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Return to Title IV Funds Policy--Withdrawing (Dropping All Your Courses)

What happens when you drop all of your courses?

Federal Title IV financial aid is awarded to you under the assumption that you will attend school for the entire period for which the aid is awarded. If you drop from one or more courses but remain enrolled in at least one course, the University of Colorado Denver (University) must determine whether you began attendance in all courses for which aid was awarded. For more information, see the Documenting Attendance section of this policy.

If you drop all of your courses after the term begins, the amount of financial aid earned must be determined. Students who withdraw from all classes may only keep the federal financial aid they have "earned" up to the time of withdrawal. If you received unearned aid, student aid funds credited to your student account will be adjusted, and there will likely be an outstanding balance on your student account that you will be obligated to pay.

The University is required to perform a federal Return to Title IV Aid (R2T4) calculation at the time that you withdraw to determine the amount of aid you earned and the amount that must be returned to the federal aid programs. This federal requirement applies when you officially or unofficially withdraw (see Types of Withdrawal section below for more information).

In the event that you completely withdraw, drop out, are expelled, or otherwise fail to complete a term for which charges are incurred, the University will first determine whether you had any course activity, such as attendance, submitted assignments, or took an exam, in all the courses for which aid was awarded. If you did not have any course activity in all courses, the University may be required to recalculate the aid for which you were eligible and return some aid to the federal aid programs.

In addition, if you withdraw during the Fall semester, any Spring semester aid will be canceled and you must notify the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office of your intent to enroll for the Spring term in order to have aid re-awarded for the spring semester. Please note that grant aid originally awarded may no longer be available.


 Types of Withdrawals:


If you provide official notification of withdrawal, based on the requirements of the official withdrawal policy, you are considered to have officially withdrawn. For more information on the official policy, please refer to the official University Withdrawal Policy.


A student who does not officially withdraw, is considered to have withdrawn for the term if the student ceased attendance in all scheduled courses without completing all of the days in the period. Federal aid recipients who receive all “F” or a combination of “F” and “W” grades for the term are considered to have unofficially withdrawn from the University. There are special requirements for students enrolled in modules.​

Students enrolled in Modules (generally in the Summer term)

Modules are classes that do not span the entire length of the school’s term used in disbursing federal grants and loans. In other words, modules are courses that do not stretch from the first day of the term to the last day of the term. Maymester, Summer 1, and Summer 2, are considered modules.


  • You would be considered to have enrolled in modules if you enroll in courses that span the entire term AND also enrolled in courses that don’t span the entire length of the term.
    • You would be considered to have enrolled in modules if you enroll in any course for the Maymester, Summer 1 and/or Summer 2.

For all classes offered in modules, you will be considered to have withdrawn if you did not complete all of the courses for which you were registered at census date. Financial aid previously awarded may be reduced and you might need to return those funds based on the changes to your enrollment.


 Documenting Attendance:

​Federal regulations require that you begin attendance in your courses to establish eligibility for the funds. The University is required to document that attendance began in courses where you drop, withdraw, or receive an “F” grade. Your program will be asked to document that attendance had begun. If attendance cannot be confirmed of any courses, all aid will be canceled for the term. If attendance is confirmed for some courses, but not all courses, aid may be reduced.​​​


 Withdrawal Procedures:

Withdrawal procedures:
If you are planning to withdraw (drop all of our courses), it is recommended that you meet with a Financial Aid Advisor prior to withdrawing to determine whether you'll need to pay back any aid, and how your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)​ status could be impacted. In addition, please read the Registrar's Office To Withdraw from CU Denver section for instructions on withdrawing from your courses.

 Repayment of Unearned Funds to Federal Programs:

​The University will apply the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) calculation to determine the earned and unearned portions of federal Title IV aid. The calculated amount of unearned aid depends on the amount of time you spent enrolled in the course(s).

The University will calculate the percentage of federal Title IV aid earned as follows:

The number of days attended is determined by counting the number of days that have passed from the beginning of your enrollment period and your withdrawal date. However, the number of days attended will exclude any scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days, such as fall or spring break.

If your withdrawal is official, the withdrawal date is the date that you began the official withdrawal process. If your withdrawal is unofficial, your withdrawal date is the last date of any “academically related activity” in any of your courses, which are provided by your instructors.

Up through the 60% point in the term, a pro rata schedule is used to determine the amount of federal Title IV financial aid you earned at the time of withdrawal. If you withdraw up through the 60% point in the term in which federal Title IV aid was disbursed, you will be required to return all or a portion of the financial aid disbursed for the term. This applies to both official and unofficial withdrawals. The Bursar’s Office will bill your account for the amount owed. For example, if you complete 40% of the course, you will have earned 40% of the aid that disbursed.

If you withdraw after the 60% point in the term in which aid was disbursed, you will earn 100% of the federal Title IV aid. You will not be required to pay back federal Title IV aid.

Allocation of federal aid to be returned:

Once the amount of federal Title IV aid to be returned has been determined, it is returned by reducing aid received during the term from which you withdrew. Work-Study aid will be reduced to the amount that you earned during the current, and previous terms if applicable. Reduced aid will be allocated to the aid programs in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  2. Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Direct PLUS Loans
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  7. Federal TEACH Grant
  8. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

All returns of federal aid will be performed no later than 45 calendar days after the school has determined that you have withdrawn.


 Repayment of Unearned Funds to State and Institutional Programs:

The University will also determine the earned and unearned portions of any state or institutional aid. This calculation is separate from the Return of Title IV (R2T4) aid calculation. You will be required to repay state and institutional aid based on your withdrawal date.


If you withdraw on or before the census date, you will be required to return all state and/or institutional aid received for the term. The Bursar’s Office will bill your account for the amount owed.


If you withdraw after the census date, you will be required to repay a portion of any state and institutional received for the term based on your withdrawal date.


 Disbursement of Earned Funds After Withdrawal

Disbursement of Earned Funds After Withdrawal:

​​​​​​​​Under certain circumstances, you may begin the withdrawal process before funds have been disbursed to your student account. In this case, the University will apply the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) calculation using funds that “could have been disbursed” to determine the earned amount of federal Title IV aid that could have been disbursed.

As a result of this calculation, if the R2T4 calculation determines that you earned any Pell Grant, FSEOG, TEACH Grant or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant that could have been, but was not, disbursed, these funds will be disbursed to your student account without any action required on your part.

If the R2T4 calculation determines that you earned any Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan, Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, or Direct PLUS Loan funds, the prospective borrower will be notified in writing about the funds that can credited directly to the student’s account through a post-withdrawal disbursement. The prospective borrower must confirm that he or she wishes to accept all, or a portion, of the potential funds. Failure to reply by the deadline in the written notification will result in the cancellation of any potential post-withdrawal loan funds.


 Tuition Refund Policy and Tuition Appeals Policy:

Drop/Add Late Registration (Tuition Refund Policy):

According to the Bursar's Office, refund percentages will be as follows:

  • 100% automatic refund of the $200 registration advance payment should be available for students until the first day of classes in a term, to accommodate students who withdraw from all classes, or who never register after paying the advance payment.
  • 1st day of the term through the end of the following Monday of classes (generally the end of the 6th day of the term during fall and the 5th day of the term in spring) (2nd day of summer class) - if the student withdraws from all classes, he/she will forfeit $200, which corresponds to the $200 registration advance payment. If the student drops a class, no course drop charge will be assessed for dropping that course. (This date is tied to roll/purge of the waitlist.)
  • Beginning the second Tuesday of the fall and spring terms until census date (4th day of summer class) – a $100 drop transaction charge will be assessed each time a student drops a course. This includes student-initiated drops done in order to change sections within a course. Section changes done through administrative process in the Dean’s offices will be coded as such in ISIS and will be exempted from drop charges. The timing of the waitlist and drop charge assessment will be linked together. In order to accommodate spring semester which generally begins on a Tuesday, we will be consistent and have waitlist roll and purge always occur on the second Monday evening after the semester begins, so that students with a Monday only evening class will always have the opportunity to attend that class before having to make a drop decision that has financial impact.
    If a student withdraws (therefore dropping all classes), a drop charge will be assessed for each course. Example: A student taking four courses withdraws – drop charges of $400 are assessed. In the case where a drop creates a tuition refund situation, the drop charge will be deducted from the tuition refund.
  • After census, there will be no refund of tuition.


Tuition Appeals Policy:

If you feel that you have an extenuating circumstance that justifies an exception to financial obligations, you may appeal to the tuition appeals coordinator. Please refer to the CU Denver Tuition Appeals Policy for more information. If you have any questions, please contact the tuition appeals coordinator.

NOTE: If you are granted a refund of tuition and fees, all or a portion of the refund will be used to repay financial aid, and any remaining tuition refund will be released to you. You are responsible for paying any additional charges on your account.​​​


 Exit Counseling and Repayment:

Your loans will enter the grace period after you withdraw, and if you are not enrolled at the end of the grace period, you will begin repayment of your student loans. If you received any loans or a TEACH Grant, it is imperative that you complete Exit Counseling for each type of loan that you borrowed, as well as the TEACH Grant, to know your rights and responsibilities.

Please visit the following websites to complete the required Exit Counseling: – to complete Exit Counseling for the following federal Title IV programs:

  • Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized)
  • Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  • TEACH Grant

Student Debt Management - to complete Exit Counseling for the Federal Perkins Loan


 Suspension of Future Financial Aid

Withdrawing from all of your courses may also affect your eligibility for financial aid for future terms. Read the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard section.​​​​​​