Tuition Adjustment Policy

Tuition Penalty for Dropped Credits

Beginning with the first day of classes, if you drop below full-time status or below your originally registered credit level, you may be assessed a tuition penalty.

Note that if you drop and then add the same number of credits after classes begin, you may still be assessed a tuition penalty. Only if you drop and add the same number of credits on the same day before midnight ET will you receive $0 in tuition adjustments.

Adjustments for tuition will be determined on the effective drop date. Any adjustment of charges will be made according to Penn State's Tuition Adjustment Schedule.

You can also request to find out the amount of your expected tuition adjustment, based on the date you plan to drop a course, using the Tuition Adjustment Calculator. This calculator will provide an expected tuition adjustment amount for students in any course, including courses that do not follow the standard semester schedule.

Tuition Adjustment for Withdrawal

Be aware of the financial implications of withdrawing! Completing a withdrawal will most likely impact your eligibility for financial aid, and in many cases this results in financial aid being returned to the lender. This can create a balance on your account, which, if not paid, will result in a default. If you are considering withdrawing from the semester, please talk with the World Campus Financial Aid Office (1-800-252-3592 or [email protected]) to see if there will be any balance on your account after your withdrawal.

Charges for tuition are adjusted upon withdrawal from the University only if you obtain an official Withdrawal Form at the office of the dean of your college or other degree-granting unit and submit it to the World Campus office.

Adjustment of your tuition is based on the date of the last class you attended (last time you logged in) — provided an official Withdrawal Form is received by the University Registrar within one calendar month of that date; otherwise, the adjustment will be based on the date your official Withdrawal Form is filed with the University Registrar.

If you meet the withdrawal conditions, you are entitled to receive an adjustment of charges for tuition for the semester in accordance with Penn State’s tuition adjustment schedule (above).

Impact of Withdrawal on Financial Aid

  • If you are receiving financial aid, you are expected to complete all the courses you started. Students who do not finish all credits started put their current and future aid eligibility in jeopardy by not completing “Satisfactory Academic Progress” for aid purposes. For up-to-date policy information, please visit the Office of Student Aid website.
  • If you plan on withdrawing during the semester, you must follow the procedures established by the University (see above).
  • Your tuition reimbursement will follow Penn State’s tuition adjustment schedule (above).

Return of Federal Student Aid

  • To remain eligible for federal aid during the semester, you 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 Student Aid Funds if you withdraw (officially or unofficially) from all courses on or before attending 60 percent of the semester.
  • With a pro rata schedule, the percentage of the semester attended is used to calculate the amount of your earned/unearned federal 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 your federal aid funds will be returned to the appropriate aid program(s). The funds are returned in the following order:
  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  6. Federal Pell Grant
  7. Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
  8. National SMART Grant
  9. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

You are responsible for payment of any balance due after the required return of federal aid funds.

If you stop attending all of your classes without officially withdrawing, you will be subject to returning your federal aid funds at the end of the semester, based on the withdrawal date or last documented date of attendance as determined by Penn State.

Return of State Grant Funds

After you satisfy the return of all required federal aid funds, any balance remaining on your account from tuition and fee adjustments will be returned to PHEAA, based on the following PHEAA refund calculation:

(Tuition adjustment ÷ Full-time tuition) x PHEAA grant = PHEAA refund

The PHEAA grant refund will never exceed the amount of the PHEAA grant. Your account will not be debited to satisfy the PHEAA grant refund.

Return of Institutional and Other Aid Funds

After the PHEAA grant refund is satisfied, any balance remaining in your account from all tuition and fee adjustments will be returned to all other aid sources, based on the following “other aid” refund calculation:

(Other aid disbursed ÷ total aid disbursed) x adjustment = refund to other aid source

Any other aid refund will be distributed to the appropriate aid sources as follows:

  1. Short-term loan (not considered in aid calculation)
  2. University loans
  3. University scholarships
  4. Other grants
  5. Private scholarship

Other aid sources should be adjusted up to the amount of each aid source. Your account will not be debited to satisfy the “other aid” refund.

Credit Balances after Required Aid Funds Have Been Returned

If a credit balance remains in your account after the return of the required federal aid funds, state grant funds, and institutional and other aid funds, the balance will be distributed according to the following priorities:

  1. Student, up to the amount the student paid for the semester
  2. Student loans
  3. Student grants and scholarships

Policy for Retroactive Withdrawals

Undergraduate students can find general information on the petition process for retroactive withdrawals in the University Undergraduate Advising Handbook. If you have questions or would like to begin the process, you should talk with your academic adviser.