The Catholic University of America

Financial Aid >FAQ >Withdrawal Policy


Students are encouraged to meet with the Office of Financial Aid to review the financial ramifications before withdrawing. Upon deciding to withdraw, the student must meet with the Assistant Academic Dean to officially begin the withdrawal process. The Assistant Academic Dean will notify the Office of Financial Aid so that  calculations for returning financial aid funds can be completed as required by law.

Tuition Refunds and Financial Aid Implications

It is important to understand that there are two policies that determine the financial implications of a withdrawal: one that relates to tuition and fees and one that relates to financial aid received. These two policies are independent but must be viewed together to fully understand what happens when a student withdraws.

Financial Aid Policy

A student earns the right to "keep" financial aid on a pro-rated basis. For example, if a student completes 30% of the semester, he has earned the right to keep 30% of his financial aid. After the student has been enrolled more than 60% of the semester, he is entitled to keep 100% of his financial aid. Similarly, the school has an obligation to return unearned financial aid to the appropriate sources.

As part of the withdrawal process, a calculation is made to determine the amount the school is responsible to return to the lender. This calculation applies the complement percentage noted above to the actual institutional charges to determine the "unearned" institutional charges. The amount the school is responsible to return is the lesser of the two calculations. For example, the complement percentage to 30% is 70%.

Loans funds are returned in a particular order as noted below:
Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

3. Federal Perkins Loan

4. Federal Graduate PLUS Loans

After determining the amount the school is responsible to return, the school then returns all or a portion of the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan funds to meet the calculated amount; if further funds are needed to meet the required amount, all or a portion of the Perkins Loan funds would be returned; and so on. (If a student has a non-federal loan, typically these funds are excluded from the policy of having to return funds. Whether or not funds are returned to the lender because of a withdrawal is a decision that rests with the lender.)

CUA Tuition and Fees Refund Policy

If a student withdraws:

  1. Before Classes Officially Begin - 100 percent of tuition and mandatory fees are refunded. Fees are nonrefundable as of the first day of classes.
  2. Prior to the end of the "Drop/Add" (the "end" is defined specifically as the last day a student my drop a class without being assigned a "W" per academic policy), 100 percent of tuition is refunded, but mandatory fees are not.
  3. Prior to the end of the 3rd week of classes, 80 percent of tuition is refunded.
  4. Prior to the end of the 4th week of classes, 50 percent of tuition is refunded.
  5. After the end of the 4th week of classes, no tuition or charges are refunded.

Several examples are provided to show typical situations. These examples are not exhaustive, and each student is encouraged to consult with the Office of Financial Aid to determine more precisely the financial implications of a withdrawal.

The university reserves the right to amend the Withdrawal Policy, the Procedures, and the Examples at any time in order to comply with Federal regulations.

Additional information on Withdrawal Policies and Procedures can be accessed here: Withdrawal Process and Return Title IV Funds.