Adjustments to Financial Aid Awards

A student’s financial aid awards may be reduced or rescinded if the student:

  • Changes enrollment status,
  • Enrolls for less than half-time,
  • Withdraws during the semester,
  • Takes courses outside of his/her program of study,
  • Never attends some or all of his/her classes

Students who wish to withdraw from one or all of their courses at any time after the semester begins should consult Financial Aid to understand the financial ramifications of the withdrawal.

Return of Title IV Aid

If a student fully withdraws from all classes, either officially or unofficially, their federal Title IV financial aid awards may have to be adjusted. The adjustment process is done through a Return of Title IV Aid calculation that is congressionally mandated. Only federal financial aid recipients who withdraw in the first 60% of the semester are subject to this requirement.

The Return of Title IV Aid regulations require that the College calculate the amount of federal aid that the student has earned up to the time of withdrawal. Students earn aid in proportion to the amount of the semester that they complete. For example, if a student completes 29.7% of the semester (calculated by dividing the number of days up to the withdrawal date by the number of days in the semester), then the student earns 29.7% of his or her federal Title IV aid that could have been disbursed. After calculating the amount of aid earned, the College must then determine if any unearned aid must be returned to the federal government, or if the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.

Further explanation, including examples illustrating the application of Return of Title IV Aid regulations, can be obtained in Financial Aid.

Eligible Courses for Financial Aid Purposes

Only courses required within a student’s current degree or certificate program are eligible for payment from the federal and state financial aid programs. It is the student’s responsibility to carefully review program requirements and/or gain scheduling advisement from the Academic Advisement Center.

Financial Aid reviews each financial aid recipient’s schedule after the Add/Drop period to determine if all courses are within the student’s program of study. If a student enrolls for courses outside of the program or never attends one or more of his or her classes, the financial aid awards may be reduced or rescinded and a resulting balance may be due to the College.

Federal Limitations on Financial Aid

The federal government limits the amount of lifetime Pell grant funding that a student may receive. An undergraduate student is eligible to receive six, full-time years of Pell grant. The Department of Education monitors each student’s Pell Lifetime Eligibility Usage (PLEU) and measures the student’s usage in percentages. Once a student has used 600% of their PLEU, he/she is no longer eligible to receive additional Pell grant awards.

Additionally, the federal government limits the time period in which a student can receive subsidized Direct Student Loans. For first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that a student can receive subsidized Direct Loan funding. If the student is considered a first-time borrower under this provision, the student may not receive subsidized Direct Loans for more than 150% of the published length of his/her program of study. The Department of Education monitors affected borrowers and their Subsidized Loan Eligibility Usage (SLEU). Once a student borrows subsidized loans for a period of time equal to 150% of the length of his/her program of study, the student is no longer eligible for the federal student loan interest subsidy. This loss of subsidy includes restrictions on continued subsidized loan borrowing as well as the removal of the subsidized status on previously borrowed loans. Students exceeding the 150% SLEU limitation may continue to borrow from the unsubsidized Direct Loan program.


If a student officially or unofficially withdraws and has already received a federal financial aid disbursement from the Pell, SEOG or student loan programs, the student may owe an overpayment to the federal government. Like students who are in default, students who owe an overpayment are not eligible for additional federal financial aid until the overpayment or default is resolved.