Tuition Adjustment Policy
Once the semester begins, the process of changing the student's course schedule is referred to as dropping/adding courses (policy 34-89). There are financial implications to consider when dropping courses. Tuition penalties may apply and financial aid may be impacted. Students who receive financial aid are strongly encouraged to consult with the Office of Student Aid.
In this section you will fiind information about :
- Tuition Penalty for Dropped Credits
- Tuition Adjustment Schedules
- Withdrawal From Penn State and Student Financial Aid
- Return of Federal Financial Aid
- Return of State Grant Funds
- Return of Institutional and Other Aid Funds
- Credit Balances After Return of Aid Funds
- Policy For Retroactive Withdrawals
What is the penalty for dropping credits?
At the beginning of each semester, all students must sign a Financial Responsibility Agreement (FRA) before they are allowed to enroll in classes. The FRA states that the student understands that once they register for classes, they are responsible for the tuition and fees due for the courses attended.
Students who drop below full-time or drop below their originally registered credit level may not receive a tuition refund. The tuition adjustment is determined by the effective date the student drops the class and the length of the course, and is made according to Penn State's Tuition Adjustment Schedule*.
*The Tuition Adjustment Schedule may not reflect all semester sessions.
Click on the Adjustment Schedule link for the semester
How do I withdraw from courses?
Students can process a withdrawal by submitting an Official Withdrawal Form to the Office of the University Registrar. The form and information regarding withdrawals can be found on the Registrar’s website at http://www.registrar.psu.edu/leaving_university/withdrawal.cfm
- Students who withdraw will receive a tuition adjustment in accordance with Penn State's Tuition Adjustment Schedule.
- Adjustments are based on the tuition amount only. The Information Technology Fee, Activities Fee, and Facilities Fee are non-refundable.
- Students who live in the residence halls should contact the Housing Assignment office for information regarding room and board adjustments.
Tuition adjustment is based on the date the withdrawal form is received by the Office of the University Registrar.
How does withdrawing affect my Financial Aid?
- Students who receive financial aid are expected to complete all credits started. Students who do not successfully complete all credits may lose their right to some or all of the funds awarded for the semester and/or future semesters.
- Students planning to withdraw during the semester must follow the procedures established by the University. See "Withdrawal" above.
- Tuition adjustment will follow Penn State's Tuition Adjustment Schedule.
What happens to my Federal Financial Aid if I don't complete my courses?
- To maintain Federal financial aid eligibility during the semester, the student must be attending classes, taking exams and completing required course work.
- The 1998 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act requires the University to calculate a Return of Federal financial aid funds for students who withdraw (officially or unofficially) from all classes on or before attending 60 percent of the semester.
- Using a pro-rata schedule, the percentage of the semester attended is used to calculate the amount of the student's earned/unearned Federal financial aid funds. The percentage of semester attended is calculated by using the number of days the student attended and the total number of days in the semester.
- The unearned portion of Federal financial aid funds will be returned to the appropriate aid program(s). The funds will be returned in the following order:
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
- Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)
The student will be responsible for any balance due after the return of Federal financial aid funds.
Students who stop attending all classes without officially withdrawing are subject to the return of Federal financial aid funds at the end of the semester. The amount returned is based on the withdrawal date or last documented date of attendance determined by Penn State.
How much aid is returned to PHEAA if I withdraw?
After all required Federal financial aid funds are returned, any credit balance remaining on the student account will be returned to the PHEAA grant (if applicable) based on the following PHEAA refund calculation:
Tuition Adjustment / Full Time Tuition X PHEAA Grant = PHEAA Refund
The amount returned to PHEAA will never exceed the amount of the PHEAA grant.
The student account will not be debited to return funds to the PHEAA grant
Will other Aid Sources be returned?
If a credit balance remains after the return of Federal and State Grant funds, the credit balance will be returned to all other aid sources (if applicable) based on the following "other aid" refund calculation:
Other Aid Disbursed / Total Aid Disbursed X Adjustment = Refund to Other Aid Source
The other aid will be returned to the appropriate aid sources. The funds will be returned in the following order:
- Short-term loan (not considered in aid calculation)
- University loans
- University scholarships
- Other grants
- Outside scholarships
Other aid sources should be adjusted up to the amount of each aid source.
The student account will not be debited to return funds to "other aid" sources.
Will I get any funds after all aid has been returned?
If a credit balance remains after the return of the required Federal financial aid, State grants, Institutional and other aid funds, the balance will be refunded to the student (up to the amount paid for the semester).
Where do I find information about Retroactive Withdrawal?
Refer to the University Undergraduate Advising Handbook for questions regarding the petition process for retroactive withdrawals.