Throughout the year, students may find it necessary to withdraw from all courses during a semester. Depending upon when this action is taken, a student may be refunded all or part of their tuition and fee charges. If the student is a financial aid recipient, the Office of Financial Aid, as well as the student, may be required to return to the federal government all or a portion of the aid that had been disbursed to the student and/or the student's account.
With the exception of scholarships awarded by individual academic departments, all other institutionally awarded merit scholarships such as the Heald Scholarship and University Scholarships will be preserved for the duration of 12 months from the time of withdrawal/leave of absence from the university, unless otherwise noted in writing at the time of departure from the university.
After 12 months, a student's institutionally awarded merit scholarships will be reconsidered and evaluated by the Office of Financial Aid in accordance with current awarding policies at the time of reinstatement to the university. This re-evaluation will be communicated to the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, which will communicate any award changes to reinstated students.
Federal Refund Policy (Return of Title IV)
Illinois Institute of Technology has a withdrawal policy that stipulates the official procedure, applicable deadlines, and failure to attend courses. Policy information can be obtained through the Office of the Registrar.
A student who ceases to attendand or withdraws from courses and does not complete the official withdrawal process will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn. In such cases, the Office of Financial Aid will contact each of the student's professors to determine the last date of academically related activity. The most recent date provided will be considered the date of withdrawal.
The federal government mandates that students who withdraw from all courses may only keep the financial aid they have “earned” up to the time of withdrawal. Title IV funds that were disbursed in excess of the earned amount must be returned by Illinois Tech and/or the student to the federal government. This situation could result in the student owing aid funds to Illinois Tech, the government, or both.
In general, the law assumes that the student must “earn” federal financial aid awards directly in proportion to the number of days of the semester the student attended. In other words, a student earns financial assistance as they attend courses. If a student completely withdraws from all courses during a semester, Illinois Tech must calculate the portion of the total scheduled financial assistance earned. If the student received (or the university received on behalf of the student) more assistance than earned, the unearned excess funds must be returned to the federal programs.
Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reduce the outstanding balances in individual federal programs. Financial aid returned must be returned in the following order:
- Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal PLUS Loan (graduate student borrower)
- Federal PLUS Loan (parent borrower)
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal SEOG Grant
To determine the amount of aid the student has earned up to the time of withdrawal, the Office of Financial Aid will divide the number of calendar days the student attended courses by the total number of calendar days in the semester, less any scheduled breaks of five days or more. The resulting percentage is then multiplied by the total federal funds that were disbursed—either to the student's account or to the student directly by check for the semester. This calculation determines the amount of aid earned by the student that they can keep. However, Illinois Tech and/or the student must return the unearned amount—or the total aid disbursed less the earned amount—to the federal government. The Office of Financial Aid will provide instructions to students who are required to return funds to the government. Any necessary return of funds must be made within 45 days after Illinois Tech determines the student withdrew.
In some cases, a student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of federal aid. This includes the scenario in which the aid could have disbursed—i.e., all conditions and requirements met prior—but had not yet paid to the student's account. This also includes the scenario in which a student selected for verification turns in all required documentation after the ceasing enrollment but prior to the federal deadline for the given academic year. Post-withdrawal disbursements must be offered within 30 days from the date that Illinois Tech determines a student withdrew based on applicable aid eligibility.