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BYU Financial Aid and Scholarships Guide

FAQs for Students Who Withdraw or Discontinue

To withdraw from a class means you drop one or more classes after the semester or term has begun, but you still have at least one class for the enrollment period. To discontinue means you withdraw from all of your classes for the enrollment period.

 

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1. What happens to my federal financial aid if I discontinue on or before the add/drop deadline? 

Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, and PLUS Loans: If you discontinue on or before the add/drop deadline and your financial aid has been disbursed to you, you will be required to return some or all of the aid you received. If you can document that you began attendance in your classes, a calculation will be done (referred to as an R2T4—Return to Title IV) to determine how much of the aid received you are eligible to keep. Aid you are no longer eligible to keep will be reversed and you will be responsible for repayment.

If you cannot document that you began attendance in your classes, you will have to repay all of the aid received as follows:

  • Pell Grant: We will debit Pell funds from your student account and return them to the Department of Education. You will then be responsible for covering the charge on your student account.
  • Stafford Loan: This is a two-part process.
    1. We will debit your student account the portion of Stafford loan funds that covered institutional charges, such as tuition and on-campus housing. We will return those funds to Direct Loans and you will be responsible for covering the charge on your student account.
    2. We will then notify your loan servicer that because you did not begin attendance in your classes, you are no longer eligible for the balance of loan funds received. Your servicer will send you a 30-day demand letter indicating the balance owing on the loan you received for that enrollment period. Failure to pay the amount within the 30-day time frame will result in you being in default, and you will not be eligible for any additional federal aid until your default status is cleared. (There are severe consequences to default which include loss of federal aid eligibility, withholding of federal and state tax refunds, wage garnishment, and impact on your credit reports. Refer to www.studentloans.gov for default information.)

You will not be billed any tuition for classes dropped on or before the add/drop deadline. If you have paid your tuition, however, your tuition refund may be used to repay all or a portion of the funds you are required to pay back. In addition, if you have a Stafford or PLUS loan, we will cancel future loan disbursements. If you wish to receive a new Stafford loan for your next enrollment period, you will need to request a loan through your Message Center. If you wish to receive a PLUS loan , you (if you are a graduate student) or your parent borrower (if you are a dependent undergraduate) will need to apply for a new loan at www.studentloans.gov.

2.  What happens to my federal financial aid if I discontinue after the add/drop deadline?

Pell Grants: If you discontinue after the add/drop deadline, you will have to provide proof of attendance in your classes. An R2T4 calculation will be done to determine how much of the federal aid you received you are eligible to keep. This is based on the number of days you were enrolled prior to your discontinuance, and we use the “Date Out” on the discontinuance form as your last date of attendance. Any aid you are not eligible to keep will be debited from your student account and you will be required to pay the charge on your student account. You may also receive a partial tuition refund which will go toward any funds you are required to pay back. If you discontinue after 60% of the enrollment period has passed, you will not be required to repay any of the Pell funds you received as long as you can document attendance in your classes. If you cannot document attendance in your classes, you will have to repay all of the Pell funds received.

Stafford Loans and PLUS Loans: If you discontinue after the add/drop deadline, an R2T4 calculation will be done to determine how much of the federal aid you received you are eligible to keep. This is based on the number of days you were enrolled prior to your discontinuance.  We use the “Date Out” on the discontinuance form—the date you initiated the process of discontinuance—as the last date of attendance. The portion you are not eligible to keep will be debited from your student account, and you will be required to repay that amount to BYU. You may also receive a partial tuition refund which will go toward any funds you are required to pay back. If you discontinue after 60% of the enrollment period has passed, you will not be required to repay any of the federal loans you received.

3.  Will my aid still be available when I come back next semester?

Pell Grant: Assuming you still meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for your next enrollment, you should be eligible to receive your Pell Grant funds.

STAFFORD/PLUSLoans: Assuming you still meet SAP for your next enrollment, you should be eligible to receive a Stafford and/or PLUS loan.  Because your loan disbursement was most likely canceled, however, you will need to request a new Stafford loan through your Message Center prior to your return. If you would like a PLUS loan, you (if you are a graduate student) or your parent borrower (if you are a dependent undergraduate student) will need to apply for a new loan at www.studentloans.gov.

4.  How do Withdrawals affect my federal financial aid?

Withdrawals can affect your financial aid eligibility in two ways:

  1. First, when calculating Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) we look at three standards: qualitative, quantitative, and maximum time frame. The qualitative standard has to do with cumulative GPA, the minimum requirement being a 2.0 or higher. Withdrawals (Ws) do not impact GPA.

    The quantitative standard, however, requires the following:

    • a completion rate of at least 66.67%, calculated by dividing earned hours by attempted hours,
    • no more than 60.0 non-progress hours, and
    • no more than 180.0 attempted hours (Federal regulations allow for 150% of the published length of the program). For most BYU programs, students are required to complete 120.0 credit hours in order to graduate, which allows 180.0 attempted credits, unless you are in a program which requires more than 120.0 hours to graduate.

    Because withdrawals (Ws) are treated as non-progress grades and are included in the total number of attempted hours, too many Ws could affect one or more of these SAP requirements. SAP is reviewed annually at the end of winter semester, and if you fail to meet SAP you are no longer eligible for federal aid. Should you fail to meet SAP, and have extenuating reasons why, you may meet with your financial aid counselor to discuss a possible SAP override. To review the complete SAP policy, go to financialaid.byu.edu.

  2. Second, although the University's Repeat Policy no longer allows students to repeat a class and replace the previous grade earned for that class, students may repeat a class one time and receive federal aid for the repeated class (regardless of whether they passed the course or received federal aid). A W received in a class counts as one of the two times you can receive federal aid for that class.

5.  If I withdraw from some classes but not all, what happens to my federal aid?

Pell Grant: Your Pell award is based on the number of hours you are enrolled in on the add/drop deadline, including second block classes. If you received a Pell Grant for a full-time enrollment, and dropping classes changes your enrollment from full-time to 3/4-time, 1/2-time, or less than half-time, you will be required to document attendance in your classes. If you cannot document that you began attendance in your classes, your Pell Grant will be recalculated based on your new enrollment and adjusted accordingly. The funds will be debited from your student account and returned to the Department of Education, and you will be responsible for the charge on your student account.

Pell Grant and Second-Block Classes: If you are enrolled in second-block classes, we are required to do a second-block "look" on the add/drop deadline for second block. If you have dropped a second-block class and that causes your enrollment level to drop, for example, from full-time to 3/4-time, an adjustment will be made and you will have to repay a portion of the grant you received. If, on the other hand, you drop a second-block class but still maintain a full-time enrollment (or the enrollment status for which you were originally paid), no adjustments will be made to your grant money.

Stafford Loan: If you began attendance with at least a half-time enrollment (6.0 hours for undergraduates and 4.5 hours for graduates), received your loan disbursement and refund, and now withdraw below half-time enrollment, the disbursement you received for the current semester will not be adjusted. Future disbursements of the loan will be canceled, however. If, for example, you have a fall/winter loan and receive the fall disbursement, then withdraw from a class which drops your enrollment to less than half-time, the winter disbursement of the loan will be canceled. If you return winter semester, you may be eligible for a winter-only loan, but you must request the new loan through your Message Center.

PLUS Loan: If you began attendance with at least a half-time enrollment, received your PLUS loan disbursement and refund and now withdraw below half-time, the disbursement received for the current semester will not be adjusted. Future disbursements of the loan, however, will be canceled (see example in preceding Stafford loan paragraph). If you return winter semester, you may be eligible for a winter-only PLUS, but you (if you are a graduate student) or the parent borrower (if you are a dependent undergraduate student) must apply for the new loan at www.studentloans.gov.

If you receive both the fall and winter disbursements of either or both loans, and you withdraw from a class after the add/drop deadline, but do not discontinue, nothing will happen to the loan and you will not have to return any loan funds.

6.  If I have to repay some of the financial aid I received, how much will I owe?

Refer to numbers 1, 2, and 5 above. In addition, it may take two to three weeks for an adjustment to be reflected on your student financial account. Once the adjustment is made, your student account will reflect whether you owe money to the university or are due a refund.

7.  What happens to my scholarship if I withdraw or discontinue?

Withdrawals: If you withdraw from a class and it moves your hours below those required for the scholarship, your scholarship will be withdrawn and you will be responsible to pay any applicable tuition charges. You will not be eligible for any of the scholarship funds for that semester. If you have an extenuating circumstance regarding the reason(s) for withdrawing, you may petition the Scholarship Committee for a reduction in credit hours (see To Petition below). If approved, and you are still enrolled full time, your scholarship will be reinstated. If your request is approved for fewer than 12.0 credits, your scholarship will be prorated and your tuition will be reassessed; if there is a balance owing on your student account, you will be responsible to pay the amount owed.

Discontinuance: If you discontinue, your scholarship will be reversed and you will be responsible to pay any applicable tuition charges owing on your student account. You may defer your scholarship to another semester or term within the same academic year as long as you don’t double up amounts from the same scholarship. For example, if you discontinue fall, you will still be eligible for the winter portion of the scholarship, and you can defer the fall scholarship to spring/summer (but you cannot use both the fall and winter scholarships for winter semester). If you discontinue winter, you can defer the winter scholarship to spring/summer. If you have a multi-year scholarship, you are required to attend BYU two semesters each academic year (spring/summer = one semester) unless you are serving an LDS mission. If you miss a fall or winter semester, you can defer that portion of the scholarship to spring/summer of the same academic year. If you do not attend spring or summer term, you simply forfeit that portion of the scholarship (and it counts against your total of eight semesters of scholarship). If you have extenuating reasons for discontinuing from the University, you may petition the Scholarship Committee and request approval to keep the scholarship for the semester you discontinued. If approved, your scholarship will be prorated.

To Petition: Send an email to sch-petitions@byu.edu. Include your name and BYU ID# and describe your circumstances to the Committee. If your petition involves medical circumstances, go to the financial aid website, financialaid.byu.edu, and click on Forms (under Important Links) and then click on Physician Verification Form (under BYU Scholarship Forms).

8.  Will discontinuing affect my ability to get scholarships or federal aid in the future?

No, if you discontinue you may still be eligible for scholarships and federal aid as follows:

Scholarships: If you have a multi-year award, you will still be eligible for any remaining semesters of scholarship as long as you achieve a 3.60 BYU GPA and meet the other requirements associated with your scholarship. If you have a one-year award, you will need to apply for scholarships for the next academic year by the February 1st deadline.  

Federal Aid: As long as you continue to meet SAP and have paid any overpayments reported to the federal government, you will be eligible to apply for federal aid.

9. What happens to my federal aid if I simply quit attending classes and neither withdraw or discontinue?

If you simply quit attending classes and receive a 0.0 GPA at the end of the enrollment period, the Financial Aid Office will consider you a walkaway student. As a walkaway, you may have to repay some or all of the federal aid you received. The Financial Aid Office will ask you to provide both (1) proof that you began attendance in all of your classes, and (2) your last day of attendance in any class during the semester or term. Then using the last date of attendance, an R2T4 calculation will be done to determine the amount of aid you are eligible to keep, and you will be responsible to repay any aid for which you are not eligible. If you fail to provide proof of attendance, you will be required to repay all of the federal aid you received for that enrollment period. 

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