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Financial Aid and Withdrawing From UC San Diego

If you receive financial aid and subsequently do not enroll in the University or enroll and then withdraw, you may be required to return the financial aid funds received. If you have questions about Return to Title IV Funds at UC San Diego, please contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. For information on officially withdrawing from UC San Diego please visit the campus Withdraw process websites for Undergraduates or Graduate students. This includes the requirements for officially withdrawing, the campus refund policy and other considerations. Please note that Commencement of Academic Activity may also impact the amount of financial aid.

What is Title IV Aid?

 

Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended in 1998, (Title IV, and HEA program) establishes general rules that apply to federal student financial assistance programs. For purposes of Return of Title IV Funds, these programs include:
  • Pell, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity (FSEOG) Grants, TEACH Grant and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.
  • Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans (Undergraduate and Graduate).

What Return of Title IV Funds Means to Financial Aid Recipients

This publication provides information about the UC San Diego Return of Title IV Funds (Return) policies that apply to any student who separates from the university either withdrawing or is administratively withdrawn such as a dismissal). These policies apply to students that discontinue enrollment in all classes, on or after the first day of the term. When you withdraw, two separate calculations listed below must take place:

  1. A refund of fees must be calculated by the Registrar's office.
  2. Financial Aid and Scholarships must calculate the Return.

Please note that the schedule of refunds process and any other billing processes (e.g. Housing, Bookstore charges etc…) that may impact your student account, are separate from the financial aid Return process. Once the financial aid Return is complete you will be sent an email to check your online bill to see if you have any pending overall balance due to the university.

If you cancel your registration prior to the first day of classes, this policy will not apply to you. Also, if you drop some, but not all, of your classes, these policies will not apply.

First we determine if you have completed more than 60 percent of your scheduled enrollment for the term.

  • You earn all of your financial aid when you have participated in more than 60 percent of your scheduled enrollment for the term. The Return of Title IV funds calculation counts the number of days from the first day of class until the last date you were enrolled and compares that to the total calendar days of your scheduled enrollment for the term. This includes the first day of classes through the last scheduled day of exams, including weekends and holidays, and excluding any scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days.
  • If you have not completed more than 60 percent, the amount of your financial aid you are allowed to keep and the amount that must be repaid will be calculated.

Future Aid Eligibility

Withdrawing may affect your eligibility to receive financial aid in subsequent terms. Notify your respective Financial Aid Office if you are planning to return. If your loans should go into repayment once you withdraw from school, it is important to make your payments on time to prevent default. If you default on a loan, you may lose your eligibility for any future financial aid. If you're a loan recipient, you must complete online exit loan counseling. You can also contact Student Financial Solutions (SFS) for advice on your loan repayment obligations, rights, and responsibilities. Read more about Repaying Your Student Loan.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Withdrawal may affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress status for financial aid eligibility if you decide to return.

2023-2024 Return of Title IV Funds calculation
Term 100% Date
Fall 2023 November 15, 2023
Winter 2024 February 22, 2024
Spring 2024 May 16, 2024
Summer 2024 Varies- See Financial Aid and Scholarships Office

Calculating Return of Title IV Aid Amount

Return of Title IV Funds (Earned vs. Unearned Aid)

Within 45 days from when you discontinue enrollment, Financial Aid and Scholarships must calculate the amount of financial aid you have earned prior to the date the action was filed. Any aid received in excess of the earned amount is considered unearned. The unearned financial aid must be returned to the respective federal programs no later than 45 days from when the student separated from UC San Diego. The calculation is based upon only the amount of Title IV Aid for which you were eligible. State and UC San Diego fund policy use a different process to calculate how much state and university aid is earned if the student discontinued enrollment before the end of the quarter.

Calculating Earned Financial Aid

The amount of earned financial aid is calculated on a daily basis from the first day of classes. The process uses calendar rather than business days. Earned aid is determined by taking the number of days attended before enrollment ended divided by the total number of days in the term (first day of instruction until the last day of finals, excluding spring break for semester students).

Return policies apply to students that withdraw on or before the 60% point of the term. For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there is no unearned financial aid.

Once the earned and unearned aid percentages are determined, the next step is to calculate the dollar amount of unearned aid that must be returned. The Return amount is determined by multiplying the unearned aid percentage by the total of all Title IV aid received.

Unearned Aid Percentage x Total of all Title IV Funds Received = Total Unearned Aid

School Portion of the Return

The amount of unearned aid that must be returned by UC San Diego is a percentage of the institutional charges for the term. Once the dollar amount of the school portion of the Return is determined, it is compared to the total amount of all unearned aid. If the school portion is less than the total unearned aid, then UC San Diego must return the amount of the school portion. If the calculated school portion exceeds the total unearned aid, then UC San Diego must return the amount of the total unearned aid.

Financial aid will be returned to the aid program from which it came. If returned to a loan program, your outstanding balance will be reduced by the amount of the return. Aid will be returned in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Subsidized Direct Loan
  3. Direct PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grants
  5. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  7. TEACH Grant

Late or Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

Students may be eligible for a late or post-withdrawal disbursement if they have accepted aid that did not disburse at the time of withdrawal from UC San Diego. If eligible, UC San Diego’s Financial Aid and Scholarships will send notification of the action required to either accept or decline a portion, or all, of the late disbursement. If no response is received within approximately two weeks of notification, the award will be canceled.

Fee Refund Versus School Return Amount

In most cases, the amount of the fee refund received will be less than the amount of the school Return portion of Title IV funds. When you discontinue enrollment, a balance will be created on your student account at UC San Diego for the difference between the fee refund and the Return amount. You will be responsible for paying this balance in addition to any other balance created from the student portion of the Return.

Student Portion of Return of Title IV Funds

After the school returns the correct amount of aid, any amount of the total unearned aid that remains becomes the student portion of the Return. The student portion of the Return is calculated by subtracting the amount of the school Return from the total unearned aid.

Total Unearned Aid - School Return Amount = Student Portion of Return

Depending on the remaining sources of aid after the school Return, the student portion of the Return is distributed back to the aid program from which it was awarded as follows:

  • Any amount of the Return allocated to loans is repayable after you leave UC San Diego and enter repayment according to the terms and conditions of those loans. You will not be billed for these funds upon discontinued enrollment.
  • Any amount allocated to federal Title IV grants is subsequently decreased by 50%. This adjustment is an effort to reduce the impact of discontinued enrollment on those students receiving grant funds. UC San Diego will return these funds on your behalf and you will be responsible for reimbursing UC San Diego for this return.

State and Institutional Aid

For State financial aid (i.e. the Cal Grant), the fee paying portion of the Cal Grant is adjusted based on the percent of fees refunded by the campus (for example, if a student is refunded 50% of their registration fees, 50% of the Cal Grant fee paying award would be billed). For the Cal Grant B Access award, if an eligible student withdraws after the quarterly financial aid unit freeze date,* this award is not adjusted. The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) mirrors the federal return of Title IV process, which is based on percentage earned. For example, if an eligible student earns 50% of their federal aid, the student may keep 50% of the MCS and would be billed the remainder 50%.

For Institutional financial aid (i.e. University Grant, University Loan and Quon Loan) if an eligible student withdraws after the quarterly financial aid unit freeze date,* this award is not adjusted.

*Visit https://fas.ucsd.edu/applying/current-undergraduates/how-you-receive-your-financial-aid.html under “Financial Aid Freeze Dates” for more details.

Samples of Return to Title IV Calculation

SAMPLE 1

Continuing 2022-2023 Undergraduate student who withdrawals during of the fall quarter on 10/1/2022 (before the Fall 2022 Financial Aid Freeze date 10/7/22)

  • Number of Days Attended: 10
  • Number of Days in the Quarter: 80
  • Earned Financial Aid: 12.5%
  • Unearned Financial Aid: 87.5%
Types of Aid Financial Aid Disbursed Fall Quarter Total Aid Earned
(Student eligible to keep)
Total Aid Unearned
(Must be billed)
University Grant $3,200 $0 $3,200
Cal Grant $4,190 $0 $4,190
Federal Direct Loan $1,814 $0 $1,814
Federal Pell Grant $2,298 $514 $1,784
Total Aid $11,502 $514 $10,988

SAMPLE 2

Continuing 2022-2023 Undergraduate student who withdrawals during of the fall quarter on 10/11/2022 (after the Fall 2022 Financial Aid Freeze date 10/7/22)

  • Number of Days Attended: 20
  • Number of Days in the Quarter: 80
  • Earned Financial Aid: 25%
  • Unearned Financial Aid: 75%
Types of Aid Financial Aid Disbursed Fall Quarter Total Aid Earned
(Student eligible to keep)
Total Aid Unearned
(Must be billed)
University Grant $3,200 $3,200 $0
Cal Grant $4,190 $4,190 $0
Federal Direct Loan $1,814 $0 $1,814
Federal Pell Grant $2,298 $1,028 $1,270
Total Aid $11,502 $8,418 $3,084

Unofficial Withdrawal/Walkaway

UC San Diego Financial Aid and Scholarships reviews posted grades every term. If a student receives all non-passing grades, they are determined to have unofficially withdrawn. Students are notified via UC San Diego email if they are considered an unofficial withdrawal. Per Federal Return of Title IV regulations federal financial aid is adjusted using the 50% point of the term as the withdrawal date.

In order to reevaluate this determination, documentation must be provided to support attendance in all courses for the term. For example, correspondence from the student's instructor(s).

Summer Sessions: Withdrawing or Dropping Coursework

Dropping Summer Classes or Sessions

Dropping a course from one of your summer sessions may cause your summer financial aid awards to be revised. How your aid is adjusted will depend on when you drop the course(s). If you drop to less than six (6) units, you may lose your aid eligibility. It is also important to note that the summer sessions are treated as modules, as the sessions do not span the entire summer term, so there are different rules that apply when withdrawing from courses that are offered in modules versus a standard term.

1. Dropping units before the first day of instruction

If you drop all of your classes before the first day of instruction but remain enrolled in future session(s), your aid may be adjusted to reflect your change in enrollment. University Grant is subject to change based on total enrolled units for the summer term.

If you drop all courses in a future session before completing Summer Session 1 courses, your financial aid will be repackaged per total enrolled units. If you drop all courses in a future session after completing Summer Session 1 courses, your summer financial aid may be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.

2. Dropping units after the first day of instruction

If you drop all of your classes after the first day of instruction but remain enrolled in other Summer Sessions that have not yet begun, Financial Aid and Scholarships requires written confirmation of your future summer enrollment.

If you do not indicate on the withdrawal form that you will be returning for a future session, we may contact you by email asking if you plan to attend a future summer session. You will have 10 calendar days to respond to our inquiry. If you do not respond or you do not attend a future summer session, your summer financial aid will be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.

When you discontinue enrollment, a balance may be created on your UC San Diego student account for the difference between the fee refund and the calculated return amount. You will be responsible for paying this balance in addition to any other balance created from the student portion of the calculated return amount.

3. Dropping all summer classes for all sessions

If you drop all summer courses for all sessions before the first day of instruction, all summer aid will be canceled.

Effective July 1, 2021, students who are enrolled in modular courses and then withdraw will not be considered withdrawn for Return of Title IV purposes if one of the following conditions are met:

  • Successfully complete (with a grade of A, B, C, D, or P) modular coursework equal to or greater than half-time enrollment (6 credit hours for undergraduate students and 3 credit hours for graduate students.)
  • Successfully complete (with a grade of A, B, C, D, or P) one module or a combination of modules that equals 49 percent or more of the number of days in the student’s payment period.
  • Successfully complete a module (with a grade of A, B, C, D, or P) and all requirements for graduation from your program before completing the days or hours in the period that you were scheduled to complete.

What happens if I stop attending, or never started attending, classes but did not cancel my enrollment?

Failing to show up for class is not considered an official withdraw. You may be billed for all or a portion of your financial aid. Please visit the Summer Session website for more details on the Summer Session withdraw process and for information regarding the Summer Session refund policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions