Changes to your enrollment status, including adding or reducing (dropping) courses, withdrawing, or taking a break, may impact your federal financial aid and, ultimately, the amount and timing of your disbursements. Please contact a Financial Aid Coordinator prior to changing your enrollment status if you are concerned with how your federal financial aid may be impacted. You should also note that enrollment changes may impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress status.
Your choice of subscription option (All-You-Can-Learn or a Single Course) will be considered permanent for the subscription period on the census date, which is the 8th day of the subscription period. Students enrolled in the Single Course Option will not be able to add courses after the census date. Swapping a course is also not allowed after the census date. Students enrolled in the All-You-Can-Learn subscription level will need to contact their Success Coach to add or drop courses throughout the subscription period. Changes to your subscription level may impact your financial aid. You should contact the UW Flexible Option Financial Aid Office for more information.
Reducing (or Dropping) Courses
Single Course Option
If you are only enrolled in one course and drop or withdraw from it for any reason, you will be considered as having withdrawn from the program and your financial aid eligibility may need to be recalculated. The result may be that a balance is owed to the institution; you will be responsible for any balance due. For more information, please see Return of Federal Financial Aid (TITLE IV) Funds Rules and Requirements section for more information.
You may adjust your workload from the All-You-Can-Learn (AYCL) subscription level to the Single Course Option level at any time during the first 8 days of your subscription period, and tuition will be adjusted accordingly. If your course load is reduced, even if you remain an AYCL student, your financial aid disbursement schedule may be impacted.
Return of Title IV Funds
Federal financial aid (known as Title IV funds) are administered by the U.S. Department of Education. They include the Federal Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants (IASG), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS). These funds are awarded under the assumption that you will be continuously enrolled and participating for the entire period for which funds are awarded. Students who do not participate for the entire period for which the funds are awarded may be required to return funds to the funding source in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Direct Loans (other than Direct PLUS Loans)
- Subsidized Direct Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans (parent or graduate)
- Federal Pell Grants
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- TEACH Grants
Federal requirements for returning federal financial aid funds differ from the Tuition Refund Policy. You will be responsible for any unpaid institutional charges and any remaining balances after required federal financial funds are returned to the U.S. Department of Education.
Withdrawal & Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)
Federal regulations require that financial aid eligibility be recalculated when students withdraw for any reason from a program and/or course. Recalculated eligibility may result in students having reduced financial aid eligibility and will require financial aid funds being returned to the funding source. Funds must be returned to the funding source no later than 45 days after the institution determines a student has withdrawn.
If the withdrawal calculation (R2T4) results in a return amount that exceeds the school’s portion, the student will be required to repay some funds. Outstanding loans are repaid by the student according to the terms of the student’s promissory note(s). Title IV grant funds are repaid if the amount by which the original overpayment exceeds 50% of the total Title IV grant funds disbursed or could have been disbursed to the student for the payment period. If the amount is less than $50.00 the student is not responsible for returning funds to Title IV grant programs.
Learn about withdrawal fees.
You may officially withdraw from a course by notifying your Success Coach. We strongly advise that, prior to taking an enrollment action, you discuss the impacts of withdrawal with the UW Flexible Option Financial Aid Office. Your federal financial aid eligibility may be impacted and you may be required to return unearned funds.
If you stop participating in all courses, do not officially withdraw, and/or fail to earn a passing grade in at least one course in a given subscription period, you may be considered an unofficial withdrawal. You may also be considered to have unofficially withdrawn if you do not immediately enroll in the next subscription period.
At the end of each subscription period, the UW Flexible Option Financial Aid Office will identify students who have unofficially withdrawn. You may be identified as having unofficially withdrawn during a subscription period in progress if there is no evidence of educational activity and if UW Flexible Option staff is unable confirm your continued participation. If you are considered to have withdrawn, your financial aid eligibility may be impacted and you may be required to return unearned funds.
Breaks, Deferments, & Return of Title IV Funds
If you choose to take a break or defer your subscription period, please contact your Success Coach to discuss how long you will defer and potential impacts to federal financial aid based on your decision.
If you take a break of one month or less, please work with your Success Coach to ensure that your break and intended return date are documented to avoid being considered as withdrawn.
If you plan to take more than a one month break between subscription periods, you may be considered withdrawn and may have your financial aid eligibility recalculated, including returning unearned funds. Upon your return, your financial aid will be re-evaluated based on the return date and remaining program completion requirements.
Earning Federal Student Aid
If you withdraw, are withdrawn, or take a break during your payment period, the amount of federal financial aid eligibility (funds) that you have earned up to the point of withdrawal is determined by a specific formula. If you received less funding than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive additional funds. Conversely, if you received more funding than you earned, the excess funds must be returned to the funding source.
Federal financial aid funding is determined on a pro rata basis, up to 60% of payment period completion. For example, if you complete 30% of your payment period, you earn 30% of the funds you were scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period, you earn all the funds that you were scheduled to receive for that period.
Since UW Flexible Option programs are self-paced, non-term programs, payment period completion calculations for funding earned is based on your rate of progress as demonstrated in the payment period at the time you withdraw or cease attending.
To complete a financial aid payment period, you must successfully complete 12 credit hours. At the time you withdraw, you have successfully earned 3 credit hours during one subscription period. At this current pace of 3 credit hours earned every subscription period, you are projected to complete your twelfth credit hour in the fourth subscription period. The number of days you completed in the first subscription period is divided by the number of days in all four subscription periods to determine the percentage completed in the payment period.
90 days completed (1 subscription period) ÷ 365 days in the payment period (4 subscription periods) = 24.7%
In this instance, you would have earned 24.7% of the federal financial aid eligible.
Return of Federal Student Aid
The UW Flexible Option Financial Aid Office will calculate a student’s financial aid eligibility following federal guidelines. If it is determined that the student has unearned aid that was disbursed, the school will return the unearned amount to the funding source. The student will owe these unearned funds to the school. Students should check their campus accounts to determine the required repayment amount. Impacted students will also be notified via email.
Post Withdrawal Disbursements
If you did not receive all of the financial aid funds that you earned, you may be due a post withdrawal disbursement. You will be notified by the UW Flexible Option Financial Aid Office if you qualify for a post withdrawal disbursement. If a post withdrawal disbursement creates a credit balance, the credit balance will be disbursed as soon as possible and no later than 14 days after the withdrawal calculation (R2T4).
All or a portion of grant funds in a post withdrawal disbursement may automatically be applied to outstanding tuition and book charges. Any remaining grant funds will be sent to you as a refund. A refund will be sent within 45 days of the date that UW Flexible Option Financial Aid Office determined that you withdrew.
A post withdrawal disbursement of loan funds may be paid if you are eligible to receive the funds. You (or your parent for PLUS loans) will be notified within 30 days of the date of determination of withdrawal of the opportunity to accept all or a portion of the post withdrawal loan. You have 14 days from the date of notification to accept the loan. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. The loan will be cancelled if no response is received by the 14 day deadline. Accepted loan funds will be applied towards any outstanding tuition and book charges on your account. Any remaining funds will be paid directly to you (or your parent for PLUS loans).
In some cases, certain federal financial aid funds that were previously awarded cannot be disbursed to you once you withdraw because of other eligibility requirements.