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Withdrawing and Financial Aid Eligibility

There are federal regulations pertaining to recipients of financial aid funds. Federal student aid is awarded with the expectation that you will attend school for the entire period for which your financial aid was awarded. However, there are circumstances that may arise that necessitate withdrawing completely from the College of Staten Island It is strongly recommended that you consult with the Financial Aid Office before you drop or withdraw from classes.

The federal government requires that you earn your financial aid awards in direct proportion to the number of days in the semester you attend. Your financial aid eligibility is based on your enrollment status as of the 7th day of the semester. If you completely withdraw from school before completing the term, the school must calculate federal aid according to a federally approved formula to determine the aid you have earned and therefore entitled to receive up to the time you withdrew. Federal aid considered include Pell Grants, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct Plus Loans, and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG). If you received more financial aid than you have earned, funds must be returned to the United States Department of Education. These “return of funds” regulations apply only if you withdraw before the course withdrawal period of the semester (see academic calendar). The portion of your federal aid you are entitled to receive is calculated on a percentage basis by comparing the total number of calendar days in the semester to the actual number of days you attended before you withdrew.

Your withdrawal date is determined by the College as either:

  • The date you began the College’s withdrawal process or the date you officially notified the Registrar of your intent to withdraw either online via CUNYfirst or in-person or
  • The midpoint of the semester (if you withdraw without notifying the College) or
  • Your last date of attendance at an academically-related activity as documented by the College.

If you receive excess funds that must be returned to the government, you will be required to repay to the College any grant funds the College had to  return to the U.S. Department of Education on your behalf. These "return of funds" regulations apply only if you withdraw before the 60th percent date (see academic calendar). After it has been determined that you have withdrawn, either officially or unofficially, the College will perform the necessary calculations and notify you via email if you are eligible for further payments or if you must return any of the aid you already received. This notification will also indicate what you must do to receive additional payments or repay any funds that you were overpaid.

In such cases, you will be billed by the College and have to make payment to the Bursar. Students failing to repay the required amount will have a hold placed on their records and will not be eligible to re-enroll at any CUNY college until repayment occurs.


Official Withdrawal

Depending upon the date of withdrawal, one of the following situations will apply:

  • If you withdraw from your classes prior to the start of the semester you will be ineligible to receive financial aid and you will not be charged tuition and fees.
  • If your registration is not cancelled and you do not attend classes, a WN grade will be assigned and you will be ineligible to receive any aid for any unattended classes and you will be charged tuition and fees as per the University academic calendar.
  • If you withdraw after the start of the semester you are responsible for all tuition and fee charges as per the University academic calendar.
  • If you withdraw from all of your courses before the 60th percent date (see academic calendar), all Federal Direct Loans, Pell and SEOG will be recalculated. You will be responsible for any balance due to the College.


Unofficial Withdrawal

If you stop attending classes and do not initiate an official withdrawal, it is unlikely that you will receive passing grades for the semester and will incur significant financial aid penalties. If you stop attending all classes your financial aid will be recalculated based on a withdrawal date midpoint of the semester.

Since you will be responsible for all tuition and fee charges, it is critical that you initiate an official withdrawal by the course withdrawal period end based on academic calendar and that you keep your contact information in CUNYFirst up to date at all times.

New York State Tuition Assistant Program (TAP) Withdrawal:

Students who officially or unofficially withdraw from all courses during a semester in which TAP or a HESC Scholarship is awarded will lose TAP eligibility for the next semester. For partial withdrawal, view how it may impact your next semester’s eligibility.

  • Partial withdrawal of classes will not result in a recalculation of aid to the federal government; only completely withdrawing from the semester applies.
  • Any loan you borrow will be subject to repayment according to the terms of the promissory note. However, if funds have not yet disbursed for the current and future semesters within the same academic year, the College will cancel your loan. Also, if your enrollment status drops to less than half- time (six credits), your loan will be cancelled if not yet disbursed. If you withdraw or drop to less than half-time, you must complete Exit Counseling for your Federal Student Loan, which may go into repayment six months after you are less than half time or end of grace period, whichever comes first.
  • Students receiving Federal Work-Study funds, must stop working if your enrollment status drops to less than half-time (six credits).

If you have further questions about withdrawing and the result of your financial aid status, contact the Financial Aid Office at 718.982.2030, or
via email, or in person at Enrollment Services in 2A-106. If you have questions regarding your account balance after your financial aid status has been updated, please contact the Bursar’s Office at 718.982.2060 or via email.