How Withdrawing from School Affects Your Financial Aid
Your federal student aid award is based on the percentage of time you are enrolled for the semester. Depending on when you withdraw, student aid will be adjusted according to the Federal Return of Title IV formula, state grant refund calculation and institutional policy. Tuition may be adjusted and you will most likely owe money to the University if you withdraw. For more information, access:
For student financial aid purposes, 12 or more credits is considered full-time enrollment for undergraduate students; 9 or more credits is considered full-time for graduate students.
If you stop attending all of your classes without officially withdrawing (a.k.a. an unofficial withdrawal), you are considered to be "walking-away." Federal aid you received during the semester will be subject to the federal return calculation based on the effective date of withdrawal. The withdrawal date is your last documented date of attendance, as determined by the instructor.
Some aid programs may be available to you after you withdraw. In some cases, a portion of your Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Perkins Loan, and/or Federal Direct Stafford Loan may be available.
You may receive a letter from us requesting that you submit documents to our office to verify the information on your FAFSA. You will also be notified upon withdrawal if you are eligible for "post-withdrawal disbursement" of any aid funds. You may be required to confirm that you want to accept the disbursement.
Contact upon withdrawal
When you withdraw, the grace period prior to repayment will begin (nine-months for Perkins and University Loans, six-months for Federal Stafford Loans). If you re-enroll before your grace period ends, you will have a new grace period when you leave school. Otherwise, when you re-enroll you will need to request an in-school deferment.
- Federal Perkins or University Loan recipients: notify Student Financial Services. Also notify any other schools from which you borrowed, if applicable. If you decide to re-enroll, you will need to contact Student Financial Services (and/or other schools) again to move your loans back to an in-school deferment status.
- Federal Direct Stafford Loan recipients: notify your federal loan servicer. You can obtain the contact information for your federal loan servicer on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
- Federal Stafford Loan recipients under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program: notify the lender(s) of your FFEL loan(s). You can obtain the contact information for your FFEL lenders on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
Complete the Loan Exit Interview when you withdraw from school
Students who withdraw from Penn State, even for just one semester, will be required to complete the "Loan Exit Interview" on eLion to comply with University policy and federal regulations. Students who do not complete the Loan Exit Interview may have registration and transcript holds placed on their academic records.
Future student aid eligibility may be in jeopardy if you withdraw from school
If you withdraw from the University, your student aid for the future semester will be canceled. If you process a re-enrollment request for an upcoming semester, please contact the Office of Student Aid to request consideration for reinstatement of your aid.
Your student aid for the future academic year may be in jeopardy if you fall below the minimum credit expectation for satisfactory academic progress, which affects your eligibility for most student aid programs. Academic progress is calculated using the number of credits you attempt and earn each semester. These credit requirements are completely separate from those determined by your academic college or department.