Financial Aid & Scholarship Office

Withdrawal, Refund, and Repayment

Federal financial aid is governed by Chapter IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and administered by the U.S. Department of Education. This federal law, also known as Title IV, holds Chico State accountable for the funds it disburses. According to regulations, the University must have a written policy regarding Title IV recipients who withdraw or otherwise fail to complete the term for which their financial aid was disbursed. This policy addresses the establishment of a withdrawal date, post-withdrawal disbursements, and the calculation of the amount of funds to be returned to the federal government by Chico State and by you, the student.

The following provides a full explanation of the terms and policies regarding withdrawal, refunds, and repayment.

Date of Withdrawal

The date of withdrawal is determined by the date the student began the official withdrawal process by notifying Student Records and Registration of their intent to withdraw, or the verifiable date the student attempted to drop all classes, or was administratively withdrawn by the University. The official withdrawal process begins at the Student Records and Registration Office, SSC 110, which details official withdrawal procedures on their website. The official withdrawal policy is fully stated under Academic Policies and Regulations(opens in new window).

Unofficial Withdrawal

A student who ceases to attend without officially withdrawing is considered an “unofficial withdrawal.” In the absence of an official withdrawal date, the midpoint of the semester will be used to calculate “earned” and “unearned” Title IV aid. Financial aid recipients who are “unofficial withdrawals” may reduce or eliminate the amount owed to the University if they can provide documentation of a later withdrawal date.

According to the University’s grading policy, the “WU” grade symbol represents “withdrawal unauthorized,” and indicates that an enrolled student did not officially withdraw from the course and also failed to complete course requirements. The “WU” grade is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities, or both, are insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. It is also used to identify students who did not officially withdraw from the course, but ceased attending class and doing class work prior to the deadline date for official withdrawals, which is the end of the 12th week. For the purpose of GPA computation, this symbol is equivalent to an “F.” In cases of documented emergency withdrawal, this unofficial withdrawal procedure may be waived. 

Institutional Refund Policy

The state refund policy maintains that students officially must drop all classes before the first day of classes for the term, to receive full financial credit of their registration fees and tuition (if applicable) and a full refund (less an administrative fee). A student who drops all classes on or after the first day of the term up to the 60 percent point of the semester will receive a pro-rata financial credit of registration fees and tuition (if applicable). If classes are dropped or a student withdraws after the 60 percent point of the semester, there will be no financial credit of fees. Students who are unable to continue a class due to compulsory military service are granted exception to this policy. Financial Aid students who withdraw prior to the first day of classes are not eligible for any financial aid and will be required to repay any aid received.

Calculation of Earned and Unearned Title IV Aid

Both Title IV aid recipients who complete the official withdrawal process or have decided to unofficially withdraw from Chico State, will be subject to a pro-rata calculation of “earned” federal aid based on the withdrawal date and the requisite return of Title IV funds to the appropriate accounts. Responsibility for repayment of these funds will be shared by Chico State and the student according to the federal formula for pro-rata refunds of “unearned” Title IV aid.

The portion of “unearned” Title IV funds that the student and Chico State must repay is calculated by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office. The percentage of “earned” Title IV funds, excluding federal Work-Study, is based on the number of calendar days you completed before withdrawing, divided by the number of calendar days in the semester. Official breaks in enrollment of five consecutive calendar days or more are excluded from the number of calendar days in the semester. No repayment of Title IV funds will be required for withdrawals occurring after the 60 percent point of the semester. After this point, Title IV aid is considered 100 percent “earned.”

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements

Determination of eligible post-withdrawal disbursement will be made by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.

Treatment of Unearned Title IV Aid

Unearned Title IV funds will be returned to their source in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Grad Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  5. Parent Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  6. Federal Pell Grant
  7. Federal SEOG Grant
  8. Other Title IV programs, as applicable

Federal Work-Study funds paid to recipients will not be included in the computation of earned Title IV aid, nor will these funds be refunded to the federal account from which they were paid.

Unearned Title IV grant and loan funds due from Chico State will be repaid to the federal accounts for the specified semester. Unearned portions of Title IV grant aid due from you will also be repaid to the federal accounts by Chico State. According to this policy, all repayments made by Chico State will be charged to your student account for collection from you.

Treatment of Non-Title IV Aid

Recipients of non-Title IV financial aid who withdraw from all their classes prior to the completion of 60 percent of the term will have a prorated portion of the total amount of aid received from those sources applied back to the accounts from which they were awarded. The prorated portion of aid to be credited back will be determined according to the same policy used within the institutional refund policy. Refunds to the accounts will be made in the following order:

  1. Cal Grants
  2. State University Grant (SUG)
  3. Educational Opportunity Program Grant (EOPG)
  4. Institutional Scholarships including Grants-in-Aid

Aid received from private sources external to the University will not be subject to this policy. Also see Student Financial Services for additional information on refunds.