How Dropping or Withdrawing Affects Your Financial Aid

Federal financial aid is awarded based upon the dates and duration of your enrollment each semester. You "earn" the financial aid you have been awarded as you attend class during your scheduled enrollment period(s). If you have been awarded financial aid and begin attendance, then change your enrollment and fail to attend class for the time period(s) originally specified, the Financial Aid Office is required to recalculate the financial aid award(s) you are eligible for based upon your adjusted enrollment. The calculation determines the percentage of the original award that was earned during the period you actually attended.

Changes to your enrollment include: dropping, withdrawing, or failure to participate in classes and receiving an FN grade. It's also important to note that disenrollment or class cancellations can also result in a change in your financial aid eligibility.

If I drop a course or withdraw what will happen to my financial aid?

Return of Title IV (R2T4)

A Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation will occur when your period of enrollment changes from receiving an FN grade, withdrawing, or dropping your last class in a semester before completing at least 60% of your period of enrollment. An R2T4 calculation can also occur if you are disenrolled from your last class in a semester or if that class is cancelled. When you withdraw from UMUC before completing 60% of your scheduled enrollment in any semester, UMUC must return a portion of the Title IV financial aid grant and loan funds you received to the respective federal financial aid program suppliers. The result is an immediate balance owed to UMUC.

UMUC will complete the R2T4 calculation and notify you within 45 days of the date that UMUC determined you withdrew, dropped, or stopped participating in a course. If you certify your intent to return at a later date during the same semester when you withdraw or drop, you will not require a calculation unless you do not return as indicated.

Period of Enrollment

Each student at UMUC has a specific enrollment period unique to their class registration. Because UMUC's classes are designed as modules within a term as opposed to standard semester-long classes, your period of enrollment is dependent upon your personal registration history.

Examples of Periods of Enrollment

Student A registers for three classes during the Fall semester. Two of these classes occur during Online Session 1 (August 17 – October 11), the third class occurs during Online Session 4 (October 19 – December 13). This student's period of enrollment spans from August 17 through December 13 or the start of his Online Session 1 classes until the end of his Online Session 4 class as displayed below by this chart.

Note: breaks of five or more days between sessions are excluded from the period of enrollment when the 60% date is determined. 

Period of Enrollment Table - Student A

Student B registers for two classes during the Fall semester. One class occurs during Online Session 2 (September 7 – November 1) while the other class occurs during Online Session 4 (October 19 – December 13). This student's period of enrollment spans from September 7 through December 13, or the start of his Online Session 2 class until the end of his Online Session 4 class.

Period of Enrollment Table - Student B

Determining Your Enrollment Period

  As mentioned above, students at UMUC have individualized enrollment periods due to the numerous session enrollment options available. If you need help predicting your enrollment period, please follow these instructions.

  1. Go to MyUMUC > Student Center. Select the "Class Schedule" option from the drop-down menu in the Academics section.
  2. Locate your class schedule and identify the session associated with each class you registered for in the term. You can view the session by clicking on the highlighted section number. Note: exclude any classes that you dropped prior to the first day of classes in your first session of the term.

Please see the following example:

Determining Your Enrollment Period

The Financial Aid Office provides a chart of 60% enrollment participation dates for various class start times throughout the semester. Although this is a comprehensive list, you may not be able to locate your enrollment pattern on these charts. If you need further information to determine whether dropping or withdrawing from classes will have R2T4 implications, please reach out to the Financial Aid Office directly.

Please click on the applicable semester to review the 60% enrollment patterns:

Example of How Changes in Your Enrollment Period Affect Your Financial Aid Eligibility

Example: Student A from the example above has decided to drop their third class of the semester. They drop this class on October 16 before it starts.

Period of Enrollment Table Student A - Drop Date

Student A was originally scheduled to attend UMUC from August 17 until December 13, for a total of 119 days. Since the student has a seven-day consecutive break, we must subtract seven days from this total (all scheduled breaks greater than five days must be subtracted from the enrollment period per federal regulations), making his total enrollment period for this semester 112 days. Upon dropping his Online Session 4 class, the student changed his period of enrollment and thus only completed 56 days (August 17 – October 16). Therefore, he completed 56 days of his scheduled enrollment of 112 days, or 50% of his period of enrollment. Student A did not complete his Period of Enrollment. He earned 50% of his term financial aid and 50% must be returned. Therefore, an R2T4 calculation will be completed.

Changes in Enrollment and Pell Grant

  Not all enrollment changes will result in an R2T4 calculation, but any change in your enrollment can affect your eligibility for a Pell Grant. By dropping or withdrawing from a class, you are changing your enrollment status. Even though you may have completed 60% of your enrollment period, your enrollment status has changed and therefore, your Pell Grant will adjust to match your new enrollment status.

Example: Student C is enrolled in two Online Session 1 (August 17 – October 11) classes and two Online Session 4 (October 19 – December 13) classes. Therefore, his period of enrollment spans from August 17 through December 13. He withdraws from one of his Online Session 4 classes on October 30. Since this student is not withdrawing from his last class of the semester, his enrollment period is not changing, so he will not be calculated for a R2T4 to determine if he met 60% of his enrollment period. However, he will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office to determine if this change in enrollment affects his financial aid. Since Student C is a Pell Grant recipient, the Financial Aid Office will adjust his Pell Grant to reflect his new 9-credit or three-quarter time enrollment.

In the above scenario, Student C's Pell Grant would have also reduced to match their active 9-credit enrollment if they had received an FN instead of a W in one if their Online Session 4 classes.