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Dropping a Course

Circumstances may necessitate complete withdrawal from the university for a semester in which you are already registered. The outcome of a complete withdrawal on your financial aid depends on when the withdrawal is initiated and the type of financial aid you received. However, in all cases, your financial aid must be recalculated. Also, complete withdrawal may negatively affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress.


Official Complete Withdrawal

If the semester has not yet begun, and you cancel your registration, your financial aid for the semester will also be cancelled. This may result in your receipt of a bill from UH-Downtown.

If you officially process a complete withdrawal from the university after classes begin, but before the 20th class day the financial aid office will recalculate your federal financial aid based on the Federal Return of Title IV Policy.

If you officially process a complete withdrawal from the university after 20th class day but before the 60% point of the semester (see Academic Calendar for dates) has lapsed, your federal financial aid will be recalculated based on the Return of Title IV Policy.

If you officially process a complete withdrawal from the university after the 60% point of the semester (see Academic Calendar for dates), you will not be required to return any financial aid you received for the semester.


Unofficial Complete Withdrawal (Dropping Out)

If you stop attending classes and do not initiate an official withdrawal, you will receive no passing grades for the semester and will incur significant financial penalties, including full or partial cancellation of the financial aid you received for the semester. Because of this, it is critical that you initiate an official withdrawal prior to the end of the semester and that you keep your mailing address current.


At the conclusion of each semester, the financial aid office will determine if you have passed any courses for the semester. If you have not, you are required to provide notification from your instructor verifying your attendance or participation in academic related activities pertaining to the course or your completion of the course. If documentation is not provided within the time frame specified, you will be required to repay up to 50% of the Title IV aid received for the semester immediately.


Return of Title IV Formula

Federal Title IV aid is recalculated based on the number of days attended. The percentage of unearned aid to be returned is equal to the number of days remaining in the semester divided by the number of calendar days in the semester. If you initiate an official complete withdrawal after the 60% point in the semester (see table), you will have earned 100% of the aid you received for that semester. The date of withdrawal is counted as a completed day. Scheduled breaks of more than 4 consecutive days within a semester are excluded. Federal Work-Study is not considered.

If a return of Title IV aid is required, UH-Downtown will return the unearned portion of Title IV financial aid funds to the federal programs on behalf of the student. Any return of financial aid funds made by the university on behalf of the student will be charged to the student's university account. Payment for these charges are due immediately. Please pay UH-Downtown directly for these charges; not the U.S. Department of Education.


Title IV Financial Aid will be returned in the following order*:

  • Federal Stafford Loans
  • Federal PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
  • LEAP Grants
  • SMART Grants
  • ACG

*Please Note: Federal Work-Study is Title IV aid but is not considered in the Return of Title IV Formula. However, in ALL complete withdrawal cases, you must discontinue employment under the Federal Work-Study Program after your date of withdrawal.


Page maintained by SSEM

Last updated or reviewed on 11/19/13

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