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Reducing credits - return of financial aid

If you find it necessary to withdraw from all or some of your classes, you may be required to return all or a portion of the financial aid you've received for that semster to the government and/or University programs. 

If your circumstances require you to withdraw from all classes, you are encouraged to contact your academic advisor and One Stop Student Services so your decision will be based on a clear understanding of the consequences of withdrawing from all classes.

The federal formula requires a return of Title IV aid if you received federal assistance in the form of a Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan or Federal Direct PLUS Loan and withdrew on or before completing 60 percent of the semester. 

The federal government mandates that if you withdraw from all classes, you may only keep the financial aid you have "earned" up to the time of withdrawal. The Title IV funds that were disbursed in excess of the earned amount must be returned to the federal government by the University and/or you. If you received a credit balance check for financial aid that was credited earlier in the semester (which was to be used for personal expenses or non-University housing expenses), you may be required to return a portion of those funds to the University. This portion represents funds that were intended to pay your education-related expenses through the end of the semester. The amount to be returned to the University will be calculated from the date on which you officially withdraw (officially, unofficially, or express intent).

Determining Aid Earned

To determine the amount of aid you earned up to the time of withdrawal, the Office of Student Finance will divide the number of calendar days you attended classes by the total number of calendar days in the semester (less any scheduled break of 5 days or more). The resulting percentage is then multiplied by the total federal funds that were disbursed to your University student account for the semester. This calculation determines the amount of aid that you are allowed to keep. The unearned amount of aid must be returned to the federal government. A notification letter will be sent to your permanent address if your financial aid is reduced and a return is required.

Returned Title IV Aid Allocation

Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reduce the outstanding balances in individual federal programs. Financial aid returned by you and/or your parent or the University must be allocated in the following order:

  1. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
  3. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  6. Federal TEACH Grant
  7. Other federal loan or grant assistance

If you cancel a portion of your enrollment or completely withdraw from classes during the semester, you may be required to return all or a portion of the state of Minnesota financial aid to the state financial aid program from which the aid was received. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Minnesota State Grant
  • Student Educational Loan Fund
  • Minnesota State Child Care Grant
  • Minnesota Public Service Safety Officer Program

If you withdraw from all of your courses or drop credits while maintaining enrollment, state funds are subject to a worksheet calculation based on tuition and/or fee changes, in addition to other contingencies. A notification letter will be sent to your permanent address if your financial aid is reduced and a return is required.

If you completely withdraw on or before completing 60 percent of the semester, you may be required to return all or a portion of your University financial aid to the financial aid program from which the aid was received. This may include but is not limited to:

To determine the amount of institutional aid earned up to the time of withdrawal, the number of calendar days you attended classes will be divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester (less any scheduled break of five days or more). The resulting percentage is then multiplied by the total University funds that you accepted. This calculation determines the amount of aid that you earned and are allowed to keep. The unearned amount of aid must be returned to the institutional program(s) by the University. A notification letter will be sent to your permanent address if your financial aid is reduced and a return is required.

If you receive an approved Tuition Refund Appeal, your university financial aid may be reversed accordingly.