Federal Financial Aid Student Withdrawals and Leave of Absence


Cambridge College has developed a policy on withdrawals and leave of absence to comply with the Federal Department of Education’s return of federal Title IV funds regulations. Cambridge College is required to determine the earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid as of the date a student ceases attendance based on the amount of time the student spent in attendance up through the 60% point in each term.

Students who need to withdraw or take a leave of absence from Cambridge College may do so for academic, disciplinary, personal, or medical reasons. If the student is receiving federal financial aid and withdraws or takes a leave of absence from the College, they may be subject to the federal financial aid return policies. Students must notify the Financial Aid Office about any change in the planned period of enrollment, whether due to withdrawal from a class, a leave of absence, a change in academic division, or withdrawal from the College.

Non-attendance does not constitute official withdrawal. If a student who began attendance and did not officially withdraw fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course over an entire term, the College must assume that the student has unofficially withdrawn. For this purpose, non-passing grades are defined as No Credit/Incomplete (NCI), No Credit (NC), Withdrawal (WD), Administrative Withdrawal (AW), No Show (NS). Unofficial withdrawals will be determined within 90 days of the end of the term. Federal financial aid recipients will have their awards reviewed and recalculated, resulting in a reduction in federal financial aid awarded.

Federal Return to Title IV Aid Overview

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a term. The student's eligibility for the funds received from federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula.

  • Percentage of earned aid = number of days of the term completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the term. For unofficial withdrawals, the withdrawal date used for aid recalculation is the midpoint of the term. Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:

  • Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned
    aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the term.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the College is required to return a portion of the funds that have been received by the student. Keep in mind that when federal Title IV funds are returned, the student may owe a balance to the College. If a student earned more aid than was disbursed, the College would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student's withdrawal.

Individual Responsible for Revision and Implementation: Vice President for Finance and Administration and Director for Financial Aid

Date of Original Implementation: December 2010

Date of Last Revision: February 2011