Your federal student aid depends on your class enrollment, participation, and completion. Make sure you know how changes in your situation could affect you financially.

FAQs: About Title IV Funds

What is the process for recalculating financial aid? +

UMUC is required to calculate a Return of Title IV Funds on all federal financial aid recipients who stop participating and receive an FN grade, withdraw, or drop their last class in a semester on or before they reach the 60 percent attendance point for their semester enrollment scenario.

This calculation and notification must be done within 45 days of the date that the university determines that the student has withdrawn, dropped, or stopped participating. Students who certify their intent to return during the same semester when they withdraw or drop will not require a calculation unless they do not return as scheduled.

What is the difference between earned and unearned Title IV funds? +

Earned Title IV Funds: The student earns Title IV funds in proportion to the percentage of time officially enrolled in the semester. If the aid earned is more than the amount that was disbursed, the student will not have to repay any funds.

Unearned Title IV Funds: Unearned funds must be returned to the federal programs from which they originated.

What are the timelines for the return of Title IV funds? +

UMUC must determine the amount of aid that was earned and how much was unearned. If you must return any federal financial aid funds received, you will be notified in writing within 45 days of the date UMUC determines you have not earned your aid.

The amount of unearned aid will be returned to the Department of Education, which will create a balance due to UMUC. This is posted as a charge to your account and must be repaid to the university immediately. Your loan will be reduced by this amount so that when your loan enters repayment, the total amount borrowed will be lower.

In what order will Title IV funds be returned? +

When institutions have to return unearned Title IV funds from institutional charges, the money is returned to programs in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford loans
  • Subsidized Direct Stafford loans
  • Federal Perkins loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS loans
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant

Federal Work-Study earnings are not affected by Title IV regulations concerning the return of unearned federal financial aid; however, a student may not continue to work if they fall below the half-time enrollment requirement.

FAQs: When Your Situation Changes

What happens to my federal financial aid if I withdraw from UMUC? +

Federal student financial aid is awarded under the assumption that you will be enrolled for a specified period of time, such as a semester. When you receive these funds but do not enroll as expected, the Financial Aid Office is required to determine if you have been enrolled long enough to keep all of the financial aid paid to you.

Therefore, UMUC’s Financial Aid Office must review your record and recalculate your aid any time you change your enrollment. Changes to your enrollment include dropping, withdrawing, or failing to participate in classes and receiving an FN grade.

When you drop or withdraw from your last active class via MyUMUC, a certification message will appear. The message asks you to confirm that you are aware of the financial consequences when changing the class schedule. This box has to be checked before you can proceed to the next step.

The next step asks you to certify your intent to return to the university. You have the option to select “I plan to return this semester” or “I do not plan to take classes later this semester.” It is important to answer as accurately as possible because this determines when or if the recalculation process occurs.

What happens to my financial aid if I drop all my classes? +

If you drop all your classes prior to participating (either before classes start or during the drop period), your financial aid will be canceled. If your financial aid has already been disbursed, a balance will be owed to UMUC.

What happens to my financial aid if I stop participating in my classes but don’t withdraw from them? +

It is critical that you participate in your classes to retain your financial aid. If you stop participating in your classes and do not actually withdraw from them, you will receive FN grades that may result in your incurring significant financial penalties. If you need to change your enrollment, you must take the action to withdraw from your classes.

What happens to my financial aid if I certify my intent to return to UMUC but do not attend classes? +

If you intended to return to UMUC but find that you are unable to do so, your financial aid will be recalculated. Typically, this recalculation will result in a balance owed to the university.

What happens to my financial aid if I return to UMUC but did not certify my intent to return? +

If you return to UMUC within the same semester, your eligibility for financial aid will be re-evaluated and all aid for which you are eligible will be restored. As a reminder, any classes you begin must be completed.

FAQs: How to Proceed

How can I tell if I have completed 60 percent of my classes in order to earn all of my financial aid? +

You cannot earn all of your financial aid unless you participate in your registered class(es) for at least 60 percent of your scheduled enrollment. To determine your 60 percent date, follow these steps:

  1. Determine which sessions you are enrolled for this semester.
    1. Go to MyUMUC > Student Center > Academics to view your courses.
    2. Find the course that has the earliest start date. Click to view the course detail and find the session number and type (for example, Online1).
    3. Now, find the course that has the latest end date, go to the course detail, and locate the session number and type.
    4. Look across the line to the 60 percent column to identify the date in which this enrollment pattern has met the 60 percent requirement.
  2. Determine if you need to withdraw from the class. You are encouraged to contact your instructor(s) to see if you may be able to complete the class.

If the 60 percent requirement has been met, you may not be required to repay the aid unless withdrawing makes you ineligible for the financial aid you were disbursed. If the 60 percent requirement has not been met, you may be required to repay some or all of the financial aid you received. If you must withdraw, you must do so through MyUMUC > Student Center > Academics. If you plan to return to a course that starts later in the current semester, be sure to indicate that when prompted. (This is certifying your intent to return.) The Financial Aid Office will notify you if you must repay any funds received.

How do I withdraw from my courses at UMUC without financial consequences? +

Considering that you may owe a portion of the financial aid you received to the federal government and/or UMUC if you withdraw, you are strongly advised to first contact your instructor to see if there is any way you can complete the courses you are registered for. This is the only way to avoid any possible financial consequences.

If your circumstances are such that you are not able to complete the class, you must withdraw using MyUMUC and select "Drop/Update Classes." If you are planning to complete a course during the same term at a later start, be sure to indicate it on the Course Withdrawal request screen.

Please remember that the UMUC refund policy is different from the financial aid Return of Title IV Funds process. Learn about UMUC’s refund policy.

Can I register for the next semester if I have repaid funds owed to the university? +

Once you have repaid any unearned funds owed to the university, you will be eligible to enroll in the next semester. Please note: FN and W grades are considered in determining your Satisfactory Academic Progress and can negatively affect your financial aid eligibility.

UMUC's Financial Aid Office is required to:

  • Determine the number of calendar days you attended classes
  • Calculate the percentage of Title IV aid earned and unearned
  • Calculate the amount of institutional charges
  • Determine the amount that must be returned to each Title IV program
  • Return funds to the programs according to regulatory requirements
  • Process any required post-withdrawal disbursements of grants or loans