Withdrawal and Refund Policy

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) policy states that students who register for classes for any given semester may be obligated to pay all or a portion of tuition and fees for that semester. If you begin classes at GVSU, receive financial aid, and then withdraw, your financial aid will be adjusted based on the following policy, per federal regulations.

Withdrawing from credits may cause you to fall below the financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. As such, we strongly suggest speaking with the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships prior to making any adjustments to your enrollment to discuss how your aid may be affected.


Partial Withdrawal

  • If you drop a course(s) during the drop/add period (100% refund) but are still enrolled in credits, this is considered a partial withdrawal. Your eligibility for aid will be recalculated, on the census date, based on the new number of credits. You will be billed for any funds you received but were not eligible for based on your new credit load. 
  • If you withdraw from some of your courses during the 75% refund period but are still enrolled in credits, this is considered a partial withdrawal. The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will determine if you will receive the tuition refund or if your financial aid is required to be reduced. This determination is based on specific requirements of federal, state, and institutional programs. Aid may be reinstated if a student adds another class, or in exceptional cases, by written request.  Withdrawing from credits may also place you in jeopardy of not meeting the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards for future semesters. 
  • If you withdraw from some of your courses at any point after the 75% refund deadline but are still enrolled in credits, this is considered a partial withdrawal. Your financial aid will not be adjusted, unless you subsequently withdraw or receive a failing or no-credit (NC) grade; this would be considered a complete withdraw. See below for details concerning complete withdrawals. Withdrawing from credits may also place you in jeopardy of not meeting the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards for future semesters.

Official Complete Withdrawal

  • To officially withdraw from all of your courses for the current semester students should submit a complete withdrawal form to the Registrars Office. The complete withdrawal form is located in the "Student Forms" section of the Registrar's Office website. It may also be possible to complete the withdrawal process through your myBanner account.
  • For any student who officially withdraws, federal regulations require that all withdrawal (R2T4) calculations be completed within 45 days of the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships being notified of your complete withdrawal. This federal calculation will determine the amount of unearned federal financial aid funds that must be returned to the Department of Education. For more information about the calculation, please see below
    • GVSU faculty report a last date of academic activity (LDAA) for all students who completely withdraw. Our office will use the LDAA to calculate the amount of unearned aid.
    • If you perform an official complete withdrawal during the drop/add (100% refund) period, GVSU will return all financial aid funds prior to releasing any refund of tuition.
      • A student may contact our office to request an R2T4 calculation for the purposes of receiving earned Title IV aid up to the date of withdrawal. This request must be made on or before the 30th day following official notification of withdrawal. For each applicable course, the student must submit written documentation confirming that academic activity began. In cases where a student owes a balance we will complete the calculation, if requested, and apply any earned aid toward their semester balance if applicable.
    • In the event that you perform an official complete withdraw and a credit balance remains, after the R2T4 calculation has been completed and required aid returned, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will determine if any additional aid needs to be reduced and/or a refund issued. 
  • If you perform an official complete withdrawal before 60% of the semester is complete, you will be required to repay a portion of your federal student aid.

Unofficial Complete Withdrawal

  • It is important that you follow the process to officially withdraw from courses. In the event, that you cease academic activity in all of your courses, or any other situation that is not considered a partial or official complete withdrawal, this is called an unofficial complete withdrawal.
  • If an unofficial complete withdrawal is determined to have taken place, Federal regulation requires that we complete a Federal Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation to determine the amount of unearned federal financial aid funds that must be returned to the Department of Education. For more information about the calculation, please see below. The calculation will be completed within 45 days of identifying the unofficial complete withdrawal. In many cases, this would be the end of the semester after grades have been reported by faculty.
    • GVSU faculty report a last date of academic activity (LDAA) for all students who completely withdraw. Our office will use the LDAA to calculate the amount of unearned aid.
      • GVSU faculty will also report a last date of academic activity (LDAA) for all students who receive a failing or no-credit (NC) grade. Our office will use this LDAA date to assess whether the grade was earned or unearned. Any date prior to exam week is considered an 'unearned' failing and NC grade.  All unearned failing and NC grades are considered unofficial withdrawals and will likely result in a reduction or cancellation of financial aid.  

Modular Withdrawals

  • If a student is enrolled in a standard, term-based program offered in modules and ceases attendance at any point prior to completing the payment period or period of enrollment, unless the school obtains written confirmation from the student at the time of the withdrawal that they will attend a module that begins later in the same payment period or period of enrollment, the student is considered a modular withdrawal for Title IV purposes.
    • If written confirmation of future attendance is received from the student but the student does not return as scheduled, the student is considered to have withdrawn from the payment period or period of enrollment and the student’s withdrawal date and the total number of calendar days in the payment period or period of enrollment would be the withdrawal date and total number of calendar days that would have applied if the student had not provided written confirmation of future attendance.

Late Registration

  • Your initial financial aid awards for fall/winter semester are based on full-time enrollment. Census occurs at the end of the day on the last day to drop/add courses for the semester (typically the Friday of the first week of classes). Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships evaluate your "actual" enrollment status for financial aid purposes and adjust your financial aid accordingly at that time. Please review how enrollment impacts your award to see how your award may change.
  • It is recommended that you determine and enroll in the courses you plan to complete for the entire semester during the drop/add period.

Additional courses registered for after the census date cannot be taken into consideration with regard to your financial aid eligibility, regardless of whether an exception was made by the Registrar's Office to allow late registration.


Treatment of Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws

The law specifies how Grand Valley must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that you earn if you withdraw from school. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SEOG
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Federal Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

Please note that federal regulations require that aid be returned to the Department of Education in the order listed above, within 45 days of your official withdrawal. 

Though your aid is posted to your account at the start of each period, you earn the funds as you complete the period. If you withdraw during your payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or Grand Valley or parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by Grand Valley and/or you.

The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earn 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If your post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, Grand Valley must get your permission before it can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. Grand Valley may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and on-campus housing and dining charges. Grand Valley needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other institutional charges. If you do not give your permission, you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow Grand Valley to keep the funds to reduce your debt to the school.

If you receive (or Grand Valley or parent receive on your behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, your school must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  1. your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
  2. the entire amount of excess funds

For any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a Direct PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.

Overpayment

Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with Grand Valley or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.


The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy that Grand Valley may have. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. Grand Valley may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. Click here for more information on course withdrawals and how to officially withdrawal. 

If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, feel free to contact us. Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web.



Page last modified October 9, 2018