Withdrawing from Classes

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Withdrawing from classes after the add/drop period may affect your financial aid eligibility and your ability to meet Standards of Academic Progress (SAP). Before withdrawing or stopping attendance in classes, students should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy in the College Catalog and understand all of the ramifications of withdrawing or stopping attendance. Withdrawing does not differentiate between withdrawing yourself and an administrative withdrawal done by the instructor or other college official.

Keep the following information in mind whenever you're faced with the decision about whether to reduce your enrollment:

  • If you've borrowed a Federal Stafford Loan to pay for college, you will enter the grace period on your loans if you withdraw or drop below half-time status (less than six credit hours). Typically, this grace period lasts six months; after the grace period ends, you must begin making monthly payments.
  • If you receive loans, Pell Grant or any other federal student aid, you may be required to repay all or a portion of those funds depending on when you drop or withdraw from class. If you receive Bright Futures, you might have to repay the funds given to you for any classes from which you have withdrawn or failed.

Return of Title IV Financial Aid Funds Policy

Students receiving financial aid who withdraw or stop attending will be, in most cases, required to return a portion of financial aid received.  The Higher Education Act established the return of Title IV Funds Policy.

This Seminole State College policy reflects new federal regulations. The concept behind the policy is that the College and the student are allowed to retain only the amount of Title IV (federal) aid that is earned.  If a student withdraws or stops attending classes, whether or not any credits have been earned for the term, a portion of the aid received is considered to be unearned and must be returned to the Title IV programs from which it was received.  For Title IV purposes, the withdrawal date is the last date of attendance as determined by attendance records, if the instructor withdraws or reports an F for the student. If the student withdraws, the date of the withdrawal is the last date of attendance.

If a student attends through 60 percent of the term, all Title IV aid is considered earned.  However, withdrawals will affect students' satisfactory academic progress and eligibility for additional financial aid. Federal law permits financial aid to be paid out only for a certain number of credit hours attempted. If students withdraw from a class, those hours are counted as “attempted,” and are applied toward that maximum. If there are too many withdrawals (or “F's”), students may find themselves without financial aid when they reach 150 percent of credits attempted for their particular program plan.

Clarification of New Regulations

  • A student who attends and completes at least one course that spans the entire enrollment period will have earned the aid for that enrollment period (after adjustments for dropped classes or classes not attended).
  • The College must be able to demonstrate that the student actually attended each class, including any class with a failing grade. Attendance must be “academic attendance” or “attendance at an academically related activity.”  Documentation of attendance must be made by the College. A student’s self-certification of attendance is not acceptable unless supported by the College’s documentation. Examples of attendance include:
    • Physical class attendance where there is direct interaction between instructor and student
    • Submission of an academic assignment
    • Study group assigned by the school
    • Examination, interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction
    • Participation in an online discussion about academic matters
    • Initiation  of contact with instructor to ask question about academic subject
Note: Logging in to an online class does not count as attendance

A student who withdraws from an A Session class within the enrollment period must still be attending another class or is considered to be a withdrawal, even if registered for future classes starting in the enrollment period. At the time of withdrawal from an A Session class (if he or she is not attending another class), the student must provide a written statement to the College indicating intent to attend a future class within that enrollment period. If no written statement is provided, the student is a withdrawal, and a Return to Title IV calculation (a calculation to determine the amount of aid earned by the student when the student does not attend all days scheduled to complete within an enrollment period) must be completed. If the student doesn’t actually attend that future class, a Return to Title IV calculation is still required, and the withdrawal date/last date of attendance dates back to the originally confirmed date.

Return to Title IV Process

A calculation is performed to determine the percent of class time the student attended. That percent is applied to the financial aid, and is called earned aid. Conversely, the difference (percent of unattended hours) is unearned aid.

The College must then return the amount of unearned aid, up to the maximum received, to each of the Title IV programs in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan
  • Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan (Seminole State College does not participate)
  • Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Once the College determines the dollar amounts owed, the student will be notified of what he or she owes to the College and to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), if applicable. For grant dollars that must be paid to the DOE, the student has 45 days to make repayment to the College and does not have to repay a grant overpayment of $50 or less. Unpaid balances after 45 days will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and turned over to the DOE for collection. At that point until overpayments are repaid or satisfactory repayment arrangements have been made with the DOE, the student will be ineligible for further Title IV aid at any institution.

This policy is separate from the institutional refund policy. Unpaid balances due to Seminole State College that result from amounts returned to Title IV programs and other sources of aid will be charged back to the student. The student is also responsible for uncollected tuition due to Seminole State College.

If the student does not begin attendance in all classes or ceases attendance during the 100 percent refund period, aid may have to be reduced to reflect appropriate enrollment status prior to recalculating Return of Title IV Funds.

Standards of Academic Progress (SAP)

From a Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) perspective, classes from which you withdraw or fail have a grave impact on your ability to receive financial aid:

  1. GPA: An "F" earned in any class will contribute toward reducing your GPA.
  2. Pace: Your pace is calculated by dividing the number of hours earned by the number of hours attempted. Each "F" or "W" on your transcript increases the number of hours attempted but has no effect on the number of hours completed. This will decrease your pace, which must be a minimum 67 percent.
  3. Maximum Time Frame: You cannot receive financial aid for hours in excess of 150 percent of the hours required for your program plan. For example, if you are in the A.A. program and require 60 hours to graduate, financial aid cannot pay for more than 150 percent of 60 hours, or 90 hours. If you exceed 90 hours, you will not be eligible to receive financial aid. It is important to remember here that any excess hours you accumulate at Seminole State will follow you to any institution to which you transfer, and you will be subject to the same SAP restrictions there as well.

Questions about Return of Title IV Funds, Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) or withdrawals may be addressed by a student success specialist on any campus, eServices or to the Financial Aid Office at 407.708.2045.

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Financial Aid Office   407.708.2045   fax: 407.708.2323

Federal School Code: 001520

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