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Graduate Financial Aid

Eligibility & Policies

Withdrawing from DU

This policy--known as the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) Policy--applies to anyone who receives financial aid, begins classes, and subsequently either withdraws from all classes or fails to receive passing grades during the term.

R2T4 Policy Overview

Title IV (Federal) funds are awarded to you under the assumption that you will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When you withdraw from all courses, for any reason including medical withdrawals, you may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds you were originally scheduled to receive.

If you withdraw from all courses prior to completing at least 60% of term, you may be required to repay a portion of the federal financial aid you received for that term. A pro rata schedule is used to determine the amount of federal student aid funds you will have earned at the time of withdrawal.

The return of funds is based upon the concept that students earn their financial aid in proportion to the amount of time in which they are enrolled. Under this reasoning, a student who withdraws in the second week of classes has earned less of his/her financial aid than a student who withdraws in the seventh week. Once 60% of the term is completed, you are considered to have earned all of your financial aid and will not be required to return any funds. If you withdraw during the 100% refund (add/drop) period for any term, all of your aid for that term will be cancelled and returned.

Determining the Withdrawal Date

For an official withdrawal, the effective withdrawal date is the first date of notification by the student to the Office of the Registrar or other designated official offices. For an unofficial withdrawal, it is the date the institution becomes aware that the student is no longer attending the institution.

For an unofficial withdrawal due to the student failing all classes, the effective withdrawal date is the midpoint of the term if there is no late date of attendance reported by instructors. The withdrawal date for students who are academically dismissed is the date of the notification of their dismissal. For suspended students, the withdrawal date is the due date for the suspension appeal if the appeal is denied.

We may use a last date of attendance for the effective withdrawal date if the last date a student attended class or submitted coursework is verified by an employee at DU who has knowledge of a student's class attendance, or if there is an emergency situation and there is third party documentation that verifies a student has not attended class. DU does not accept a student's self-reported last date of attendance. It is the responsibility of the student to provide documentation of a last date of attendance through the tuition appeal process or medical stop-out approval.

The following Registrar policies are pertinent to determining a student has attended and earned all Title IV aid beyond the 60% point of the term: Any student who withdraws after the 6th week of the term must have an instructor signature to withdraw. A student may not receive a grade of incomplete unless they have attended at least 60% of the term.

Regulations require schools to perform calculations within 30 days from the date the school determines a student's complete withdrawal. DU must return funds within 45 days of the calculation.

Please note: if you have work-study, the withdrawal date is also the last day you may work in your work-study position.

The Return of Title IV Funds

Step 1: Student's Title IV Information

Our office will determine:

  • The total amount of Title IV aid disbursed (if any) for the term you withdrew. (Your Title IV aid is counted as aid disbursed in the calculation if it has been applied to your account on or before the date you withdrew.)
  • The total amount of Title IV aid disbursed, plus the aid that could have disbursed (if any) for the term in which you withdrew.

Step 2: Percentage of Aid Earned

We will calculate the percentage of aid earned as follows:

The number of calendar days completed by the student divided by the total number of calendar days in the term (weekends included) in which the student withdrew.

Days Attended / Days in Enrollment Period = Percentage Completed

If the calculated percentage exceeds 60%, then you have "earned" all aid for the period. If you withdraw on or after the dates listed to the right, you will have earned more than 60% of your financial aid and we will not have to return any funds.

**Important note: The date you earn more than 60% of your aid does not coincide with the tuition refund schedule for dropped classes, and is only used to determine the amount of financial aid we must return (if any). Please refer to the Office of the Registrar for more information on tuition refunds.


Step 3: Amount of Aid Earned by Student

We will calculate the amount of aid earned as follows:

The percentage of Title IV aid earned (step 2) multiplied by the total amount of Title IV aid disbursed or that could have disbursed for the term in which the student withdrew (Step 1).

Total Aid Disbursed x Percentage Completed = Earned Aid


Step 4: Amount of Title IV Aid to be Disbursed or Returned

  • If the aid already disbursed equals the earned aid, no further action is required.
  • If the aid already disbursed is greater than the earned aid, the difference must be returned to the appropriate Title IV aid program. This means that a balance may be created on your DU tuition account, and you will then be billed and responsible for paying all charges. Total Disbursed Aid - Earned Aid = Unearned Aid to be Returned
  • If the aid already disbursed is less than the earned aid, we will calculate a post-withdrawal disbursement. If this post-withdrawal disbursement contains loan funds, you may elect to decline these funds so you do not incur additional debt. You will be notified of any additional disbursements via email to your DU account.

Please note: We may automatically use all or a portion of a post-withdrawal disbursement (including loan funds) for tuition, fees, or room and board charges. For all other charges on your account (health insurance, parking passes, etc.), you must authorize the school to use the financial aid disbursed to cover those charges by completing the Title IV Authorization during the online award acceptance process through webCentral. If you do not authorize the school to use these funds, they will be returned to you in the form of a refund and you will be responsible for the balance due. (Some types of Title IV aid may not be available to you once you have withdrawn because of other eligibility requirements.)

Order of Funds Returned

The order of return of funds is proscribed by the Department of Education regulations as follows:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loans
  4. Federal Graduate PLUS Loans
  5. Federal TEACH Grants

Loans must be repaid by the loan borrower as outlined in the terms of the borrower's promissory note.

Your grace period for loan repayments for Federal Unsubsidized and Subsidized Direct Loans and Federal Perkins Loans will begin on the day of the withdrawal from the University. You should contact the servicer if you have questions regarding the grace period or repayment status.

Viewing Information in webCentral

If you withdrew from DU, you can view your withdrawal date, percentage and amount of aid earned, and the details of any Title IV funds returned through webCentral.

To view your withdrawal information:

  1. Log into webCentral.
  2. Go to the Student tab.
  3. Click on the "Withdrawal Information" link in the Financial Aid Information box.
  4. Choose the term you withdrew from the drop-down menu and click "Submit."