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Complete Withdrawal (Return of Funds) Policy

It is important to be aware of this policy if you are receiving any federal financial aid.

Read the following information and the Satisfactory Academic Progress web page carefully before you decide to withdraw from all of your classes. Throughout this policy the term “payment period” typically refers to a semester or summer term in which you received financial aid.

Please return any excess loan funds that you do not need to Boise State. Do not return excess funds to your lender.

  • This will save you money on loan origination fees.
  • Most importantly, if Boise State is required to send funds on your behalf back to the Department of Education or your private lender, it may cause issues for you. If you no longer have the funds because you returned them to your lender instead of Boise State, you will have a balance due to the university.

Return of Title IV Fund

The Boise State Financial Aid Office is required to perform a Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) calculation for all students who had received federal financial aid and withdrew from a payment period after having begun attendance in classes or who stopped attending classes without officially withdrawing.

Official vs. Unofficial Withdrawals

  • An official withdrawal occurs when the student drops and/or withdraws from all courses.
  • An unofficial withdrawal occurs when the student remains enrolled in at least one course but does not complete any credits. OR for students enrolled in sessions shorter than the 15-week semester: some, but not all credits are completed, and the completed credits were not for a course, or combination of courses, that spanned the full 15-week semester.

The withdrawal date, the length of the payment period, and the types and amounts of federal financial aid received are used in the R2T4 calculation to determine whether or not you retain eligibility for a portion of the aid that was advanced to you for the payment period. Any aid you received above the amount you are eligible to retain based on the R2T4 calculation is considered to be “unearned” and must be returned to the federal government. In order to determine these amounts, you must have withdrawn; no calculation will be performed prior to withdrawal.

Note: The last day you may completely withdraw from Boise State for the fall or spring semester with a ‘W’ is prior to the withdrawal deadline (the 10th week of classes for regular sessions). After that date, you must file a complete withdrawal appeal with the Registrar’s Office. See the academic calendar deadlines by session for dates if you are withdrawing from classes offered for all sessions including shorter sessions.

Earned vs Unearned Aid

The amount of federal aid that is “unearned” is calculated by using a federal formula that includes such factors as the amount and type(s) of aid received, the last date of attendance, and the student’s Boise State account charges prior to withdrawal. 

  • Students attending at least 60% of the semester length are considered to have “earned” 100% of their federal aid. 
  • Students attending less than 60% of the semester length must return the “unearned” portion of the federal aid received. (Unearned aid = 100% – percentage of earned aid).
  • Students attending module-only courses earn 100% of their aid if they successfully complete a module that is at least 49% of the length of the 15-week semester OR if they earn passing grades in a number of credits that equates to at least half-time enrollment status. 

The percentage of the payment period completed is calculated as a fraction:  number of days completed / total number of days in the payment period.  

What Happens to Unearned Aid?

Unearned federal financial aid funds will be removed from the student’s account and returned to the Federal aid programs in the following order:

  • 1st: Unsubsidized loans
  • 2nd: Subsidized loans
  • 3rd: PLUS/Grad PLUS loans 
  • 4th: Pell Grant
  • 5th: Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)
  • 6th: Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

If the federal return of funds calculation shows that the student owes a direct repayment of a federal grant to the U.S. Department of Education, a charge is added to the student’s account for the amount owed. Any amount unpaid after 45 days, the charge is removed from the student account and the debt is transferred to the U.S. Department of Education for payment/collection activities and the student will be ineligible to receive further federal aid until the debt is paid in full. 

If the return of funds calculation shows that the student owes a repayment of a federal loan, it will be repaid in accordance with the terms of the loan.

Last Date of Attendance

The student’s last date of attendance is one of the factors used in determining the amount of federal aid that is “unearned”.  Last date of attendance is determined differently for official and unofficial withdrawals. 

Official Withdrawal: The “last date of attendance” is the date the student actively withdraws from all courses in the Student Center online portal.  

Unofficial withdrawal: When faculty report an F-grade they have the ability to also indicate if the student never attended, the last date of attendance, or that the student attended the full semester and the F-grade was earned. If no last date of attendance is reported by faculty, the aid office will contact faculty for this information.  If no response is received, the student is assumed to have never attended the course.  


The return calculation process, including student notification, will be completed within 30 calendar days from the date of withdrawal (for official withdrawals), and within 30 calendar days from the day grades are official(for unofficial withdrawals). 

If a return of funds is required by Boise State, it will be completed within 45 calendar days of the date of withdrawal.

If a return of funds is required by the student, Boise State will notify the student within 30 calendar days of the withdrawal.

If the student is eligible for additional funds not previously disbursed (post-withdrawal disbursement), grant funds will be disbursed within 45 calendar days of the date of withdrawal.  If the student is eligible for loan funds, the school will notify the student within 30 calendar days of the date of withdrawal and they will be given 14 calendar days to respond. Any post-withdrawal funds will be first applied to any outstanding account balance due before releasing any remaining credit balance.   

The Date of Withdrawal Affects Amounts To Be Returned

If you withdraw before the first day of classes

  1. You are ineligible for any federal aid.
  2. Boise State cancels all fees for that term.
  3. Financial aid loan and grant funds disbursed to your account and were applied to fees and any refunds sent you prior to the first day of the term will be canceled and returned to the federal government by Boise State, creating a balance on your account. Any federal financial aid refunded to you must be repaid to Boise State University.

If you withdraw on or after your first day of classes for the term

  1. The complete withdraw falls under the federal requirements for recipients of federal financial aid for students who withdraw from or leave school before completing the term.
  2. The Boise State Financial Aid Office is required to determine if you began attendance in each class for which you received federal financial aid. If the documented date you ceased attending is earlier than the date you withdrew, we may use the earlier date if it more accurately reflects the last date you attended an academically related activity.
  3. A Return to Title IV (R2T4) financial aid calculation will be completed based on your withdraw date, the length of the term, and the types and amounts of federal financial aid received. This calculation determines the percentage of federal financial aid you are allowed to keep and the amount that is to be returned to the federal government.
  4. You are responsible for repaying Boise State the amount of aid returned to the federal government.
  5. In some instances, you may be required to return some grant funds to the federal government that was “overpaid”. In these situations, you will be mailed a letter and contract with instructions on how to return the funds. Boise State will initially serve as your liaison to the federal government. If you fail to sign the contract by the specified deadline or fail to repay the grant funds in accordance with the contract, the “overpayment” will be referred to the federal government for collection. When this occurs, you are ineligible for future federal aid until the “overpayment” is resolved with the federal government.

Regulations Regarding Modules

A module is any class that does not span the full length of the semester or term. For example:

  • You are considered enrolled in modules if you enroll in courses that span the entire payment period and have also enrolled in courses that are shorter than the entire length of the payment period.
  • You are considered to have enrolled in modules if you enroll in the summer term with two summer sessions that are offered sequentially, are both five weeks long, and you have the option to enroll in either session or both sessions.
  • Workshops, and any other courses that don’t span the entire length of the payment period are also considered modules.

For all programs or classes offered in modules, you will be considered to have withdrawn if you did not complete all of the days in which you were scheduled for the payment period.

For modules, you will still be considered enrolled for the term if, at the time you drop a module class, you provide Boise State written confirmation stating you plan on attending a course later in the same period.

When you attempt to drop a class that does not span the entire payment period, a pop-up box will appear on your Student Center asking if you plan to return for a class that starts later in the payment period;

  • If you answer No, the drop will be reviewed to determine if a Return of Title IV calculation should be performed.
  • If you answer Yes, you provided written confirmation of your intent to return, and a return of funds calculation will not be done at that time.
  • If you confirm your intent to return to a later module in the payment period and do not actually return, the R2T4 will be calculated using the actual date you stopped attending or the date the module was dropped.

Determining if You are in Modules

The following three questions may be used to determine whether you are in a program offered in modules is a withdrawal and if the Return of Title IV Funds requirements apply:

Question 1: After beginning attendance in the payment period or period of enrollment, did you cease to attend or fail to begin attendance in a course you were scheduled to attend?

  • If the answer is no, this is not a withdrawal.
  • If the answer is yes, go to question 2.

Question 2: When you ceased to attend or failed to begin attendance in a course you were scheduled to attend, were you still attending any other courses?

  • If the answer is yes, this is not a withdrawal; however other regulatory provisions concerning recalculation may apply.
  • If the answer is no, go to question 3.

Question 3: Did you confirm attendance in a module beginning later in the period (this must be no later than 45 calendar days after the end of the module you ceased attending)?

  • If the answer is yes, this is not a withdrawal, unless you do not return.
  • If the answer is no, this is a withdrawal and the Return of Title IV Funds requirements apply.

These rules may impact you if you enrolled in modules and withdraw from one or more modules in the term, even if you have already completed some credits. The calculation to determine the percentage completed is based on the calendar days scheduled to be completed prior to withdrawing regardless of any courses completed that are less than the length of the term. The percentage of completion will depend on the timing of when you drop the courses, which may determine whether this will be considered a withdrawal or require a recalculation of your awards.

For example, you enroll in three modules for a total of 12 credits.

  • If you complete module one for four credits but drop the other two modules prior to the census date of the term and do not return, then no return of funds calculation is required. Your Pell Grant funds will need to be adjusted to less than half-time; no Direct Loan funds could be received after dropping below half-time, and the cost of attendance (COA) will be recalculated to exclude periods of non-attendance. Your financial aid previously awarded may be reduced and you will need to return those funds.
  • If you withdraw at five weeks before completing the first module and will not return for a later module, then a return of funds calculation is required using the total days in all three modules for the calculation.