General Information

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) may be required to reassess your financial aid and you may be required to immediately repay a portion of your aid if you withdraw from the University.  OSFA has up to 45 days to return any unearned Title IV funds.  You will be notified of the results within that timeframe. Please review the University of Iowa Office of the Registrar Dates by Session page for more information on withdrawal deadlines.

For current financial aid recipients, a tuition percentage will be determined based on the return of Title IV funds regulations (see Federal Return of Financial Aid Funds Process). If a tuition or housing credit is added to your bill, the Billing Office will not issue a refund until OSFA has determined the results of your financial aid.

OSFA determines the return of Title IV funds percentage and informs the Office of the Registrar. Institutions are required to determine the percentage of Title IV financial aid “earned” by the student and to return the unearned portion to the appropriate aid program. This calculation process can be viewed in the Federal Return of Financial Aid Funds Process.

This same percentage is also used to calculate the return of unearned state or institutional financial aid dollars. However, if the Office of the Registrar receives documentation and reduces the percentage charged for tuition, the Title IV percentage used to calculate the return of unearned Title IV aid must remain at the higher rate. The percentage used to calculate the return of state or institutional financial aid dollars will be adjusted to correspond with the reduced percentage charged for tuition.

If the contracted charges (i.e. tuition, fees, and/or housing and meals) are adjusted downward by the Registrar or Housing Office after the withdrawal was finalized, any credit balance will go towards the student's University bill or be refunded directly to the student.

If you drop all of your courses in a semester, even if some of them haven’t started yet, we will review your financial aid to determine if you will have to return any of the funds. If we determine, based on federal guidelines (https://registrar.uiowa.edu/drop-or-withdraw-tuition-responsibility) that you did not earn any or all of the aid disbursed, we will bill your Ubill.  You will be notified by email or by mail in regards to these changes. 

For examples regarding the application of the Return of Title IV Funds policy, the student should call 319-335-1450 or come to 2400 University Capitol Centre.

A loan repayment grace period for Federal Unsubsidized and Subsidized Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, and HEAL Loans will begin on the day of the student's withdrawal from the University. Students should contact their lender if they have questions regarding their grace period or repayment status.

Official Withdrawal Within the Session

A student is considered to have officially withdrawn when the student began the official withdrawal process or officially notified the school of their intent to withdraw.  The withdrawal date used for an official withdrawal is the date in which the student starts, not finishes, the withdrawal process.  This date is also used to determine the percentage used in the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.  The Office of Student Financial Aid is required to notify a student of their Exit Counseling Requirement within 30 days of the school determining the student officially withdrew.  In addition, UI has a policy that requires a Courtesy Letter to be sent when a withdrawal is completed.  

Once the school is notified that the student withdrew, the Return of Title IV calculation is completed to determine the amount of Title IV aid the student earned.  If the amount of earned aid is less than the disbursed amount, the student would be required to return Title IV aid.  OSFA has 45 days to return any unearned Title IV funds to the Department of Education.  If the amount of earned aid is more than the disbursed amount, as of the date the student withdrew, a Post-Withdrawal Offer will be made.  OSFA is required to automatically disburse any earned grant funds in a Post-Withdrawal Offer within 30 days after the school determined the student withdrew.  Federal Loans require that a student respond to a Post-Withdrawal Offer within 15 days in order to qualify for the post-withdrawal disbursement of loans.  The 15 days is the maximum timeframe and cannot be extended.  The school has 180 days to disburse loans from the student's official withdrawal date. 

Some students may be selected for verification by the Department of Education.  Verification documents need to be submitted and reviewed before any Title IV aid can disburse.  If a student selected for verification withdraws before their aid disburses, it would be treated similar to a Post-Withdrawal Offer.  An initial calculation is done using the student's official withdrawal date and any non-need-based aid awarded at the time the student withdrew.  A Post-Withdrawal offer would be made only using non-need-based types of Title IV aid.  The student will have 120 days from the date the student withdrew or 120 days from the end of the semester, whichever is sooner, to submit verification documents in order to be considered for any need-based aid.  Once the documents are reviewed, another Post-Withdrawal Offer will be sent including any need-based federal loans as long as the verification documents are submitted within the given timeframe.  Federal grants would be disbursed automatically within 30 days of determination. The Pell Grant must be disbursed within 120 days from the official withdrawal date.  Federal loans must be disbursed within 180 days from the official withdrawal date. 

Unofficial Withdrawal

An unofficial withdrawal happens when a  student does not receive any passing grades in their courses for the semester.  At the end of each semester, an assessment must be made for all federal financial aid recipients who receive no passing grades (any combination of F, U, N, or W) to determine if the non-passing grade was earned while attending or due to no longer attending class. Instructors will indicate the last date of attendance or academic activity when submitting grades.  The last date of attendance is used to determine the percentage used in the Return of Title IV Funds calculation. If the student attended at least 60%of the semester, not return of funds may be necessary.

The calculation will determine the amount of Title IV aid the student earned in the term. If the amount of earned aid is less than the disbursed amount, the student would be required to return Title IV aid.  OSFA has 45 days to return any unearned Title IV funds. If the amount of earned aid is more than the disbursed amount, as of the date the student withdrew, a Post-Withdrawal Offer will be made.  UI is required to automatically disburse any earned grant funds in a Post-Withdrawal Offer within 30 days after the school determined the semester ends.  Federal Loans require a student respond to a Post-Withdrawal Offer within 15 days in order to qualify for the post-withdrawal disbursement of loans. The school has 180 days to disburse loans from the date the school determines the student withdrew.

Students who stopped attending may be required to repay a portion of their Title IV aid for that semester based on their last date of attendance. Aid may be adjusted if it is determined that a student never began attendance in some or all of their classes.  This assessment must be completed within 30 days of the end of the semester.  Just like an official withdrawal, OSFA has 30 days after the semester ends to notify the student of their Exit Counseling requirement.

Some students may be selected for verification by the Department of Education.  Verification documents need to be submitted and reviewed before any Title IV aid can disburse.  If a student has not submitted their verification documents before the end of the term, it would be treated similar to a Post-Withdrawal Offer.  An initial calculation is done using the student's official withdrawal date and any non-need-based aid awarded at the time the student withdrew.  A Post-Withdrawal offer would be made only using non-need-based types of Title IV aid.  The student will have X (to be determined by OSFA) amount of days to submit verification documents in order to be considered for any need-based aid.  Once the documents are reviewed, another Post-Withdrawal Offer will be sent including any need-based federal loans as long as the verification documents are submitted within the given timeframe.  Federal grants would be disbursed automatically. The Pell Grant must be disbursed within 120 days from the last date of attendance, not to extend beyond the deadline date established by a Federal Register notice.  Federal loans must be disbursed within 180 days from the last days date of attendance, not to extend beyond the deadline date established by a Federal Register notice).

Regulations require that we notify students of their Exit Counseling requirement any time a student borrowed federal loans at UI. This must be sent to the student within 30 days after the school is notified of the withdrawal.  UI has a policy that requires a Courtesy Letter to be sent when a withdrawal is completed.  This Courtesy Letter contains Exit Counseling information, outstanding loan balances, estimated monthly payments, and loan servicer information based on the most recent National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) data.