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When a student officially or unofficially withdraws from all classes in a semester, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services will first confirm that the student began attendance in all classes for which Federal Financial Aid Awards were processed.  Federal Financial Aid Awards include:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • SEOG
  • Perkins Loan
  • Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Parent and Graduate)

After confirming attendance and making any necessary adjustments, a Federal Calculation is run to determine the amount of aid the withdrawn student has earned.  The percentage of aid earned is calculated based on the percentage of the semester the student remained in attendance.  Once 60% of the semester has passed the student has earned 100% of the Federal Financial Aid that was awarded.

  • If the aid disbursed exceeds the amount of aid earned, the unearned amount will be returned to the Federal Programs.
    • The reduction of aid may create a balance due to the university, which the student will be responsible to pay.

  • If the amount of aid earned is greater than the amount already disbursed the student may be eligible for an additional disbursement.
    • Current outstanding charges on the student’s account will be paid first, any excess amount will be refunded directly to the student.
    • A disbursement from eligible grant funds will be made automatically.
    • Disbursements from loan funds must be authorized by the student (or parent for PLUS Loan) before the disbursement can be made.
      • The student will receive an email communication explaining the amount of the disbursement and the type of loan to authorize.
      • The student (or parent for PLUS Loan) has 14 days to respond to the communication or funds will be cancelled.


Bill Dollar withdrew from Stony Brook University for personal reasons.  Bill’s charges of $4628.25 for tuition and mandatory fees were paid from the aid that was disbursed to him and he received a refund.  At the time Bill withdrew, his tuition liability was 70% and 100% for fees.  Bill’s tuition and fee charges for the semester were adjusted to $3627.75.   Since Bill had a zero balance due to the university before withdrawing and the tuition is now adjusted, a credit of $1,000.50 will appear on his account.

Bill completed only 17 days of the 107 days in the semester or 15.9% of the semester. 

Bill was awarded the following financial aid, which was credited to his student account:

Federal Pell Grant     


Federal Direct Subsidized Loan


Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan


Total Federal Financial Aid

  $ 5,677


To determine how much money must be returned by Stony Brook University and Bill, the financial aid staff must first determine how much financial aid Bill did earn.  Since Bill only attended 15.9% of the semester, he only earned 15.9% of his financial aid. 

Total Financial Aid Disbursed


Multiply Percent of Earned Aid

x  15.90%

Amount of Earned Aid  

  $ 902.64



In the above calculation we have calculated that the student has earned $902.64 of the original $5,677 of financial aid.  The difference between $5,677 (original award total) and $902.64 (amount earned) is $4,774.36 (amount that must be returned).


Since aid disbursed is greater than aid ‘earned’, the amount of ‘unearned aid’ ($4,774.36) must be returned to the Title IV programs.

Funds to be returned:

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

  $ 990

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan 


Federal Pell Grant


Total Title IV aid to return


Because the charges were reduced, Bill initially had a credit balance of $1,000.50.  Based on the withdrawal calculation, the University is required to return $4774 of federal aid.  The student will now owe the University $3,773.50.


Total Title IV aid to return


Bill’s credit balance with the University after tuition was adjusted

-  $1,000.50

 Amount Bill owes the University


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