Withdrawal, Refunds, & Reduction of Hours

Withdrawing from Illinois or reducing your hours of enrollment may have both academic and financial aid consequences. We encourage you to understand the consequences before you decide to do so.

Reducing Your Hours of Enrollment

The amount of your aid eligibility depends on the number of hours in which you’re enrolled and billed. This is normally established on the 10th day of classes. If you add classes after the 10th day, your bill may be increased. If you drop classes after the 10th day, your bill won’t be adjusted unless you totally withdraw and are subject to the pro-rata refund policy.

There are some exceptions to these general rules for students who are enrolled in courses that only meet for part of the semester (such as 8-week courses) that start after the 10th day of classes.

Federal Pell Grant

You must be enrolled and billed for at least 12 credit hours in a semester to receive the full amount of the Pell Grant awarded. If you’re billed for fewer than 12 credit hours, the Pell Grant amount will reduce according to your hours of registration.


You must be enrolled and billed for at least 15 credit hours in a semester to receive the full amount of your MAP Grant. The grant will reduce by 1/15 for each credit hour below 15 hours of registration.

For example, if you’re registered for 16 credit hours when classes begin and receive all of your financial aid, including the full MAP Grant award, but drop a 3-hour course before the 10th day of the semester-long course or before the 5th day of a second 8-week course, your billed hours change and your MAP Grant will reduce accordingly. This change may create a bill in the middle of the semester.

University Loan & Most Other Grants & Scholarships

You must be enrolled and billed for at least 12 credit hours. If you’re billed for less than 12 credit hours, many grants and scholarships, and the University Loan will be revoked.

Federal Direct Loans

You must be enrolled and billed for 6 or more credit hours of enrollment to establish eligibility. If your reduction of financial aid is larger than your reduction in tuition, you’ll be billed for the difference.

Withdrawing From Illinois

Detailed information about the cancellation of registration and withdrawal from the university is available in the Student Code. If you decide to withdraw, you must follow established procedures, beginning with the completion of a Withdrawal Form, available from your college dean’s office or graduate department.

Financial Aid

If you complete 60% or less of the term prior to withdrawing, you may be required to repay a substantial portion of your financial aid.

In addition, to remain eligible for financial aid under the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements, you must successfully complete at least 67% of cumulative attempted hours. Withdrawing from classes will affect your percentage of hours earned. If you withdraw while on SAP warning or suspension, you’ll be denied financial aid for the upcoming term until an appeal has been submitted, evaluated, and approved.

You might also become ineligible for part or all of the assistance from other sources, such as merit-based scholarships and scholarships from private donors. The donor or organization will be contacted to determine how they want funds to be handled.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

The Federal Return of Title IV Funds policy mandates that students who officially or unofficially withdraw from all classes may only keep the financial aid they’ve earned up to the time of withdrawal. State and institutional programs require similar treatment. Financial aid funds that were disbursed in excess of the amount earned must be repaid.

The Office of Student Financial Aid is notified when a student has officially withdrawn and a review is done to determine if a financial aid adjustment is required. The calculation for Return of Title IV Funds is based on the date that the student notifies the official office of their intent to withdraw. A review is done to ensure all aid that the student is eligible is included in the calculation as well as all charges. Any grant that the student is eligible to receive as a post-withdrawal disbursement will occur within 45 days if all requirements are met. A written notice will be sent to students (and parents) eligible for post-withdrawal disbursement of Federal Direct Loan funds within 30 days of the date the student’s last date of attendance was determined.

A calculation is done to determine the amount of aid earned that a student may keep. For an official withdraw the last date of attendance is based on the withdrawal date that is provided by the academic unit. For an unofficial withdraw the last date of attendance is based on the last date the student completed an academically related activity. For example, a student who attends 30 percent of the term has earned 30 percent of the financial aid disbursed. The remainder, or unearned amount, must be returned within 45 days of the date of the determination of the withdrawal. If more than 60 percent of the enrollment period has been completed by the student, no Title IV aid needs to be returned. The school calculates the percentage of aid earned by dividing the number of days the student attended, based on the official or unofficial last date of attendance, by the number of days in the payment period.  The school then calculates the amount of Title IV aid earned by multiplying the percentage of aid earned by the amount of Title IV aid that was disbursed or could have been disbursed for the payment period.  The amount of aid to be returned to the Department is 100% of the Title IV aid disbursed for the payment less the amount of Title IV aid earned.

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 Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  7. Teacher Education Assistance for College & Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
  8. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

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

State of Illinois programs, institutional and departmental funds and private financial aid resources are not subject to the Federal Return of Title IV funds policy, however when a student withdraws these funds are prorated based on the same calculation.

The University reserves the right to amend the Return of Title IV Funds Policy at any time in order to comply with federal regulations.

Unofficial Withdrawal

If you stop attending all classes during a semester and don’t go through our withdrawal process, you’re treated as an unofficial withdrawal.

At the end of each semester, we identify all students who didn’t pass at least 1 class, working with colleges, departments, and instructors to document your last date of an academically related activity. If the last date of an academically related activity is not determined the mid-point of the semester will be used.

Using this information, you’ll be reviewed under the Return of Title IV Funds calculation. This date will also be reported to the National Student Loan Data System, and your enrollment status will be updated.

Federal Pell Grant Attendance Requirement

Federal regulations require that you begin attendance in each class you’re enrolled in for purposes of the Federal Pell Grant program. If you don’t begin attendance in all of the classes in which you’re enrolled, your Federal Pell Grant may be reduced.


If you cancel your classes or withdraw from the university, you may be eligible for a tuition and fees or housing refund.

Tuition & Fees Refund Policy

The Office of the Registrar regulates the amount of refund you may be eligible to receive following the university’s pro-rata refund policy and your determined last date of attendance.

Housing Refund Policy

Housing refund policies may differ. If you live in a University Residence Hall, University Housing will determine the assessed charges involving your food and housing. Depending on where you live, you should contact University Housing or Private Certified Housing about your withdrawal.