Please note that the Return of Title IV Funds functions in conjunction with the NMSU Refund Policy.
Withdrawing or Leaving School Before the End of the Semester
Students who receive financial aid funds at NMSU and subsequently withdraw from that same term (for any reason) should be aware of the repercussions withdrawing will have on their financial aid in the current semester and in future semesters. Financial aid is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded.
The federal government mandates that students who withdraw or fail to complete all scheduled classes within a term may only keep the financial aid they have “earned” up to the time of withdrawal. Any unearned aid must be returned regardless if it’s already been disbursed. This situation could result in the student owing aid funds to the University, government or both. The higher number of class days completed, the lower the amount of financial aid that must be returned.
Once a student has completed more than 60% of their scheduled period of enrollment during a semester, the student is allowed to keep 100% of aid even if a withdrawal occurs after that point.
The formula to determine the percentage of aid earned is: the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the scheduled period of enrollment or term (any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term).
Any balance that you may owe would depend on the amount of funds received, the date of withdrawal, the student’s charges, and if you will be entitled to any refund of tuition and fees for the semester from which you are withdrawing. Even if you get a refund of tuition and fees, you may still owe NMSU money after the Return to Title IV calculation has been processed.
Refunds of tuition and fees, if applicable, are processed much faster than Return of Title IV, and will sometimes result in a student first receiving a refund and then owing a balance. Any resulting remaining balance must be paid to NMSU.
Financial Aid must calculate any percentage owed and return your unearned percentage within 45 days of your withdrawal. You will be sent a letter to your mailing address on record detailing what type of aid is being billed and the amount to be returned.
Refunds are returned in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans
- Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Plus Loans
- Direct Plus Loans
- Federal Pell Grants for which a Return of funds is required
- Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants (SEOG) for which a Return of funds is required
- Federal TEACH Grants for which a Return is required
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant for which a Return is required.
Types of Withdrawals
An Official Withdrawal refers to removing all courses from your schedule and no longer attending the university for a specific term. A student is also considered an official withdrawal if they drop or withdraw from all current classes in a specific term, but are still enrolled in upcoming module courses (mini semesters or short courses) in the same term and have not confirmed in writing to financial aid that they will be attending those courses. Students who wish to officially withdraw should do so through the NMSU Registrar’s Office.
An Unofficial Withdrawal refers to a student who remains enrolled in courses in a term, but stops attending all courses and receives all failing or non-passing grades for a semester. A Return of Title IV funds will be calculated based on the documented last date of attendance and the funds returned to the federal aid programs.
A Retroactive Withdrawal refers to a student who is requesting to withdraw from a term that has already been completed. Retroactive Withdrawals are handled on a case-by-case basis by the Registrar’s Office. NMSU Financial Aid and Scholarship Services will review these cases as federal and state regulations permit, in determining whether or not a Return of Title IV funds calculation is required to be performed. This calculation may result in the student being required to repay any aid received, based on the official date of the withdraw, as determined by the Registrar’s Office and the student’s original record of registration. For more information on Retroactive Withdrawals, please visit the Registrar’s Office. For more information on how a Retroactive Withdrawal will affect your federal financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid office.
Retaining eligibility for Financial Aid
Please note that withdrawing may have an effect on your Satisfactory Academic Progress. When students withdraw at any time during a semester, their financial aid will be cancelled for future terms. Students will need to contact the Financial Aid Office if they return for future terms, in order to have aid reinstated, if eligible. Reinstatement of some types of aid may be based on availability of funding. Students who do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress must submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Office.
All students must continue to meet the requirements for eligibility that were necessary for them to receive an offer of assistance. This includes being admitted to, and completing courses in, a degree program. Students cannot be in default on previously received financial aid. All other criteria, as defined by the rules and regulations of New Mexico State University and the federal government, must be met.
For more information, please contact University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services.