Dropping and withdrawing from classes can both have significant impacts on your eligibility for financial aid.
Drops vs. Withdrawals
Aid regulations treat dropped and withdrawn courses very differently.
Dropping Classes (During the Change of Schedule Period)
You can only drop courses until the change of schedule deadlines at the beginning of each term. You will not receive any grades for dropped courses, and will receive a full refund of tuition and fee charges.
Withdrawing from Classes (After the Change of Schedule Period)
After the change of schedule deadlines, you can only withdraw from classes. You will receive a W grade, and must still meet withdraw deadlines.
Tuition and Fee Rates and Refund Policy
Visit the Bursar's Office for information about full-time and part-time tuition and fee rates and the refund policy and Deadlines for students who withdraw from classes after the change of schedule deadlines, but closer to the beginning of the term.
Drop/Add Aid Impact
If you drop or add classes before the change of schedule deadline:
- We will recalculate your financial aid eligibility based on your revised total enrolled term units as of the change of schedule deadline.
- If your revised term units shift you to a different enrollment level, we may need to adjust your aid. To see how enrollment levels can change aid eligibility, see Minimum Credits.
- If we have to reduce or cancel your aid, you may also have to repay all or a portion of any financial aid rebates that you have already received.
Withdraw Grade Aid Impact
Withdraw grades will impact your financial aid eligibility, but how much they affect your aid will depend on the type of aid you are receiving and whether you withdraw from some of your courses (partial withdraw) or all of your courses (complete withdraw).
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Violations
All W grades can lead to violations of the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for financial aid recipients because the SAP Policy treats all W grades as unsuccessful course attempts. Failing grades (F and FX) can also lead to SAP violations. Read the SAP policy for a full explanation.
Merit-based Admission Scholarship Limits
If you were awarded any of TU's Merit-based Admission Scholarships you must complete and pass at least 12 units for each fall and spring term to remain eligible to receive those scholarships for future terms. Withdrawing from courses could push you below these limits. If you have questions about this policy, contact the Scholarship Unit at 410-704-2647 or scholarship AT_TOWSON. This requirement does not apply to federal and state aid programs.
Undisbursed Federal Loan Funds
If you have undisbursed federal loan funds, we won't be able to disburse those loan funds unless you are still enrolled at least half-time on the date we attempt to disburse the loan. This requirement only applies to loans for the current term that haven't already been disbursed. See Minimum Credits for a definition of half-time.
If you withdraw from some of your classes for this term, but remain enrolled in your other term classes, we will not reduce the aid that you already received for this term based on this partial withdrawal.
If you drop or withdraw from all of your classes during a term, we may have to reduce or cancel aid that you have already received and you may have to repay a portion of your financial aid rebates. See below for more information.
Federal Refund and Repayment Policy for Complete Withdrawals
If you withdraw from all your classes during a term that you received the TU Institutional Grant or any Federal Title IV financial aid, we may need to cancel a portion of your financial aid for that term.
We must calculate the portion of aid (if any) that must be canceled/returned based on a federal formula that determines how much of your aid was already earned and and the unearned portion that must be canceled. If your aid is reduced, you may have to submit additional payments to TU to replace your canceled aid and may have to repay some or all of your financial aid rebate. In the context of this policy, the terms refund and repayment both refer to refunding or repaying federal aid funds back to the U.S. Department of Education.
Calculation of Title IV Assistance Earned
The university must first determine the percentage of assistance earned by the student for a term. Up through the 60 percent point in time, the percentage of assistance earned is equal to the percentage of the term completed as of the day the student withdraws. If the withdrawal occurs after the 60 percent point, the percentage of aid earned is 100 percent.
Calculation of Title IV Assistance Not Earned
The amount of aid not earned by the student is calculated by determining the complement of the percentage of assistance the student earned. That percentage is then applied to the total amount of grant and loan assistance that was disbursed for the term.
Differences between Earned and Received
If the student has received more grant or loan assistance than the amount earned, the unearned funds must be returned to the Title IV programs by the university or the student, or both.
Responsibility of the School
Towson University must return to the Title IV programs the lesser of the following:
- The unearned amount of Title IV assistance; or
- The institutional* charges incurred for the term, multiplied by the unearned percentage of Title IV grant and loan assistance. For these calculations, institutional charges are defined as tuition and fee charges, and room and dining plan charges paid directly to TU.
Responsibility of the Student
The student returns unearned Title IV assistance minus the amount the university returns. The U.S. Department of Education does not allow discretion on the part of the university for non-institutional costs. In most cases, when a student receives Title IV assistance greater than the amount of institutional charges, and completely withdraws from the university, he or she will have to return some of those federal funds.
When a student (or parent in the case of PLUS Loans) is required to return a portion or all of loan proceeds, the calculated amount will be repaid according to the original terms of the loan(s).
In addition, the U.S. Department of Education recognizes that the most needy students have only limited resources to meet up-front expenses. Therefore, a student who must return grant funds himself or herself (rather than the school), is given an additional consideration: the student’s grant repayment is reduced by half.