Withdrawing and Your Financial Aid
- Don't Leave School Without Officially Withdrawing
- Effects of Withdrawing on Your CARS Account
- Example of When Financial Aid Needs to Be Repaid When You Withdraw
- Impact on Financial Aid Eligibility
- Returning to Berkeley
You may find that you need to withdraw from school. The reason for your withdrawal may be illness, a family emergency, or just the need to take a break from school. If you leave school after the term begins, this is considered a withdrawal. (If you cancel your registration for a term before the term begins, this is considered a cancellation and you are not eligible to receive any financial aid for that term.) Whatever the reason, if you are considering withdrawal, you must first discuss your decision with a student academic advisor in your college or department. They can direct you to resources that are available, such as health services, tutoring, or counseling, and guide you through the withdrawal process.
If you are a financial aid recipient and you withdraw, you may no longer be eligible for all of the financial aid you have received. You should expect to pay back part of your financial aid. If you are required to pay back part of your financial aid, your Campus Accounts Receivable System (CARS) account will be billed for this amount.
If you are a financial aid recipient and you withdraw and your last day of class attendance is after the 60% point of the semester, you will keep all of your financial aid. The dates of the 60% point of the semester for the 2013-14 academic year are November 5, 2013 for the fall semester and April 2, 2014 for the spring semester.
If you are an undergraduate student, you must see an advisor at your college or school (for example, the College of Letters & Science) for approval of your withdrawal. If you are a graduate student, you must go to the graduate office of your department for approval of your withdrawal. You cannot withdraw from school by notifying a financial aid counselor, although we encourage you to see a counselor if you wish to discuss the impact of withdrawing on your financial aid. If you are withdrawing for medical reasons, in addition to your advisor at your college or school, you must contact University Health Services.
Once you file your petition for withdrawal, you will have 10 days to rescind your decision before your CARS account is affected. You may, however, request immediate processing of your withdrawal. If you withdraw before all of your aid has paid, you may be eligible for a disbursement of some additional aid. The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will notify you if you are eligible for an additional disbursement.Don't Leave School Without Officially Withdrawing
If you stop attending your classes and do not withdraw, your grades will remain on your academic record. In addition, if you "walk away" and do not pass any of your classes, your financial aid will be reduced as if you had left halfway through the term, even though your grades will remain. You must withdraw officially from the University to avoid this situation.Effects of Withdrawing on Your CARS Account
When you withdraw from school, your CARS account may be adjusted in two ways:
1. You may receive a partial refund of your fees.
The Office of the Registrar may adjust your fees based on the date you withdraw, and credit the reduction to your CARS account. See the Registrar's website for the dates and corresponding fee reductions. Please note: All refunds are subject to review by the University; any outstanding debts will be withheld from the refund.
2. You may need to pay back financial aid you have already received.
Some of the financial aid paid to you directly will most likely need to be returned to the school. This amount, calculated in accordance with federal regulations, is the amount you received for the days you did not attend school—the remaining days in the semester after your withdrawal. Your withdrawal date is determined by your last date of class attendance.
UC Berkeley uses the federal formula required for Title IV aid recipients—those who receive Pell Grants, TEACH Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Direct Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, or Perkins Loans—to determine the amount of all forms of aid a student must return, including scholarships and Cal Grants. For example, your Cal Grant award cannot be higher than the actual education and registration fees you were charged.
The percentage of aid you'll need to repay is based on the percentage of the total days in the semester that are remaining after your last date of class attendance. For example, if you received $2,000 in financial aid and withdraw when the semester is exactly 50% over, you will need to repay $1,000. However, only 50% of grant aid in excess of your fees is repayable; loans in excess of your fees are reduced as part of Return to Title IV refund calculations, but are repayable under the original terms of the loan. We encourage you to see a financial aid counselor to get an estimate of the amount of aid you will be expected to repay.Example of When Financial Aid Needs to Be Repaid When You Withdraw
Here is an example of when financial aid needs to be paid when you withdraw:
You are a continuing student. Your fees are $3,900, and you receive loans for $3,000 and grants for $6,000, for a total of $9,000 in aid. If you withdraw and your last day of attending classes is at the 50% point of the semester (October 24, 2013 for fall semester 2013; March 16, 2014 for spring semester 2014):
- You will have earned 50% of your aid—$4,500; the unearned portion of your aid is also 50%—$4,500.
- 50% of your originally charged fees is $1,950; therefore, we will reduce your loans by $1,980, which is $1,950 plus a 1.5% loan origination fee ($30). UC Berkeley will pay this amount back to the federal government, and you will owe this amount to UC Berkeley.
- You will need to repay the rest of your loans—$1,020—to your loan servicer. You should complete an online Loan Exit Counseling Session.
- Your loan reduction amount of $1,980 and your loan repayment amount of $1,020 equals $3,000, so you still have $1,500 of unearned aid remaining ($4,500 minus $3,000).
- BUT $1,500 is less than 50% of your original grants (50% of $6,000 equals $3,000), so you will not have to repay this $1,500.
- You will therefore owe the University $1,980 (the loan reduction from above), and you will owe your loan servicer the balance of the loan, which is $1,020.
Financial aid is not available for an indefinite period of time. When you withdraw from a semester, you use up a half-year of financial aid eligibility. This could have implications for your future financial aid eligibility; please see our Satisfactory Academic Progress page for more information.Returning to Berkeley
If you wish to enroll for a future term, you must file an Application for Readmission by the appropriate deadline. Readmission forms for Undergraduate students are available at your college or school's Dean’s Office; at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 103 Sproul Hall; or online. Readmission forms for graduate students are available at the Graduate Division, 302 Sproul Hall; or online on the Registrar's forms page.
Be sure to meet the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) financial aid application deadline of March 2 prior to the academic year you plan to return.