Financial Aid

Financial Aid Handbook & Policies

Federal Return of Funds Policy/Withdrawal from Western

OFFICIAL WITHDRAWAL FROM WIU: According to federal regulations, when a student withdraws from all classes before completing 60% of the semester, a portion of the Title IV funds the student received must be returned to the Title IV programs. Beyond the 60% point of the semester Title IV aid is considered "100% earned". For return purposes, Title IV funds include Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH), Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loan, but not Federal Work-Study.

The Financial Aid Office will calculate the Percent Earned (number of days completed up to withdrawal date divided by total days in semester). Percent Unearned is 100% minus Percent Earned. The amount of Unearned Title IV aid is determined by multiplying the student's total Title IV aid by Percent Unearned. (If the student has aid that has been awarded but not yet disbursed, it is possible for the calculation to result in a post-withdrawal disbursement offer to the student.)

The responsibility for returning unearned Title IV aid is allocated between the University and the student. It is the University's responsibility to return to the appropriate Title IV programs the lesser of:

  • unearned Title IV aid or
  • the student's institutional charges multiplied by the Percent Unearned.

The University will return Unearned Title IV to the appropriate Title IV programs in the following order: Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans, Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), TEACH Grant.

It is the student's responsibility to return the difference (if any) between the amount of unearned Title IV aid and the amount the University must return. For any loan funds the student must return, the student repays in accordance with the terms of the promissory note.

The federal government presumes that Title IV aid is applied first toward institutional charges: tuition and fees and room and board (if in University housing). The Title IV Return of Funds calculation may result in the student owing a balance to the University. An encumbrance will prevent the student from re-enrolling or obtaining academic transcripts until the sum owed the University is repaid.

If a student fails to earn a passing grade in at least one class in which the student was enrolled, the student's grades do not provide evidence that the student completed the term. For these students, the Financial Aid Office will check with instructors to determine if the student completed the term. If the student did not complete the term in at least one class, the school will perform a Title IV refund calculation using the midpoint of the term as the "unofficial withdrawal date" in accordance with federal regulations.

How a Complete University Withdrawal Affects Financial Aid:

  1. What happens if I withdraw from all my classes?
    • Eligibility for financial aid must be recalculated.
    • Financial aid (grants, scholarships and loans from federal, state or other sources) could be reduced.
    • Eligibility for future financial aid could be lost. See WIU Satisfactory Academic Progress policy (Section 9).
  2. Will I lose my financial aid if I withdraw?
    • If you never attended any classes, all your financial aid is removed.
    • Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Direct Stafford and Perkins loans:
      • If you officially withdraw BEFORE 60% of the term is completed, a portion of your federal aid must be returned.
      • You will be notified by mail of the adjustments to your financial aid within 30 days of your official withdrawal date.
    • State/Other grant and scholarship aid:
      • Grants and scholarships are governed by the requirements of the program giving the aid.
      • The requirements of each program vary and may require that aid be returned to them in addition to any aid that is being returned to federal programs.
  3. What happens if I withdraw BEFORE I receive my financial aid?
    • It is possible for some financial aid to be disbursed after your withdrawal, however, it is recommended that you do not accept any loan if you withdraw during the first ten days.
    • Post-withdrawal disbursements are credited to your University account and may result in a refund to you.
  4. What else should I know about my financial aid if I withdraw?
    • Be prepared to repay any resulting balance due WIU.
    • Officially withdraw through the Office of Student Development and Orientation whether or not you attended classes.
    • If no passing grades were earned:
      • WIU must verify that you attended at least one class in order to establish eligibility for any financial aid.
      • If WIU cannot verify you completed at least one class, a Return of Title IV funds calculation will be performed and some Title IV aid will be returned.