How Withdrawing Affects Your Financial Aid

Financial aid is typically applied to your student account at the beginning of each semester with the assumption that you will remain enrolled for the entire term. If you withdraw from all of your courses before completing at least 60 percent of a semester, you may become ineligible for a substantial portion of the aid you were awarded for that term.

In addition, withdrawing could also affect your eligibility for aid received from the MD State Scholarship Commission, UMBC merit scholarships, and awards from private donors.

Withdrawing from classes will also affect your progress towards degree completion – the cumulative number of credits you have attempted compared to the number of credits you have earned. For additional information about how withdrawing can affect your academic progression, please review the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) procedure.

Students who do not officially withdraw by the deadlines may be asked to complete the Certification of Enrollment form to prove attendance in a course. Instructions on how to complete the form and where to send it are included on the form itself. Please only complete and return this form if asked.


The Federal Return of Title IV Funds procedure mandates that students who officially withdraw (drop all classes) or unofficially withdraw (stop attending without dropping all classes) may only keep the financial aid they have “earned” up to the time of withdrawal. Financial aid funds that were applied to your student account that are excess of the amount “earned” must be returned.

Federal financial aid in excess of the amount “earned” is reduced in the following priority:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal Graduate Plus Loan
  5. Federal Parent Plus Loan
  6. Federal Pell Grant
  7. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  8. Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College & Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

Calculations are done on a case-by-case basis after the withdrawal date is established.


A student who receives federal financial aid has the responsibility to attend and successfully complete all classes during a registered semester. A student who receives all F or a combination of F and W grades for a semester is considered to be an unofficial withdrawal. The university must be able to document 1) that student began attendance in the semester and 2) when the last academically-related activity was attended.

Financial aid is awarded, typically at the beginning of the semester, with the assumption that the student will complete the term of enrollment. In order to retain all or a portion of the financial aid that was awarded for the semester, the student may be asked to have their instructor confirm the last date they attended a course(s).

  • If the certification shows that a student did not begin attendance in any registered courses for the semester – all financial aid that was awarded for that semester must be canceled and the student would be responsible for payment of all institutional charges as well as repayment for any refunds received.
  • If the certification shows that a student began attendance in at least one registered course for the semester, but the instructor cannot document the last date of attendance – the amount of aid earned maybe based on the mid-point date of the semester.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships must determine the amount of aid the student is eligible to retain if a student does not submit the completed Certification of Enrollment form along with the appropriate documentation and:

  • The student received all grades of F for the semester – all aid received for the semester will be canceled.
  • The student received a combination of F and W grades for the term – the amount of aid earned will be based on your officially documented latest date of attendance (date last W grade was posted).

If the student has an outstanding loan(s) through any of the Federal Student Loan Programs and will not be enrolled for at least six credits during the current or upcoming semester, Exit Counseling must be completed. Please visit the Office of Federal Student Aid’s student loans website and click on the Exit Counseling link to complete the counseling session. Borrowers are required to repay their outstanding loan(s) to the loan holder according to the terms of their promissory note. Information to help borrowers understand the requirements and conditions for loan repayment, deferment, budget strategies, and borrower rights and responsibilities can be found here.