Federal financial aid policy will affect students who withdraw from all classes
Students who are considering withdrawing from all classes at St. Thomas and are receiving federal financial aid should plan on talking to a financial aid counselor before withdrawing from courses.
U.S. Department of Education financial aid policy requires that students earn their federal aid based on the amount of time they attend classes at St. Thomas. In order to earn all their federal aid, students must attend classes through 60 percent of the semester (Nov. 5, 2006, for fall semester undergraduate and most standard graduate programs; this date is different for Law and cohort programs). If a student withdraws before this date, the financial aid office is required to calculate how much of a student’s federal aid he or she has earned and return the unearned portion to the federal government. There are no special circumstances (such as medical emergencies) that can prevent federal funds from being returned to federal aid programs when a student withdraws before the 60 percent date.
Federal financial aid includes: Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, PLUS Loans, and grants from the Pell Grant, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), and National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART) programs.
Note: This federal financial aid policy differs from the St. Thomas institutional refund policy. The federal requirement may mean that students will end up owing St. Thomas money because some of their financial aid has been returned.
Students who are receiving aid through any of these programs are encouraged to schedule a meeting with a financial aid counselor to consider the financial aid implications of withdrawing from school. Detailed information regarding the federal financial aid withdrawal policy for undergraduate and graduate students can be found on the Financial Aid Office Web site.
If you have questions or concerns, please call the Financial Aid Office, (651) 962-6550.