How does withdrawing from a class affect financial aid?
If you are considering withdrawing from a class, don’t forget to examine how it will affect your financial aid. In most situations, withdrawing from a course should not affect your aid package. But if you fail to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, or SAP, your aid may be affected. Withdrawing from a course can also change your enrollment status, which could reduce your aid.
Here’s our guide of what to look out for if you are considering withdrawing from a course. We’ll go over the ways in which it could hurt your financial aid package. But we won’t leave you with bad news– we’ll discuss how to appeal to keep your aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress, or SAP, is a set of requirements that varies by school. Students who fail to meet these requirements risk losing their financial aid package. Typically, SAP requirements include GPA, class enrollment, and demonstrated progress towards a degree.
Withdrawing from a class could affect these requirements in several ways. It could affect your enrollment status by reducing the credits you acquire that semester. It could also put you off-course towards your degree. If the class you’re withdrawing from is critical to your degree, you’ll need to determine how to make it up.
Students who fail to meet SAP requirements will have their financial aid suspended. Because the requirements can vary, you should reach out to your school if you are concerned about your status. Typically, the Office of Financial Aid or the Registrar are good resources to consult.
Read more: How to write a SAP Appeal letter
If withdrawing from a class affects your total enrollment status, this will affect your financial aid package. If it puts you below the threshold to be a full-time or part-time student, your aid will be recalculated. This could result in a lower aid disbursement, or in you having to pay back part of your aid.
Private scholarships are not subject to the rules of your college, but oftentimes they have their own rules. Especially if you have a renewable scholarship, make sure to check whether withdrawing will affect your eligibility to renew. Some scholarships may be affected if your enrollment status changes.
If you lose eligibility for a private scholarship, it will not usually affect your current disbursement. However, it could affect your eligibility to receive future funds from the organization.
Consult your school before withdrawing
It’s always a good idea to consult with your school before withdrawing from a course. This includes the financial aid department, your advisor, and your professor. Oftentimes, the school will be willing to work with you to make a plan. If extenuating circumstances are affecting your academic progress, it’s better to be vocal about them than to hide them.
It’s never too early to talk to your school about any academic struggles that may lead to you dropping a course. This way, you will learn early on what the consequences may be if you drop a course. You’ll also let your professor know that you need extra help, and show the financial aid department that you are being responsible. If you do end up having to drop the course, this early planning can only ever work in your favor. Good luck with your planning!