What Happens When You Withdraw

If you are a student who receives federal financial aid and you withdraw or stop attending all of your classes in a semester, then the financial aid office must calculate the amount of aid you earned to determine if you overpaid or underpaid based on the amount of time you were enrolled and attending classes.

This process does not apply to you if you:

  • Drop all of your classes before the first day of class
  • Drop some but not all of your classes
  • Drop or withdraw from all classes after the 60% point of the term

How to Drop Classes

As a student, it is your responsibility to drop your classes. You can drop your classes in eServices or by visiting American River College's Admissions & Records Office. Review the academic calendar for the semester to see important drop deadlines.

Financial Aid Calculation

Federal law specifies how colleges must determine the amount of federal aid a student earned at the point they withdrew or stopped attending. Each amount of repayment is individually calculated and the amounts noted on this page are for instructional purposes only.

When a student who receives federal financial aid student withdraws from college or stops attending all of their classes, the financial aid office is notified of the student’s last date of attendance. The financial aid office uses this date to determine what percent of the semester the student attended. If the student withdrew at the 30% point in the semester, then the student would have earned 30% of their term eligibility. If the student’s term eligibility was $1,000, then the student would have earned $300 (30% of $1,000).

Overpayment

If, as a student, you received more aid than what you earned, then you are required to repay the Department of Education the amount received in excess of your eligibility. This amount is called a Title IV Overpayment.

The college will send you a bill via email. It must be repaid within 45 days from the date of notification or the college must report it to the Department of Education. If you do not pay the debt within 45 days, then you will become ineligible for any further aid until the debt is paid in full or satisfactory arrangements are made with the Department of Education.

To regain eligibility for financial aid, you must submit a Letter of Satisfactory Repayment Agreement to American River College's Financial Aid Office.

Underpayment

If you did not receive all the aid you earned, then the college will make a post-withdrawal disbursement to you for all federal grant eligibility and a post-withdrawal offer for any loan eligibility.

For example, if you withdrew at the 30% point in the semester and your term eligibility was $1,000, but you did not receive any funds from the college and met all the eligibility criteria prior to withdrawing or when you stopped attending, then the college will make a post-withdrawal disbursement in the amount of $300 (if it is a grant).

To do a post-withdrawal of any loan proceeds, the college must have your permission. Additionally, you must have had a loan certified (originated) by the college and met all eligibility criteria for the loan prior to withdrawing or not attending class. Enrollment criteria for a loan will be determined based on your enrollment on their last date of attendance.

Additional Fees

In addition to calculating what percent of the aid eligibility you earned, the Department of Education requires the college to calculate any institutional charges (fees) that the college must repay the Department of Education. If you only attended to the 30% point of the term, then the college would be required to return 70% of the enrollment fees associated with you as a student. This is applicable even if you received a fee waiver and did not pay for classes.

Any cost that the college is required to repay the Department of Education will be billed to you as an institutional debt. You must repay any institutional debt you owe prior to being able to enroll at any Los Rios college.

Exceptions

The process described on this page applies to students that withdraw on or before the 60% point of the term. If you stopped attending or withdrew after this date, then no adjustments will be made to your financial aid for that given term.

If at the end of the term or later the college discovers that you stopped attending your classes prior to the 60% point in the term, then the college must conduct a calculation to determine if you owe or are owed any funds.

Questions?

If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, then you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at (800) 4-FEDAID or (800) 433-3243. TTY users may call 1 (800) 730-8913. Information is also available at studentaid.ed.gov.