Official and unofficial withdrawal policy for the 2015-16 award year

Official and unofficial withdrawals

Students demonstrate their intent to officially withdraw from a course by completing the electronic withdrawal form available in MySCAD. The withdrawal form is processed automatically and is effective upon receipt of the request by the registrar’s office. For calculation of any possible refund of institutional charges, the official notification date is considered the date of withdrawal.

A student will be unofficially withdrawn from a course after incurring absences for 20 percent of the term (usually five absences) in a class when he or she does not provide an official notification of withdrawal, as described above. The accumulation of absences can either be consecutive or occur at any point during the quarter. The student will be sent an email after each absence and will be instructed to contact his or her staff adviser for assistance.

In the case of any student who withdraws (officially or unofficially) from all courses, the student’s last date of attendance in any course, as evidenced by attendance records, is the withdrawal date used to determine the amount of earned and unearned financial aid for both official and unofficial withdrawals. 

Students who partially officially or unofficially withdraw (drop one or more classes but remain enrolled in at least one course for that quarter) before the end of the drop/add period will have financial aid (as applicable) adjusted based on the change in enrollment. After the end of the drop/add period, no additional adjustments are made to financial aid for a partial withdrawal.

Return of Title IV funds

  • Students who are Title IV aid recipients and who completely withdraw (officially or unofficially) from SCAD are subject to a Return of Title IV calculation of their financial aid based upon the amount of time in the quarter that was completed up to and including the last date of attendance. To determine the amount of Title IV financial aid that is considered earned, a pro rata calculation is performed based on Department of Education requirements. The calculation uses the number of calendar days in the quarter between the first day of the quarter and the last date of attendance divided by the number of calendar days in the quarter minus any breaks of 5 days or more (calendar days completed/total calendar days in the term = percent earned) to determine how much financial aid the student has earned for the quarter. After the calculation is completed, the unearned portion must be returned to the appropriate financial aid program(s) according to federal and state regulations. This process takes place as soon as possible and unearned funds are returned no later than 45 days after the date of determination of withdrawal. Students who withdraw (officially or unofficially) after completing 60 percent of the quarter earn 100 percent of their financial aid for the quarter and no Title IV funds are returned.
  • After the calculation is completed, the appropriate adjustments (if any) are made to the student’s financial aid awards and student account. Funds are returned in the following order: unsubsidized Federal Stafford loan, subsidized Federal Stafford loan, Federal PLUS loan, Federal PELL Grant and FSEOG.
  • If the student received Title IV funds in excess of the amount of Title IV funds earned, SCAD must return a portion of the excess amount equal to the lesser of institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of Title IV funds or the entire amount of unearned Title IV funds.
  • In limited instances, students may be required to return a portion of the unearned Title IV funds. Any loan funds that must be returned are returned in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Master Promissory Note. Any amount of unearned grant funds that must be returned is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment due to be repaid by the student is any amount of the grant overpayment that is in excess of 50 percent of the amount of grant(s) received. A student will be notified of an overpayment within 30 days of the date of determination that the student has withdrawn.
  • If the student did not receive all of the Title IV funds that were earned, a student may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, SCAD will disburse those funds in part or whole if authorized by the student or parent (if a PLUS loan exists) to the student’s account for tuition and fees, room and board (if contracted with SCAD) or other institutional charges. Any remaining post-withdrawal disbursement will be disbursed directly to the student. The student or parent will be notified of the availability of a post-withdrawal disbursement of Title IV loan funds and SCAD will request confirmation for disbursement within 30 days of the date of determination that the student has withdrawn.

SCAD will use all or a portion of any post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition and fees and room and board (if contracted with SCAD). If other institutional charges exist, the student must provide written authorization for SCAD to use grant funds to pay those charges. Any remaining post-withdrawal disbursement of a grant will be disbursed directly to the student.

There are some Title IV funds that a student may be scheduled to receive but for which they become ineligible once the student has withdrawn. For instance, if the student withdraws before receiving a second disbursement of a loan, the subsequent disbursement cannot be made.

  • The student will be notified in writing that the return of Title IV aid calculation has occurred and a new financial aid award letter will be sent. The student can see the result of the calculation (the tuition and fees, how much financial aid has been earned and if any unearned financial aid has been returned, and if the student is owed money or has a balance due) in the student account channel on MySCAD.
  • If the student owes a balance, it is due immediately. If a credit balance becomes due to the student it will be refunded to the student promptly.
  • Loan exit counseling packets are emailed to withdrawn students within 30 days of the date of determination of withdrawal.
  • The last date of attendance is reported to the National Student Loan Data System by the registrar utilizing the National Student Clearinghouse. This serves as notification to lender(s) of the student withdrawal (officially or unofficially). The last date of attendance is reported as the effective date of the withdrawal.

Sample calculation

  • For example, if a student completed 20 days out of a 68-day quarter, the student completed 29.4 percent of the quarter. This percentage is applied to the amount of financial aid the student received or is eligible to receive for the quarter. If the student received $10,000 in Title IV financial aid for the quarter, the student would have earned $2,940 and the unearned portion, or $7,060, must be returned to the federal programs in a specific order, starting with the loan programs.

State and other financial aid programs

  • State aid (HOPE and GTEG) is also reviewed and aid is returned according to state program regulations. Additional information is located at GAcollege411.org.
  • Other outside financial aid resources are reviewed and handled on a case-by-case basis following any special handling requirements of the funding entity.

Refund Policy for Institutional Charges

  • The calculation of what the student owes SCAD for institutional charges is different from the calculation of how much Title IV financial aid has been earned. In some cases, financial aid must be returned even if the student has a balance due. The SCAD Institutional Charges Policy is available online.