How Dropping or Withdrawing Affects Your Financial Aid

Six Tips to Manage Your Financial Aid

  1. Plan Ahead: Minimize your financial risk by selecting classes carefully, balancing your most difficult classes against your other courses and family and work demands.
  2. Understand the Rules for Your Award: Review financial aid policies to understand what is expected of you to maintain your eligibility and keep your financial aid.
  3. Know the Consequences: Be sure that you understand what will happen if you drop, withdraw, or fail to complete your classes. A financial aid counselor can help determine your financial liability.
  4. Consider Your Options Before You Drop or Withdraw: Talk to the faculty member teaching your class to see if there is anything you can do to complete the class. Make sure you have explored all options for assistance.
  5. Work with Student Accounts: If you drop or withdraw from a course and are able to return within the same semester, we may be able to reinstate your financial aid. If you cannot return, you may be able to work out an extended payment plan—if you contact Student Accounts as soon as you have a balance showing on your account.
  6. Don’t Ignore Your Account Balance: If you do not take action, your balance will be transferred to State Central Collections Unit, you will be required to pay an additional 17 percent processing fee, and your credit score could be affected.

Types of Aid and Enrollment

Federal student financial aid is awarded under the assumption you will be enrolled at least half-time for the semester. Any time you change your enrollment, UMUC’s Financial Aid Office must review your record and recalculate your aid. Federal (Title IV) aid includes the following programs: 

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans  

Enrollment changes can also affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress, which ultimately affects your aid eligibility. Learn more about Satisfactory Academic Progress.

How Enrollment Changes Affect Your Aid

  • If you drop or withdraw from classes, you may jeopardize future eligibility for student aid (including loans). Learn more about drop and withdrawal.
  • If your enrollment drops below half-time, your financial aid awards may be adjusted, and the grace period before repayment of loans will begin.
  • If you withdraw from your last active class and didn’t complete 60 percent of the semester, you may have to repay financial aid according to the Return of Title IV Funds policy.

What Will Happen to My Financial Aid?

Dropping Your Last Active Class

If you decide that you will not be able to complete a class, you must officially drop or withdraw by choosing Drop/Update Classes in MyUMUC.

When you drop or withdraw from your last active class via MyUMUC, a message will appear that asks you to confirm that you are aware of the financial consequences of changing your class schedule.

You will then be asked to certify your intent to return to the university during the same semester. If you will not be returning, then you are considered to have withdrawn from the university and are subject to the Return of Title IV Funds policy

Example of prompts in MyUMUC to drop/update classes

UMUC’s Refund Policy and Return of Title IV Funds

While UMUC’s refund policy determines whether a percentage of tuition may be refunded when you drop a class, a separate determination must also be made to determine whether you must return any federal financial aid (Title IV funds).

How Is Financial Aid Recalculated? 

The Financial Aid Office is required to determine if you have completed at least 60 percent of your scheduled enrollment. If you have not, the office calculates how much of your financial aid you are allowed to keep and how much must be repaid.

This calculation is based on the number of days you completed before you dropped, withdrew from, or (if you received a grade or grades of FN) stopped participating in class compared to the number of days you were originally scheduled to complete.

When you withdraw from UMUC before completing 60 percent of your scheduled enrollment in any term, UMUC must return a portion of the Title IV financial aid grant and loan funds you received (except for federal work-study) to the respective federal financial aid programs that supplied the aid. The result is an immediate balance due to UMUC.

What Happens Next?

UMUC returns the amount of unearned aid to the Department of Education, which you must then repay to UMUC. This balance is posted as a charge to your account and must be paid to the university immediately. You will not be able to re-enroll or access services while there is a balance due on your account.

If you must return any federal financial aid funds received, you will be notified in writing within 45 days of the date UMUC determines you have not earned your aid.

If your aid was in the form of a loan, that loan will be reduced by the same amount, so when your loan enters repayment, the total amount borrowed will be lower.