funds to federal loan programs the student could have remaining institutional charges for the term.

Return to Title IV Aid

Federal Return of Title IV Funds Policy

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60 percent of a payment period or term. Federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations.  You must begin enrollment in the semester in order to be eligible for a federal student aid disbursement.  Withdrawal before the semester start will result in cancellation of federal aid. 

If a student leaves the institution prior to completing 60 percent of a payment period or term, the Financial Aid Office recalculates eligibility for Title IV funds. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula: percentage of payment period or term completed equals the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date, divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid. Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula: aid to be returned equals 100 percent of the aid that could be disbursed, minus the percentage of earned aid, multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds, and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution. If a student earned more aid than was disbursed, the institution would owe the student (or parent in the case of a PLUS loan) a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 180 days of the student's withdrawal. Students (or parents in the case of a PLUS loan) due a post-withdrawal disbursement will be emailed and mailed a notice to reply no later than 14 days of the date of the notice to confirm or refuse the disbursement. No reply will indicate a refusal of the disbursement. The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student's withdrawal. Refunds are allocated in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Direct Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loans
  4. Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  5. Federal Pell Grants for which a return of funds is required
  6. Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants for which a return of funds is required
  7. Federal TEACH Grants for which a return of funds is required
  8. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant for which a return of funds is required

 

Example:

The Spring semester begins on January 16, 2018. Sarah Smith began the official withdrawal process with her dean and it was determined that her official withdrawal date would be March 7, 2018. The total number of days in the Spring semester are 107. Sarah completed 51 days of the semester or 47.7%. Sarah had a total federal aid disbursement of $4,357.00. Seeing that Sarah only completed 47.7% of the Spring semester, she also earned only 47.7% of her Spring financial aid ($4,357.00 x 47.7% = $2,078.29). The amount of Title IV aid to be Returned is calculated:

$4357.00 - $2,078.29 = $2,278.71

Next, the institution must also determine the percentage of unearned charges based on the total semester charges for the period in which the student will withdraw. First, add the total semester charges. For this example, Sarah’s total semester charges is $23,245.00. Sarah did not attend the full semester (100%). To determine the portion of the semester that Sarah attended, subtract her percentage completed from the total: 100% - 47.7% = 52.3%.

To determine Sarah’s unearned charges, the school would calculate unearned charges in the following manner:

$23,245.00 x 52.3% = $12,157.14.

Compare the amount of Title IV aid to be Returned above to the amount of unearned charges. The lessor amount is the total of unearned aid that the school is responsible to return. The amount returned is based on the amount disbursed (which may vary by students) and in accordance with the schedule above.

If the amount returned in direct loans is less than the total amount in direct loans disbursed to the student, resulting in earned loan funds or in unearned loan funds that the school is not responsible for repaying or both, Fairfield University will notify the loan holder of your withdrawal and withdrawal date. The resulting loan must be repaid in accordance with the terms of the student’s promissory note. Fairfield University will return the loan funds within 45 days of notification from the University Registrar of a student’s withdrawal.

Students will be mailed a notice of withdrawal from the Office of Financial Aid which will include a copy of the student’s withdrawal calculation indicating the amount returned by Fairfield University and the amount that is the responsibility of the student.

 

University Merit or Need-Based Aid Policy for Withdrawals

Students are approved for voluntary or medical withdrawal by taking the appropriate steps as prescribed in the Academic Policies section of this catalog. Students that are receiving University financial aid will have their University need-based and merit-based aid prorated based on the following schedule:

Withdrawal

Official Withdrawal Date% of University Aid Earned
Before first scheduled class 0
Before second scheduled class 40
Before third scheduled class 60
Before fourth scheduled class 80
After fourth scheduled class 100

Note: For courses meeting for less than a full semester (15 weeks), financial aid entitlement will be adjusted accordingly.

Classes Offered in Modules

Modules are courses that do not span the entire payment period (semester); an example of module courses is two 8-week classes within a 16-week semester.

A student would not be considered withdrawn and a Return to Title IV calculation would not be processed, if the student:

  • provides written confirmation that they will return for another module in the same semester
  • does not provide written confirmation that they will return for another module in the same semester, and does return, the Return to Title IV calculation will be reversed and the student will regain their prior eligibility
  • drops a future module and is attending a current module course at the time of the drop; however, if the student’s enrollment status has changed it may result in financial aid being adjusted

A student would be considered withdrawn and a Return to Title IV calculation would be processed, if the student:

  • does not complete all the days they were scheduled to complete within a semester or module for which their aid was intended for
  • intends to return for another module in the same semester and does not return, the student is considered to have withdrawn based on the last day of attendance

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