Changes to your enrollment status, including adding or reducing (dropping) competency sets, 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.
Adding Competency Sets
Your choice of subscription option (All-You-Can-Learn or a Single Competency Set) will be considered permanent for the subscription period on the census date, which is the 10th day of the subscription period. Students enrolled in the Single Competency Set level will not be able to add competency sets after the census date. Students enrolled in the All-You-Can-Learn subscription level will need to contact their Academic Success Coach (ASC) to add or drop competency sets throughout the subscription period.
Students who move from a Single Competency Set level to the All-You-Can-Learn Subscription level within the first 10 days of a subscription period will have an increase in tuition, and financial aid may also be impacted. Students are encouraged to contact the UW Flexible Option Financial Aid Office for more information.
Reducing (or Dropping) Competency Sets
Single Competency Set
If you are only enrolled in one competency set and drop or withdraw from the competency set for any reason, you will be considered as having withdrawn from the program and your financial aid eligibility may need to be recalculated.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 Competency set level at any time during the first 10 days of your subscription period, and tuition will be adjusted accordingly. After the tenth day of the subscription period, students enrolled in the AYCL subscription level who are administratively withdrawn, or reduce their load of their own accord, from one or more competency sets resulting in their remaining in only one competency set, will not receive a tuition refund. Such students will remain AYCL students and may add additional competency sets throughout their subscription period. If your competency set load is reduced, even if you remain an AYCL student, your financial aid disbursement schedule may be impacted.
Note: A student may not re-register for the same competency set(s) from which he or she was administratively withdrawn until the next subscription period.
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, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS), and Perkins Loans. 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.
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
Federal regulations require that financial aid eligibility be recalculated when students withdraw for any reason from a program and/or competency set. Recalculated eligibility may result in students having reduced financial aid eligibility and will require financial aid funds being returned to the funding source.
Click here to learn about withdrawal fees.
You may officially withdraw from a competency set by notifying your Academic Success Coach. We strongly advise that, prior to taking an enrollment action, you discuss the impacts of withdrawal with your Academic Success Coach. Your federal financial aid eligibility may be impacted and you may be required to return unearned funds.
If you stop participating in all competency sets, do not officially withdraw, and/or fail to earn a passing grade in at least one competency set 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 re-subscribe from one subscription period to the next.
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. Click here to learn how financial aid is earned.
For information on Administrative Withdrawals, click here. If you are administratively withdrawn, your financial aid eligibility may be impacted and you may be required to return unearned funds. Click here to learn how financial aid is earned.
Breaks, Deferments, & Return of Title IV Funds
If you choose to take a break or defer your subscription period, please contact your Academic 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 Academic 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 hour equivalencies. At the time you withdraw, you have successfully earned 3 credit hour equivalencies during one subscription period. At this current pace of 3 credit hour equivalencies earned every subscription period, you are projected to complete your twelfth credit hour equivalency 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.
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.