Does withdrawing from a class affect financial aid?

Are you concerned that withdrawing from a class will affect your financial aid? It’s a valid concern since reducing your course load for an academic period can have a negative impact on your financial aid. 

If your school determines that your withdrawal from a class changes your student status, or impedes your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), they may reduce your financial aid for the current session or disqualify you from aid in the future.

Enrollment Status

Financial aid, just like tuition, is based on your enrollment status. If you are enrolled as a full-time student, you will be eligible for more financial aid than if you are a part-time student.

When you withdraw from a class, your school’s financial aid office is required to recalculate your financial aid offer. If your withdrawal means you are no longer a full-time student, you may only receive a percentage of your initial financial aid offer. If your aid has already been disbursed, you may need to pay back some of the aid you received.

Did you File FAFSA® Yet

If you drop below half-time status, you may no longer be eligible for certain financial aid awards, like the Pell Grant.

Each school has its own policies, so you should check with your school’s financial aid office before withdrawing from a class.

Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress towards their degree or certificate to remain eligible for financial aid. Schools set a minimum GPA and course load that students must meet to maintain their eligibility for financial aid.

Before withdrawing from a class, check with your academic advisor to understand how the withdrawal will affect your GPA and credit hours. If you fail to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, you will need to file and win a Student Academic Progress Appeal to be reinstated.

If You Must Leave a Course

Sometimes, things happen that are beyond your control (like a death in the family, natural disasters, or medical emergencies), forcing you to leave your education for a while. However, you are still responsible for navigating the situation in a tactful, responsible manner.

Work with your school and formulate a plan that allows you to pick up your studies in the future. Speak to your counselors and the financial officers who are responsible for handling your loan. Also, fill out the required paperwork connected with a leave of absence.

When you drop a course, it carries financial consequences. If you must leave a course, devise a plan and work with your school to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Resources:

“Dropping or Withdrawing and Financial Aid.” University of Maryland University College. Web. 2 Mar. 2018.

“How Does Withdrawing from Classes Affect My Financial Aid?” City University of New York (CUNY) Hostos Community College. PDF. 2 Mar. 2018.