Northeastern University

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Student Financial Services

Withdrawal / Leave of Absence

Students who need to withdraw or take a leave of absence from the University may do so for academic, discipline, personal, or medical reasons. If you are receiving federal financial aid and withdraw or take a leave of absence from the University, you may be subject to the federal Return of Title IV Aid and state financial aid return policies. Students must notify Student Financial Services about any change in planned period of enrollment, whether due to withdrawal from a class, a leave of absence, a change in co-op or academic division, or withdrawal from the University.

Non-attendance does not constitute official withdrawal. If a student who began attendance and did not officially withdraw fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course over an entire term, the University must assume that the student has unofficially withdrawn. For this purpose, non-passing grades are defined as W, NE, *, IP, L, or I. Unofficial withdrawals will be determined within 90 days of the end of the term. Federal financial aid recipients will have their awards reviewed and recalculated, causing a reduction in aid awarded.

Remember that if you are not enrolled at least half-time for more than six months, your student loans will go into repayment.

Federal Return to Title IV Aid Overview

The Office of Student Financial Services is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a term. The student's eligibility for the funds received from federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula.

  • Percentage of earned aid = number of days of the term completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the term. For unofficial withdrawals, the withdrawal date used for aid recalculation is the midpoint of the term. Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:

  • Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the term.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution is required to return a portion of the funds that have been received by the student. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student may owe a balance to the institution. If a student earned more aid than was disbursed, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student's withdrawal.

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