FAQs

FAQ - Financial Assistance

11. Course Withdrawals

How do I return funds?

Students who would like to return loan money that they no longer need should contact the Office of Fellowships and Financial Aid.

How many credits do I have to be registered for in order to keep my financial aid?

Doctoral students receiving institutional aid (fellowships and assistantships) must be registered full time (at least seven credits/WIUs) to maintain eligibility.

Any student receiving federal student aid (Federal Work-Study and Federal Direct Loans) must be registered for six or more credits/WIUs.

Audit classes do not count towards your eligibility to receive institutional and federal student aid.

What happens if I withdraw from all of my classes?

The total dollar amount of aid a student is eligible to receive is affected when they drop all of their classes. Students who want to drop all of their classes should come to the Office of Fellowships and Financial Aid to speak with a financial aid counselor about the implications of their decision.

What happens to my federal student loans if I drop below half time/six credits but do not withdraw completely?

Students who drop below half time (six credits/WIUs) at any point in the semester but do not withdraw from all classes will have their federal aid cancelled and must be returned. Students who drop below half time will need to compete exit counseling online, even if they plan to be at least half time the following semester. Students should consult the financial aid office if they are considering dropping below six credits and rely on federal student loans to cover their tuition and/or living expenses. Doing so may result in a large balance owed to the school.

When can I withdraw?

This information is available on the academic calendar.

If you need to withdraw after the last date to withdraw as posted by the Registrar, then an additional signature from the VP of Student Affairs is required.

Refund policies are available in the Student Handbook.

Will dropping one or more classes affect my standing or future aid awards?

Dropping one or more classes may result in the cancellation of future loan disbursements and/or  may result in you having to return money to the school. Dropping classes may also impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements apply to federal student aid recipients even when they withdraw from classes for a semester. Repayment of part of a student’s federal student aid does not release that student from the satisfactory academic progress requirements.

The Graduate Center and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY will adhere to federal policies when determining the amount of funding that must be returned by the school and/or the student to federal aid programs.

Adhering to federal regulations, the school will calculate the federal aid that must be returned. The Office of Fellowships and Financial Aid will send an email to federal student aid recipients who withdraw explaining how the school calculated what funds were returned. The student may also be required to return funds.

Contact the Office of Fellowships and Financial Aid to for more details about the calculation of returns and available disbursements.

Will I lose my fellowship if I withdraw?

In order to receive a fellowship, you must be registered full time (seven credits/WIUs) at the end of the third week of the semester. Audit credits do not count towards full time enrollment for financial aid/fellowship purposes.

Tuition fellowships/tuition remission will pay for the number of credits you are registered for at the end of the third week. But the number of credits you are billed for will be the number you were registered for on the first day of class. If you drop credits, you will owe the cost of those credits minus the refund you are entitled to. 

Students who drop below full time but remain enrolled will have their fellowship — including tuition coverage — cancelled, even if they are still being charged tuition for the credits they have dropped. You will be responsible for paying any remaining tuition charges and returning any stipend funds you have been paid.

If you withdraw from all of your courses before 60 percent of the semester has passed (for fall 2020, before November 4. For spring 2021, before April 12), your fellowship — including tuition coverage — will be cancelled, even if you’re being charged tuition for the credits you have dropped. You will be responsible for paying any remaining tuition charges and returning any stipend funds you have been paid.

If you withdraw from all of your courses after 60 percent of the semester has passed (for fall 2020, before November 4. For spring 2021, before April 12), you will be able to retain your fellowship and tuition coverage.

Course withdrawal can affect your academic progress and future financial aid eligibility. If you are considering withdrawing from a course, you are strongly advised to speak with financial aid about the impact of the withdrawal on your financial aid.

Will my federal aid funds be returned if I withdraw?

If you withdraw from all of your courses during the term, the Office of Fellowships and Financial Aid will determine if any of the federal aid you received should be returned to the Department of Education. Students who drop below half time will need to compete exit counseling online, even if they plan to be at least half time the following semester. 

Federal student aid eligibility is based on the length of time a student attends their classes. If you do not attend your classes for the entire term, federal regulations may require that you return all or a portion of the federal aid received.

If you receive all W, NGR, WA, and/or WN grades for a term, the Office of Fellowships and Financial Aid must perform this calculation (if you have received federal student aid other than Federal Work-Study). The number of days remaining from the school’s last date of attendance determines the repayment percentage.