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Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Leave of Absence and Withdrawals

Financial Aid Refund Policy

Students are strongly encouraged to contact their financial aid counselor if they are considering taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from the institute to discuss the financial ramifications.

Tuition Refund Schedule

Partial refunds will be made according to the following withdrawal schedule.

Return of Federal Funds

In accordance with federal regulations, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships recalculates semesterly federal aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are suspended, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60 percent of a semester.

“Withdrawal date” is defined as the actual date the student initiated the withdrawal process, the student’s last date of recorded attendance, or the midpoint of the semester if a student leaves without notifying the university. Recalculation is based on the percent of earned aid using the following formula:

Number of days completed up to the withdrawal date
Total days in the semester

Financial aid returned to federal programs is then equal to 100 percent minus the percentage earned multiplied by the amount of federal aid disbursed.

Example: Jack takes a leave of absence on the 18th day of the semester. The semester has 100 days. 18 days completed divided by 100 days in the semester = 18%. Since the percentage of days completed is less than 60 percent, per federal regulations the student is allowed to retain 18% of the federal aid that has disbursed, and RIT must return 72% of the federal aid that has disbursed. This may cause Jack to owe a balance to RIT.

Funds are returned to the federal government in the following sequence:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loans
  4. Federal Graduate PLUS Loans
  5. Federal Parent PLUS Loans
  6. Federal Pell Grants
  7. Federal Supplemental Educational Grants (SEOG)
  8. Other federal grants

Late Disbursement

If the student is otherwise eligible, the first disbursement of Federal Direct Subsidized Loan or Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan proceeds is allowed up to 180 days after the student has ceased to be enrolled. Subsequent disbursements are not allowed.

State Scholarships

Regulations vary. Any adjustments are done in accordance with the specific requirements of the sponsoring state.

Privately Funded Grants and Scholarships

In the absence of specific instructions from the sponsor, 100 percent of the semesterly award will be credited to the student’s account.

RIT Grants and Scholarships

If a credit balance remains after all federal, state, and private adjustments, a percentage of the remaining credit balance is returned to the RIT scholarship account according to the following formula:

RIT Grant/Scholarship
RIT Grant/Scholarship + Student Payment

=  Percentage returned to RIT Grant/Scholarship

Example: After all federal, state, and private adjustments had been calculated; Jack had a credit balance of $2500 on his account. Jack had received $3000 in RIT Grant funding for the semester and he (or his parents) had made payments totaling $1000 for the semester. Based on the formula,

$3000 RIT Grant divided by ($3000 RIT Grant + $1000 Payments) = 75%
$2500 credit multiplied by 75% = $1875 to be returned to RIT
$2500 minus $1875 = $625 to be returned to Jack

Student Loans

Students taking a Leave of Absence or withdrawing from the Institute should be prepared for the impact that these courses of action may have on their educational loans.

Leave of Absence - six months (180 days) or less:

Leave of Absence - Greater than six months (180 days) or a Withdrawal

You only qualify for one grace period per federal student loan.  Once the grace period for a federal student loan has been exhausted, you must make payments unless you have been approved for a deferment or forbearance.  Additional information about federal student loans can also be found at