Dear students and families,
At MCAD, we strive to provide students with the academic, financial, and emotional support necessary to complete their program of studies. Sometimes, however, unexpected health, family, or financial obstacles prevent us from reaching our mutual goals and students are forced to withdraw from one or more courses, or in some cases, from the college entirely.
The purpose of this communication is to educate students and families about the different types of withdrawal and the academic and financial repercussions that may influence their decisions.
Most importantly, we strongly encourage students and families to contact a trusted support staff person or faculty member if they anticipate or begin experiencing difficulties of any sort, before becoming overwhelmed to the point that withdrawing from a course, or the college is necessary.
While a student's enrollment is ultimately a personal decision, it is never wise to willfully stop attending classes at any point during an academic period as this constitutes an "unofficial withdrawal" from the college and in most cases, will result in a significant financial burden and in extreme cases, possible legal action (see Unofficial Withdrawal Policy).
Dropping Courses: What You Should Know
MCAD charges a "flat" tuition rate for course enrollment between 12 and 18 credits as an incentive for students to graduate in a timely manner, while incurring as little loan debt as possible.
Did you know? Dropping one or more (but, not all) courses after the official add/drop period has ended, will not impact your tuition balance or financial aid award?
Many students assume that dropping a course after the add/drop period will reduce the amount of tuition that they owe. This is not the case. After the end of the add/drop period, your tuition and financial aid are "locked in" unless you withdraw from all courses. Students should maintain their course enrollment after the add drop period to receive the maximum value from their institutional grants and scholarships, Pell Grants and/or MN State Grants, as these awards have a limited eligibility period. Students can check with the Financial Aid Office to determine their eligibility.
While registering for course loads between 12-18 credit hours won't impact the overall tuition rate, students who receive the MN State Grant should expect to see an incremental reduction to their award amount if they drop below 15 credits. Similarly, students receiving the MN State Grant should expect to see an increase to their award by increasing their enrollment to 15 credits. Note: There are no MN State Grant award increases for enrollment above 15 credits.
Likewise, students who receive the Federal Pell Grant receive the maximum award benefit at 12 credits. Pell Grants are reduced incrementally for course loads below 12 credit hours.
Did you know?
In order to receive MCAD Grants and Scholarships, students are required to be enrolled for at least 12 credits?
Officially Withdrawing From the College:
Did you know? Students who withdraw from all courses after the first week of classes may owe more money to the college?
While every student's financial situation is different, many students are surprised to learn that they actually owe money to the college, even if they withdraw shortly after the first week of classes.
Students will receive a prorated credit for tuition, required fees, and on-campus housing charges as determined by the official date of withdrawal from the college (see refund schedule, below). Students are eligible to receive a reduction of tuition, required fees, and on-campus housing charges if they complete the official withdrawal process between week 1 and week 4 of the semester. After the 4th week of classes, no tuition credits will be issued.
Incoming freshman and transfer students who purchase a laptop through MCAD are required to pay for the laptop in full, even if they withdraw from the college.
The withdrawal date is determined by the last day of attendance or the date the student begins the official withdrawal process , whichever is later.
Prorated credit for tuition, required fees, and on-campus housing will be calculated based on the following schedule:
Official withdrawal during the 1st week of classes = 100%
Official withdrawal during the 2nd week of classes = 75%
Official withdrawal during the 3rd week of classes = 50%
Official withdrawal during the 4th week of classes = 25%
Official withdrawal after the 4th week of classes = 0%
Example: If a student completes the official withdrawal process during the 3rd week of the semester, the amount of their tuition, required fees, and on-campus housing charges will be reduced by 50%. In other words, the student will be responsible to pay for 50% of the original cost of these charges.
When a student decides to officially withdraw from all classes during a semester, they must complete a "Notification of Student Withdrawal" form, which can be obtained from the Student Affairs Office on the first floor of the Morrison building. Please note that the official withdrawal date is determined by the date the official withdrawal process is initiated by the student with the Student Affairs Office, or the last date of attendance, whichever is later.
Did you know? Even though students who withdraw during the first four weeks of class receive a prorated credit towards the original cost of tuition, required fees and on-campus housing charges, they may still owe a significant balance to the college.
Official Financial Aid Withdrawal Policy
If a student receives financial aid and decides to officially withdraw from the college prior to completing 60% of a given semester, the Department of Education requires the college to recalculate their financial aid award eligibility, based on the percentage of class days during which, they were enrolled. Typically, the 60% completion date is reached during week 9 of a 15-week long semester.
For students who withdraw before attending 60% of the semester's class days, financial aid will be recalculated based on the following formula:
Number of calendar days completed as of the official withdrawal date,
Divided by the total days in the semester
Equals the percentage of "earned aid".
Example: A student withdraws after completing 13 days of classes (week 3). There is a total of 104 classroom days in the semester. 13 divided by 104 = 13%. The student will be eligible to receive only 13% of their original financial aid award. Their financial aid award amount is recalculated and the semester's tuition bill is adjusted in accordance with their new financial aid award eligibility.
What does this mean?
Just as financial aid awards reduce the amount of tuition a student originally owes the college before the start of the semester, "unearned" financial aid awards that must be returned to the Department of Education as the result of an official withdrawal, create reversing charges on the student's tuition account.
Students will receive an updated financial aid award letter, indicating their recalculated financial aid award. The Student Accounts Office will notify students with any updates to their tuition account after all financial aid has been adjusted.
Let's revisit the example above and illustrate a withdrawn student's tuition credit and return of "unearned" financial aid.
Student A total semester charges: Tuition: $18,681 Fees: $225 Housing: $2,500 Total Charges: $21,406
Student A financial aid award: Federal Direct Loans: $2,722 MCAD Grants & Scholarships: $9000 Federal Parent Plus Loan: $9684 Total Aid: $21,406
Amount owed at the time of withdrawal: $0.00
Based on the "earned" financial aid withdrawal calculation, the financial aid office will return 87% of the student's original financial aid award.
For simplicity's sake, let's multiply their total financial aid award ($21,406) x 87% or 0.87 = $18,623.22.
If Student A withdraws during the 3rd week of classes, the college will credit their student account 50% of the semester's tuition, fees and on-campus housing charges:
Beginning balance: $0.00 Tuition Credit: ($18,681 x -50%) = -$9340.50 Fee Credit: ($225 X -50%) = -$112.50 Housing Credit: ($2500 x -50%) = -$1,250
Total withdrawal credit applied to Student A's account: -$10,703.
Thus, despite receiving a tuition credit for $10,703, Student A now owes, $7,920.22
Scheduled breaks in the semester of more than 5 days are excluded from number of days completed.
Unofficial withdrawals are rare but result when a student receives failing grades for non-attendance in all semester courses. In the event that a student stops attending all classes, the withdrawal date is determined by the last date of attendance or the midpoint of the term, whichever is later.
In accordance with the Higher Education Amendment of 1998, the college must return 50% of any Federal Loans that were borrowed, in lieu of payment, by the student to pay the semester's tuition.
The withdrawn student is now responsible for paying the returned portion of their Federal Loans borrowed, in lieu of payment, to the college. Failure to pay the returned portion of Federal Loans originally borrowed in lieu of payment or establish reasonable payment arrangements with the Director of Student Accounts, may result in placement with a third party collection agency or in some cases, legal action in order to collect the debt.
By signing each semester's disclosure and enrollment agreement, students enter into a binding agreement with the college, acknowledging that they understand and accept the terms of MCAD's withdrawal policies.
If you have any questions about MCAD's Official or Unofficial Withdrawal policy, contact the Director of Student Accounts at 612-874-3809 or the Director of Financial Aid at 612-874-3733 for assistance.
Financial Aid Return Policy
Federal aid will be calculated based on federal regulations using the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.
Minnesota State Grant calculations will be processed based on state guidelines as outlined in the Minnesota Office of Higher Education State Grant Handbook.
Institutional aid will be recalculated based on the 4-week tuition credit schedule listed above. After week four, there will be no reduction in tuition costs so there will be change in institutional aid awarded.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the MCAD withdrawal policy.
-- Miguel Granger Director, Student Accounts