Federal financial aid policy will affect students who withdraw from all classes

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 talk to their financial aid counselor before withdrawing from any courses.

U.S. Department of Education financial aid policy dictates that students earn federal aid based on the amount of time they attend their classes. In order to earn all their federal aid, students must attend classes through 60 percent of the semester (April 8, 2007, for spring semester for all 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 federal aid he/she has earned and return any unearned portion to the federal government. There are no special circumstances (such as medical emergencies) that can prevent federal funds from being returned if a student withdraws before the 60-percent date.

Federal financial aid includes any of the following:

  • Federal Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
  • Federal Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG)
  • Federal National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants (SMART)

Note: This federal financial aid policy differs from the St. Thomas institutional refund policy. Compliance with this federal requirement could mean that a student will owe money to St. Thomas because their financial aid has been returned.

Students who are receiving aid through any of these programs are encouraged to schedule a meeting with their financial aid counselor to discuss the implications of withdrawing from UST. 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.