Withdrawal/Leave of Absence

Students are awarded Title IV funding (federal aid) with the assumption they will attend the entire period for which aid was awarded, typically a semester or term.

Federal Aid Recipients

If a student wishes to withdraw or take a leave of absence from a term, he/she must contact the Office of Student Affairs to complete the appropriate forms. The date the student contacts Student Affairs is the official withdrawal date. This process also applies to students who drop all of their classes for the semester.

Federal regulations require that any student awarded Title IV assistance who takes a leave of absence or withdraws is subject to a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation. This calculation is based on the official withdrawal date as determined by Student Affairs and can result in an adjustment to Title IV funding. The calculation is based on the percentage of Title IV aid earned by determining the number of days the student completed as a percentage of the number of days the student was expected to complete. Students are considered to have earned 100% of their Title IV aid if they are in attendance through 60% of the term. Unearned title IV funds need to be returned to the appropriate federal programs which may result in the student owing a balance to the university. Title IV funds are returned in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
  • Federal PLUS Loan (Parent or Graduate)
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Federal SEOG

If a student is enrolled exclusively in courses that do not span the entire semester, that student is considered to be enrolled in modular courses. As of Fall 2020, students who are enrolled in modular courses are not considered to have withdrawn if they successfully complete one module that includes 49% or more of the number of days in the payment period; or a combination of modules that when combined contain 49% or more of the number of days in the payment period. Scheduled breaks of five or more consecutive days and all days between modules are excluded from the number of days in the payment period used to calculate whether the modules(s) completed by the student comprise 49% of the payment period.

Unofficial Withdrawals

At the end of the semester, The Office of Student Financial Services is notified of any student who did not complete any classes for which he/she was registered. Students who cease to attend and do not earn any credit for the term are considered unofficial withdrawals. Unofficial withdrawals are also subject to the R2T4 calculation.

Massachusetts State Grant Recipients

Under Massachusetts regulations, students who do not complete the term may be subject to return of state funds. Similar to the federal guidelines, students earn their state aid while in attendance.  To determine the amount a student is allowed to retain, the percentage of the term completed and the student balance with the University is considered. 

Institutional Aid Recipients

Institutional aid is disbursed to a student’s account after he/she incurs 100% tuition liability. This usually occurs after the add/drop period and the last day to drop a class without a ‘W’ grade. If a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence prior to this date, all institutional aid is returned. Once a student incurs 100% tuition liability, no adjustment is made to institutional aid.