Withdrawing & dropping courses affects your aid

Dropping, no-shows, and withdrawing can affect your financial aid and trigger "Return of Funds" refund policies. Make sure you speak with your financial aid counselor at the Skyhawk Station before dropping or withdrawing from your courses.

Dropping courses

Dropping a course or courses before the Census can affect your financial aid. Talk with your financial aid counselor before doing this.

Fall/Spring terms

Dropping a course or courses after the Census will not affect your financial aid. For example, if a student reduces their course load from 12 to 9 credits, the reduction represents a change in enrollment status, not a withdrawal. Therefore, no return calculation is required.

Dropping courses might not impact your aid for a specific term, but you can get financial aid suspension if you drop too many courses.

Summer modules

The Financial Aid Office calculates a student's summer aid based on their registration in summer classes.

If you plan to drop a module, you must drop it while enrolled. If you drop future modules between scheduled modules, your enrollment status changes to withdrawn because:  

  • You have not completed all the days in the payment period they were scheduled to complete
  • Your Title IV aid was based on attendance in all the modules they were initially scheduled to attend. An exception is if the student enrolls in a course(s) that spans the entire summer term they are completing. 

If you don't provide written confirmation of future attendance in a module(s) within the summer term, your enrollment will be withdrawn if you drop all the future modules during the time between modules.

If you provide written confirmation for future attendance within the summer term and don't return, you will also be subject to the Return of Title IV funds calculation. The Financial Aid Office will calculate a  Return of Title IV funds.  

No-show policy

Students who don't begin attendance in courses are ineligible for financial aid. Their total financial assistance package will return to the appropriate federal program(s).

No-show students who fail to withdraw from courses officially are responsible for tuition, fees, book charges, and/or room/board. The no-show student must repay the College if they have an account balance.

Examples of the no-show policy

  • If a student enrolls in 12 credit hours but only attends ten credit hours, the student's award will be pro-rated to 10 credit hours, and the student must repay any financial aid received for the higher number of credits. 
  • If a student enrolls in 12 credit hours and does not attend, the student must repay all of the financial aid received.

Withdrawals from courses

The Financial Aid Office calculates the student's tuition and fees based on the date the student withdrawals from school. Whether or not a student received a tuition/fee refund doesn't change the amount they must repay to the Title IV programs. FLC's tuition and fees refund policy is separate from the Return of Title IV financial aid policy.

Learn how to withdraw from FLC

Fall/Spring terms

If students with Title IV funds withdraw from school after beginning attendance, the Financial Aid Office must recalculate their cost of education.  

If the amount disbursed is greater than the amount the student earned through enrollment, the unearned funds will return to the appropriate aid program.  

If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned and for which they are eligible, they might receive a post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid they haven't yet received.

Summer modules

FLC has several parts of the summer term and different course start and end dates. These parts of the term are known as "modules." The Financial Aid Office calculates a student's summer aid from their summer aid request form, which outlines their enrolled credits for each module(s). 

The Financial Aid Office determines if a student enrolled in Summer modules is a withdrawal by asking the following questions. 

  1. After beginning attendance in the payment period or enrollment period, did the student cease to attend or fail to start attending a course on their scheduled attendance? If the answer is no, this is not a withdrawal. If the answer is yes, go to question 2.
  2. When the student ceased to attend or failed to begin attendance in a course they were scheduled to attend, was the student still attending any other courses? If the answer is yes, this is not a withdrawal. However, other regulatory provisions concerning recalculation may apply. If the answer is no, go to question 3.
  3. Did the student confirm attendance in a course in a module beginning later in the period? If the answer is yes, this is only a withdrawal if the student returns. If the answer is no, this is a withdrawal, and the Return of Title IV funds requirements apply.

Students enrolled in a summer course that spans the entire term, in addition to being enrolled in modules, who do not receive a passing grade in any course will have to prove they earned their failing grades by showing they continued to attend class and/or took their final exam to avoid being subject to the Return of Title IV funds.  

Withdrawing on or before 60% of attendance

The Financial Aid Office calculates a Return of Title IV funds using the Federal Return of Title IV Funds calculation. This process occurs for students who received federal aid but officially withdrew from all courses on or before the 60% attendance point in the semester. 
If students attend less than 60% of an enrollment period, they have earned only a portion of their aid. 
If a student attends more than 60% of an enrollment period, they have earned all awarded aid for that period unless the student doesn't receive at least one passing grade. If this happens, the student must prove they went to class and/or took final exams in their failed courses to avoid returning their Title IV funds.

Unofficial withdrawals, dismissal, or zero passing grades

Students who stop class attendance without officially withdrawing become an "unofficial withdrawal" from FLC for that semester.  
The Financial Aid Office calculates federal student aid returns based on the student's recorded withdrawal date/last date of attendance. If a date can't be determined, the calculation defaults to a 50% attendance. 
Students who receive all "F" grades become "unofficial withdrawals." The return of federal student aid is based on the student's last date of attendance, as reported by each instructor who reports an "F" grade.

If a student is dismissed or disqualified from attending classes at Fort Lewis College, they are considered a withdrawal. A return of Title IV funds calculation will be completed based on the date of dismissal.

The Financial Aid Office will notify students on how much aid and what type they returned.

Return of Title IV Financial Aid Policy

The Financial Aid Office calculates a student's earned and unearned Title IV funds using the percentage of the enrollment period the student completed. We divide the number of days the student attended by the number of days in the period. Calendar days (including weekends) count, but breaks of at least five days don't.

The last date of attendance is when the student completes the withdrawal process in their WebOPUS account, or an earlier date, if the Financial Aid Office learns it, was before that.

Fund returns and account balances

Unearned federal student aid funds return to the appropriate Title IV program(s). The funds return in this order:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal SEOG Grant

If the withdrawal calculation shows the student owes the federal government a portion of the loans or grants received at the beginning of the semester, the College automatically pays it.  
If the government payment creates an account balance, these charges will appear on the student's bill from the Accounting Office.

When aid is returned, the student will owe the College. The student will be billed accordingly and should contact Accounts Receivable to make arrangements to pay the balance due.

Please note:  A student must repay these funds if the amount owed by the student is at least $25.  Failure to repay requires the College to report the student to the U. S. Department of Education, causing ineligibility of future Title IV funds at any educational institution.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy schedule

When a student receives Title IV funds and their enrollment is terminated before the end of the semester, the Title IV funds they received are subject to repayment.  If the student withdraws after 60% of the enrollment period, the student will have earned all their Title IV funds, and no repayment will be required.  

We calculate repayment based on the number of days of attendance versus the number of days in the term.


  • The student received a Pell Grant for $1,875 for full-time enrollment (12 credit hours). The student withdrew 38 calendar days into the 106-day term.
  • Therefore, the formula would be 38 ÷ 106% = 35.8. The student earned 35.8% of their Title IV aid.

Contact Skyhawk Station for help

Email: skyhawkstation@fortlewis.edu

Contact us

Skyhawk Station

Email: skyhawkstation@fortlewis.edu
Phone: 970-247-7301
Drop-in: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday


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