Financial Aid Withdrawal Policy for Graduate Students

Federal Financial aid recipients who withdraw from the university should be aware that they may need to return part or all of the funds they were awarded/paid.   This is a federal aid regulation referred to as Return to Title IV (Federal) Aid.   Before officially withdrawing from classes, we recommend that you contact the Graduate Financial Aid Office. Students are also encouraged to view and be aware of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Graduate Students. Students must complete at least 67% of all attempted credits in order to remain eligible for financial aid.

Return of Title IV (Federal) Aid

If you withdraw from the University of St. Thomas during a semester/term, a calculation of "earned" versus "unearned" federal aid must be determined. This federal policy assumes that to earn all of the federal aid awarded/paid to you, you must attend/actively participate in the entire scheduled course(s) in the term.   If you do not attend or actively participate in the scheduled course(s), you do not earn any of the federal aid awarded/paid.   If you partially attend/actively participate in a scheduled course(s) you earn a portion of the federal aid awarded/paid based on how much time you have attended or actively participated in the entire schedule of the course(s) in the term.

There are three steps that the University of St. Thomas must complete to comply with the federal policy:

  1. Determine the last date of attendance or academic activity. The financial aid office must first verify with your instructor(s) that you attended or participated in academic activities related to your course(s) for the term.  If you did not attend or actively participate you are not eligible for the federal aid awarded/paid and it must be returned/cancelled/repaid.
  2. Determine the amount of earned federal aid.
  3. Return unearned federal funds to the appropriate federal aid program(s).

If you last attend or actively participate before completing 60 percent of the scheduled course(s) in the term, you "earn" federal funds in direct proportion to the length of time you attended or actively participated in the scheduled course(s) of the term. The percentage of earned aid is determined by dividing the number of calendar days in the scheduled course(s)/term enrolled that you attended or actively participated in by the total number of calendar days in the scheduled course(s)/term. If you complete 60 percent of the term or more, you earn all federal financial aid for the term.

The responsibility to repay unearned aid is shared by the institution (University of St. Thomas) and the student. The institution's share is the lesser of unearned aid or unearned institutional charges. The institution will return unearned funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days from the determination of a student’s withdrawal. The institution's share must be repaid to the federal aid programs in the following order, before the student's share is considered:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  4. Other Title IV (federal) assistance

If you are required to repay a portion of your loan through the student's share calculation, you will not be expected to return those funds immediately, but rather when repayment begins according to the terms and conditions of the promissory note. If a portion of your unearned Federal Loan funds must be returned to the federal aid program, you will then be responsible for repaying this money back to Business Office/Student Accounts at St. Thomas.  Official notification of the results of the calculation will be mailed to your home address. 

If you receive less Title IV aid than the amount earned based on the Return to Title IV Calculation, the institution will offer you a disbursement (referred to as post-withdrawal disbursement) of the earned loan funds that were processed by, but for which you did not receive, prior to your last date of academic activity.  

Post-withdrawal of Title IV Loan funds:  The institution will obtain confirmation from you before making any disbursement of loan funds that you have accepted/applied for from a post-withdrawal disbursement. The institution will notify you in writing prior to making any post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds.  The information provided will include the details necessary for you (i.e. type and amount of the loan funds) to make an informed decision as to whether you would like to accept any disbursement of loan funds and this notification will be provided within 30 days of the date of a institution’s determination that you have been withdrawn.  This notice will include information that you do have the right to decline all or a portion of the funds.  The notice will request written confirmation of any post-withdrawal disbursement that you wish to have disbursed.  The institution will make any disbursement approved by you within 180 days from the date of the school’s determination of your withdrawal. If no confirmation is received within 14 days, the institution is not required to make the post-withdrawal disbursement.