Federal Financial Aid is "earned" as a student progresses through a semester. If a student does not complete the semester, the university may be required to return aid to the federal government. When this happens, the student usually owes the school for the aid that was returned.

Withdrawal process

UM has a dedicated withdrawal website to help guide you through the process of withdrawing. Student Accounts also publishes the Withdrawal Policy.

Withdrawal FAQ's

If a student withdraws before completing 60% of the semester, they may have to repay unearned federal financial aid funds that were previously disbursed. The amount of aid earned is based on a proration of actual calendar days in the semester.

The Withdrawal Coordinators in Business Services can assist students with determining how much, if any, unearned aid they will have to repay. The resulting balance owed must be resolved before the student can resume attending UM.

Students who stop attending classes and earn a term GPA of 0.0 are considered to be unofficial withdrawals. Just like students who officially withdraw, if the school cannot document that the student attended through 60% of the semester, then they have not earned all of their aid. The unearned portion must be repaid before a student can resume attending UM.

Any combination of 'F', 'NF', 'W', 'WF', 'WP', 'I' or 'MG' grades will result in a term GPA of 0.0. If a student receives all 'NF' grades they will have to repay all of their federal financial aid. However, if a student passes just one class they are not considered to be an unofficial withdrawal.

Students who receive a Federal Pell Grant are required to begin attendance in all their courses. Just because a student withdraws does not mean it can be assumed that they began attendance.

The student's instructors must confirm in writing that the student began attending or else the Federal Pell Grant funds may have to be returned. The onus is upon the student to secure the confirmation from the instructors. A form, the Verification of Attendance for Federal Pell Grant Reinstatement, is provided to the student to facilitate this process.

If a student is granted a Retroactive Withdrawal by the University the student is still considered an unofficial withdrawal for federal aid purposes. Therefore, it does not change the amount of unearned aid that the student has to repay.

The only way to change the amount owed to the school is to secure confirmation from an instructor of a later date of class participation. A form is provided to the student to facilitate this process.

Per the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy (SAP), students are required to earn at least 70% of the credits attempted cumulatively. Withdrawing from the university at any point after the term begins will result in W grades and will lower their percentage for the Pace calculation.

Appeals for Hardship Withdrawals and SAP appeals are separate processes with different burdens of proof. If a student is requesting a Hardship Withdrawal and is also on financial aid suspension, separate appeals will need to be submitted, each with its own supporting documentation attached.

Once a student's enrollment status falls below half-time (6 credits) they begin what is known as their "grace period". If they do not begin attending at some institution at least half-time before six months are up (9 months for Federal Perkins Loans), their loans will enter repayment. If they do begin attending half-time within the six months, they have not used up their grace period and will still have a full grace period before repayment begins the next time they drop below half-time.

Students who enter repayment and then return to school will not have a grace period for those loans. However, any new loans they take out will have an associated grace period.

Any student who anticipates entering repayment on their loans needs to complete Loan Exit Counseling to learn about their rights and responsibilities as a borrower.