How Dropping, Withdrawing, Auditing, or Not Attending a Course Impacts Financial Aid

Always contact the Financial Aid Office before dropping, withdrawing, auditing, or deciding not to attend a course to confirm how it will affect your financial aid.  You should also review both the Return of Title IV Financial Aid Funds (R2T4) policy and the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy to make an informed decision.

If you decide to drop, withdraw, audit, or stop attending a course, please be aware that it can reduce your financial aid eligibility depending on the type of aid you have, how many credits you are no longer attending, and the timing of when your enrollment changes.  You will be required to repay any financial aid that you are no longer eligible to receive and it can negatively impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress. 

In order to potentially receive financial aid in the future, you must meet the requirements outlined in the SAP policy which include the successful completion of at least 67% of the cumulative credits attempted, maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA, and completing your program before attempting 150% of the credits required for your program.

In respect to the timing of when you drop/withdraw, please refer to the Academic Calendar published at https://www.nvcc.edu/calendars/academic/index.html to determine the “last day to drop with a tuition refund” (course census date) and the “last day to withdraw without grade penalty” (receive a “W”) for the session(s) that you are attending.  Keep in mind that courses offered in different sessions (e.g. 16-week, 14-week, 12-week, 10-week, 8-week, etc.) typically have different deadlines to drop/withdraw.

If you do not plan to attend a course, it is your responsibility to drop the course on your myNOVA account by the last day to drop with a tuition refund or you may be charged for the course.  Pending financial aid, holds, or positive service indicators may prevent courses from dropping for non-payment through the enrollment cancellation process.

In order for a course to potentially count toward your financial aid eligibility it must be required for your degree or eligible certificate program and you must attend that course past the last day to drop with a tuition refund (course census date).  If you fail to begin attendance in a class, or you drop a class on or before the last day to drop with a tuition refund (course census date), or if you decide to audit a class, your financial aid eligibility will be recalculated based on the reduced enrollment level.  In some cases, this may result in you owing a balance to the college.

Enrollment levels are defined as:

Less Than Half-Time:  1-5 eligible credits

Half-Time:  6-8 eligible credits

Three-Quarter Time:  9-11 eligible credits

Full-Time:  12 or more eligible credits

If you never attend a registered course or if you drop a course before the course census date and it causes your enrollment level to change from one of the aforementioned enrollment levels down to another level, it will likely reduce your eligibility for grants and it could impact your eligibility for other types of aid as well.  If your enrollment level falls below half-time, you would also lose eligibility for federal student loans and work-study.

If your financial aid has already disbursed and your eligibility changes as the result of never attending a course, auditing a course, or dropping a course before the course census date, this is considered an “overpayment” and you will be required to repay all of the funds for which you are no longer eligible to receive.

If you stop attending all of your courses or if you withdraw from all of your courses (i.e. a complete withdraw), you will be subject to the Return of Title IV Financial Aid Funds (R2T4) policy and the Financial Aid Office will be required to calculate how much of your aid was earned before you stopped attending/participating in your courses.  Any unearned aid will need to be repaid by the student in accordance with the federal R2T4 policy.

Though not as likely, the R2T4 policy could also apply if you withdraw from some, but not all, courses after the published “last day to drop with a tuition refund.”  An R2T4 calculation must be performed in the case of a partial withdrawal if you do not attend through the entire period for which you were originally scheduled to attend. However, if you attend and complete at least one course that spans the entire term, all aid will be considered earned for that term (as adjusted for dropped classes and classes that were not attended).

To summarize:

Drops on or before the last day to drop with a tuition refund (course census date): Tuition will be refunded, the course will not appear on your transcript, and the course will not count toward your financial aid eligibility. Your aid may be reduced if your enrollment level changes as mentioned above.  If your financial aid was already disbursed, you will be required to repay any aid you are no longer eligible to receive (i.e. overpayment) based on your enrollment level.

Change to audit on or before the course census date: Tuition will not be refunded, an “X” will appear on your transcript for the course grade, and the course will not count toward your financial aid eligibility. Your aid may be reduced if your enrollment level changes as the result of auditing a class as mentioned above.  If your financial aid was already disbursed, you will be required to repay any aid you are no longer eligible to receive (i.e. overpayment) based on your enrollment level.

Never attending a registered course (NVRK):  If you enroll in a class and do not attend at least one class or submit at least one assignment in an online class prior to the course census date, you may be administratively deleted from the course in accordance with the Never Attending Student (NVRK) policy.  Tuition will not be refunded and no record of the course nor any letter grade for the course will appear on your transcript.  The course will not count toward your financial aid eligibility and your aid may be reduced if your enrollment level changes as mentioned above.  If your financial aid was already disbursed, you will be required to repay any aid you are no longer eligible to receive (i.e. overpayment) based on your enrollment level.

Partial Withdrawal:  If you withdraw from some, but not all, courses after the published “last day to drop with a tuition refund”, your aid will generally not be recalculated, and you will still be charged tuition and related fees for all of your courses. If you withdraw before the “last day to withdraw without grade penalty” you will receive a “W” for the course on your transcript.  If you have loans that were not disbursed prior to your partial withdrawal and your enrollment level drops below 6 eligible credits, your loans will be cancelled.  If your loans were already disbursed before a partial withdrawal, they will not be affected.  Note that an R2T4 calculation must be performed in the case of a partial withdrawal if you do not attend through the entire period for which you were originally scheduled to attend. However, if you attend and complete at least one course that spans the entire term, all aid will be considered earned for that term (as adjusted for dropped classes and classes that were not attended).

Complete Withdrawal:  When a recipient of the Title IV funds (Federal Direct loans, Pell, FSEOG, etc.) withdraws from school or stops attending class before more than 60% of the course has been completed, the school is required to determine the amount of Title IV funds the student earned before the last day of attendance/participation in the course(s).  Any unearned aid will need to be repaid by the student in accordance with the federal R2T4 policy.  If the student attends through 60% of the term, all Title IV aid is considered earned.

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