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Dropping Classes?|Student Financial Aid

Contact Us

Student Financial Aid
Department 3335
1000 E University Ave
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2116
Fax: (307) 766-3800
Email: finaid@uwyo.edu

Federal  Return  of  Funds  Policy

This policy, described below, can be difficult to understand.  Please check with the Financial Aid Office BEFORE you drop classes!  You may have to immediately pay back some or all of your federal financial aid.

A student who receives federal financial aid (other than Federal Work-Study paychecks) and chooses to complete less than 60% of an academic term is considered not to have earned all the federal aid he or she has been awarded.  This means students who Drop Classes!

  • If aid already disbursed is equal to earned aid, no further action is required.
  • If aid already disbursed is less than earned aid, additional aid may be offered to the student after he or she withdraws.
  • If aid already disbursed is greater than earned aid, the University of Wyoming and/or the student must return some federal funds!  This is called “unearned aid.”


To determine whether federal funds have been earned or must be returned, UW follows this procedure:

  1. Determine the percentage of the term the student completed.  This is calculated by dividing the number of calendar days (including weekends) in a term into the number of calendar days that the student was in attendance for that term.  The result is a percentage of time attended.
  2. Apply the percentage of time attended to the total amount of federal aid the student was eligible to receive for the term.  This is the student’s “earned aid.”
  3. Subtract the amount of earned aid from the amount of aid actually disbursed to the student.  A positive remainder is the student’s unearned aid; or, the amount of federal funds that must be paid back.  A negative remainder is the student’s earned aid that may still be offered to the student.
  4. Determine the amount of unearned aid remaining that must be repaid by the student.  Subtract the amount of unearned aid repaid by the institution from the total amount of “unearned aid.”  All unearned aid will be returned to the federal aid accounts in the following order:  (1) Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, (2) Subsidized Stafford Loan, (3) Federal Perkins Loan, (4) Federal PLUS Loan, (5) Federal Pell Grant, (6) Federal SEOG Grant, (7) Federal Teach Grant, (8) Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant.  Any amount owed by the student on a grant will be reduced by 50%.


The date of a student’s withdrawal from UW will be determined by documenting the last date of an academically related activity.  When a student fails to officially withdraw from UW, it will be assumed that the withdrawal date is the midpoint of the semester or the last date of documented academic activity.  Students must be able to prove they began attending all of their classes.

UW will repay the lesser of (1) the total amount of unearned aid or (2) an amount equal to the student’s institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of unearned aid.  “Institutional charges” are defined as charges for tuition and fees, plus room and board charges for students living in UW residence halls and apartments.  It does not include such charges as bookstore charges, student health insurance premiums, parking citations, or library fines.

UW must immediately return the unearned aid for which the school is responsible by repaying funds to loans and/or grants.  The amount of unearned aid returned by UW is now owed to UW by the student and must be repaid immediately.  These federal funds were used to pay tuition and the student still owes tuition! Any remaining loan funds the student owes as unearned aid must be repaid under the normal repayment terms of the loan. If the student owes grant funds as unearned aid UW pays that back for the student and then the student immediately owes that amount to UW.

Any amount of earned aid not yet disbursed to the student will be offered to the student.  Such offers will cover any undisbursed grants first, followed by the undisbursed loans.

Students are strongly advised to consult with a financial aid professional before dropping classes. Specific examples of earned and unearned federal aid calculations are available from a professional adviser in the Office of Student Financial Aid.  Under the Registrar’s  web page, www.uwyo.edu/registrar see the current “class schedule” and the “tuition and fees” section for a chart detailing the percentage of earned and unearned aid by calendar day of the semester. The current refund schedule is also shown under that tuition and fees section.

Refunds/Cancellations

Tuition and course fees will be canceled or refunded to a student who officially drops a class or classes, withdraws from the University through the Dean of Students Office or changes enrollment status (i.e. non-resident to resident; full-time to part-time) in accordance with the institutional refund schedule. To view the current refund schedule, please see www.uwyo.edu/registrar and select “class schedule” and “tuition and fees.”

No tuition penalty will be assessed for dropping and adding during the drop/add period identified in the term’s Class Schedule unless all classes are dropped or an all-school withdrawal is processed.  Students who withdraw from individual courses after the end of the drop/add period will have their charges canceled in accordance with the institutional refund schedule.

Mandatory fees, late registration fees, and service fees are not refundable.

The portion of tuition refund/cancellation is computed from the first day of the term, not from the class meeting pattern.  If a student’s initial registration includes blocked classes or short courses that begin at a later date, the refund/cancellation will still be computed from the first day of the term.  If a student’s initial registration occurs during an approved late registration period, the date for computing a refund/cancellation will be the first day of the term.

Examples of these calculations are available in the Accounts Receivable Office.

Courses delivered through the Outreach School through Outreach Credit programs may be subject to different refund policies.  Please visit the Outreach School web site at outreach.uwyo.edu/occ or call (800) 448-7801 for information.

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