Withdrawing and Your Financial Aid

If circumstances require you to consider withdrawing from classes, contact our office and your academic advisor before withdrawing to understand the consequences of your decision. Office of Financial Aid counselors will explain the policies described below and how they apply to you.  If you do choose to withdraw, you must immediately notify the U-M Office of the Registrar if they are withdrawing and follow specific withdrawal procedures.


The University's tuition refund policy determines how much tuition and fees are refunded when a student withdraws from all classes. The chart below shows the amount refunded, depending upon when a student withdraws. The Registrar sets and publishes refund dates each term. 

Your Award Notice lists how much financial aid you will receive for full-time enrollment (no aid is available for audited courses or those dropped before the 100 percent tuition refund deadline; there are no charges or penalties. If you withdraw from a course after the 100 percent tuition refund date, it is considered a withdrawal and you will be charged for these courses. If you withdraw from all your courses or stop attending them before completing more than 60 percent of the semester, you may have to repay all or a portion of your financial aid. 

Students that do not attend or participate at least one day of class must repay their aid. The federal government considers it an unofficial withdrawal when a student receives a failing grade for not attending or participating or when he/she stops attending class.

Time of Withdrawal % of Charges Refunded
Prior to the first day of the term 100% tuition; 100% fees
Within the first 3 weeks 100% tuition; 0% fees
After the first 3 weeks but before the 6th week 50% tuition; 0% fees
After the 6th week 0% tuition; 0% fees


The federal government mandates that students who withdraw from all classes may keep only aid earned up to the time of withdrawal. Title IV funds disbursed in excess of the earned amount must be returned to the federal government by the University and/or the student.  A student could owe these funds to the university, the federal government, or both. 

The Office of Financial Aid is notified by the Registrar when a student has officially withdrawn from U-M.  The calculation for Return of Title IV funds is based on when a student initiates the withdrawal process by speaking with an academic advisor, a member of the Registrar’s staff or completing the University’s withdrawal form.  Students who withdraw prior to the 100 percent drop/add date may be asked to document participation in their courses.  Failure to do so will result in cancellation of all aid for that semester.

If a student does not officially withdraw but stops attending the course(s), the Office of Financial Aid will be notified of the last date of participation by the instructor(s) when grades are reported at the semester's end.  This date will determine any need to reduce aid initially offered, as well as complete the Return of Title IV aid calculation described below. To make this calculation, we divide the number of calendar days the student has attended classes by the number of calendar days in the semester (minus any scheduled breaks of 5 days or more).  The resulting percentage is multiplied by total federal funds disbursed to the student account or check or direct deposit for the semester. 

This calculation determines the amount of aid earned that a student may keep. For example, if a student attended 25 percent  of the term, 25 percent  of the aid disbursed will be earned. The remainder, or unearned amount must be returned.  The Office of Financial Aid will notify and provide instructions to students who are required to return funds to the government.

Students who have withdrawn will be reviewed to ensure all aid for which the student is eligible is included in the calculation. Students for which eligible loan was not disbursed will be contacted to see if they wish to have that portion disbursed.


Funds returned to the federal government are used to reimburse individual federal programs. Financial aid returned (by the University and/or the student/parent) is allocated, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:

  1. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan Federal Subsidized
  2. Direct Loan Federal Perkins Loan
  3. Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan or Grad PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  6. Other Federal Loan or Grant Assistance

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