Student petting a young calf at Picnic day

Important Updates

  • In observance of Juneteenth, Financial Aid and Scholarships will be closed on Wednesday, June 19, 2024
  • The Department of Education has announced they will send information from the 2024-25 FAFSA to schools in mid-March. This may result in a delay in financial aid packaging and offers for the 2024-25 academic year. While awaiting your financial aid offer, we encourage you to utilize the UC Davis Financial Aid Estimator to estimate your potential aid.

Return of Title IV Funds and Refund Policies

If you receive financial aid and subsequently do not enroll in the University or enroll and then withdraw, you may be required to return the financial aid funds received. If you have questions about Return to Title IV Funds at UC Davis, please contact your specific Financial Aid Office.

What is Title IV Aid?

Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended in 1998, (Title IV, and HEA program) establishes general rules that apply to federal student financial assistance programs. For purposes of Return of Title IV Funds, these programs include:

  • Pell and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity (FSEOG) Grants
  • Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Perkins Loans.

What Return of Title IV Funds Means to Financial Aid Recipients

This publication provides information about the UC Davis Return of Title IV Funds (Return) policies that apply to any student who cancels enrollment, withdraws, is dismissed, or participates in the Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP). These policies apply to students that discontinue enrollment in all classes, on or after the first day of the term.

When you officially withdraw from the institution, we use the date that you started the process with the Registrar’s office as the withdrawal date and then two separate calculations listed below must take place:

  1. A refund of fees must be calculated by your respective Registrar's office.
  2. Financial Aid and Scholarships must calculate the Return.

If you cancel your registration prior to the first day of classes, this policy will not apply to you. Also, if you drop some but not all of your classes, these policies will not apply; however, you should notify Financial Aid and Scholarships because your continued eligibility may be affected. To cancel, withdraw, or PELP, contact your respective Registrar’s Office.

We first determine if you have completed more than 60 percent of your scheduled enrollment for the term.

  • You earn all of your financial aid when you have participated in more than 60 percent of your scheduled enrollment for the term. The Return of Title IV funds calculation counts the number of days from the first day of class until the last date you were enrolled and compares that to the total calendar days of your scheduled enrollment for the term. This includes the first day of classes through the last scheduled day of exams, including weekends and holidays, and excluding any scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days.
  • If you have not completed more than 60 percent, the amount of your financial aid you are allowed to keep and the amount that must be repaid will be calculated.
Return of Title IV funds calculation
Term 100% Date
Fall 2023 November 14, 2023
Winter 2024 February 22, 2024
Spring 2024 May 16, 2024
Summer 2024 Varies - see Financial Aid Office

Future Aid Eligibility

Withdrawing may affect your eligibility to receive financial aid in subsequent terms. Notify your respective Financial Aid Office if you are planning to return. If your loans should go into repayment once you withdraw from school, it is important to make your payments on time to prevent default. If you default on a loan, you would lose your eligibility for any future financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Withdrawal from school may affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress standing and future eligibility for financial aid.

Refund of Fees

Based on the date you discontinue enrollment, you may receive a full or partial refund of your fees. This refund will not impact the Return calculation but does affect the amount of money you may owe back to the University for withdrawing.

  • During your first term at UC Davis, you will be classified as a new student receiving financial aid.
  • After your first term, you will be considered a continuing student at UC Davis.

Beginning with the first day of class, the following fee refund policies are based upon your classification as a new financial aid recipient or continuing student and the number of days elapsed when the action to discontinue enrollment was filed for the quarter or semester.

Regular Academic Year Fee Refund Schedule for New Students
Refund Amount Days in Quarter Days in Semester
100% 0-1 0-7
90% 2-7 8-14
80% 8-14 15-28
70% 15-21 29-35
60% 22-28 36-49
50% 29-35 50-56
40% 36-42 57-63
0% 43+ 64+


Regular Academic Year Fee Refund Schedule for Continuing Students
Refund Days in Quarter Days in Semester
100% 0-1 (less $10) 0-1
90% 2-7 2-11
50% 8-18 12-27
25% 19-35 28-53
0% 36+


Calculating Return of Title IV Aid Amount

Return of Title IV Funds (Earned vs. Unearned Aid)

Within 45 days from when you discontinue enrollment, Financial Aid and Scholarships must calculate the amount of financial aid you have earned prior to the date the action was filed. Any aid received in excess of the earned amount is considered unearned. The unearned financial aid must be returned to the respective federal programs no later than 45 days from when the student separated from UC Davis. The calculation is based upon only the amount of Title IV Aid for which you were eligible. State and UC Davis policy use a similar formula to calculate how much state and university aid is earned if the student discontinued enrollment before the end of the quarter.

Calculating Earned Financial Aid

The amount of earned financial aid is calculated on a daily basis from the first day of classes. The process uses calendar rather than business days. Earned aid is determined by taking the number of days attended before enrollment ended divided by the total number of days in the term (first day of instruction until the last day of finals, excluding spring break for semester students).

Return policies apply to students that withdraw on or before the 60% point of the term. For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there is no unearned financial aid.

See examples for calculating the percent of earned aid below.

Once the earned and unearned aid percentages are determined, the next step is to calculate the dollar amount of unearned aid that must be returned. The Return amount is determined by multiplying the unearned aid percentage by the total of all Title IV aid received.

Unearned Aid Percentage x Total of all Title IV Funds Received = Total Unearned Aid

School Portion of the Return

The amount of unearned aid that must be returned by UC Davis is a percentage of the institutional charges for the term. Once the dollar amount of the school portion of the Return is determined, it is compared to the total amount of all unearned aid. If the school portion is less than the total unearned aid, then UC Davis must return the amount of the school portion. If the calculated school portion exceeds the total unearned aid, then UC Davis must return the amount of the total unearned aid.

Financial aid will be returned to the aid program from which it came. If returned to a loan program, your outstanding balance will be reduced by the amount of the return. Aid will be returned in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Subsidized Direct Loan
  3. Direct PLUS Loans
  4. Federal Pell Grants
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  6. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Late or Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

Students may be eligible for a late or post-withdrawal disbursement if they have accepted aid that did not disburse at the time of withdrawal from UC Davis. If eligible, UC Davis Financial Aid and Scholarships will send notification of the action required to either accept or decline a portion, or all, of the late disbursement. If no response is received within approximately two weeks of notification, the award will be canceled. If a response is received, then the aid will be applied to the student’s account before any resulting credit may be disbursed to the student.

Fee Refund Versus School Return Amount

In most cases, the amount of the fee refund received will be less than the amount of the school Return portion of Title IV funds. When you discontinue enrollment, a balance will be created on your student account at UC Davis for the difference between the fee refund and the Return amount. You will be responsible for paying this balance in addition to any other balance created from the student portion of the Return.

Student Portion of Return of Title IV Funds

After the school returns the correct amount of aid, any amount of the total unearned aid that remains becomes the student portion of the Return. The student portion of the Return is calculated by subtracting the amount of the school Return from the total unearned aid.

Total Unearned Aid - School Return Amount = Student Portion of Return

Depending on the remaining sources of aid after the school Return, the student portion of the Return is distributed back to the aid program from which it was awarded as follows:

  • Any amount of the Return allocated to loans is repayable after you leave UC Davis and enter repayment according to the terms and conditions of those loans. You will not be billed for these funds upon discontinued enrollment.
  • Any amount allocated to federal Title IV grants is subsequently decreased by 50%. This adjustment is an effort to reduce the impact of discontinued enrollment on those students receiving grant funds. UC Davis will return these funds on your behalf and you will be responsible for reimbursing UC Davis for this return.

Federal Formula used for State Cal Grants and Institutional Aid

Whether or not you are receiving any of the types of federal aid listed, students that received any non-federal aid (listed below) are required to go through a similar calculation to determine the portion of these funds that are unearned. Aid is returned in the following order:

  1. Cal Grants
  2. Institutional Loans
  3. University Grant

If the student has a credit balance on their account at the end of the Return of Title IV processing, then that balance will be refunded to the student as soon as possible and no later than 14 days after the calculation has been completed.

Sample of Return to Title IV Calculation

Undergraduate student who withdrawals during Week 3 of the fall quarter:

  • Number of Days Attended: 20
  • Number of Days in the Quarter: 80
  • Earned Financial Aid: 25%
  • Unearned Financial Aid: 75%
(Based on 2021-22 data)
Types of Aid Financial Aid Disbursed Fall Quarter Total Aid Earned
(Student eligible to keep)
Total Aid Unearned
(Must be recouped)
UC Davis Campus Fee Grant $280 $0 $280
University Grant $2,394 $1,716 $678
Cal Grant $4,190 $0 $4,190
Direct Loan $1,814 $0 $1,814
Pell Grant $2,165 $995 $1,170
Total Aid $10,843

Unofficial Withdrawal

UC Davis Financial Aid and Scholarships reviews posted grades every term. If a student receives all non-passing grades, and there is no record of academic activity throughout the entire term, then they are determined to have unofficially withdrawn. Students are notified via UC Davis email if they are considered an unofficial withdrawal. Per Federal Return of Title IV regulations, federal, state, and institutional funds are adjusted using the 50% point of the term as the withdrawal date.

In order to reevaluate this determination, documentation must be provided to support attendance in all courses for the term. For example, correspondence from the student's instructor(s).

Summer Sessions: Withdrawing or Dropping Coursework

 Dropping Summer Classes or Sessions

Dropping a course from one of your summer sessions may cause your summer financial aid awards to be revised. How your aid is adjusted will depend on when you drop the course(s). If you drop to less than six (6) units, you may lose your aid eligibility. It is also important to note that the summer sessions are treated as modules, as the sessions do not span the entire summer term, so there are different rules that apply when withdrawing from courses that are offered in modules versus a standard term.

1. Dropping units before the first day of instruction

If you drop all of your classes before the first day of instruction but remain enrolled in future session(s), your aid may be adjusted to reflect your change in enrollment. University Grant is subject to change based on total enrolled units for the summer term. 

If you drop all courses in a future session before completing Summer Session 1 courses, your financial aid will be repackaged per total enrolled units. If you drop all courses in a future session after completing Summer Session 1 courses, your summer financial aid may be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.

We recommend that students who will no longer be enrolled in at least 12 units for the summer term submit a Summer Change in Aid form specifying their updated enrollment in the Unit Adjustment section.

2. Dropping units after the first day of instruction

If you drop all of your classes after the first day of instruction but remain enrolled in other Summer Sessions that have not yet begun, Financial Aid and Scholarships requires written confirmation of your future summer enrollment.

If you do not indicate on the withdrawal form that you will be returning for a future session, we may contact you by email asking if you plan to attend a future summer session. You will have 10 calendar days to respond to our inquiry. If you do not respond or you do not attend a future summer session, your summer financial aid will be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.

When you discontinue enrollment, a balance may be created on your UC Davis student account for the difference between the fee refund and the calculated return amount. You will be responsible for paying this balance in addition to any other balance created from the student portion of the calculated return amount.

3. Dropping all summer classes for all sessions

If you drop all summer courses for all sessions before the first day of instruction, all summer aid will be canceled.

Important Update

Effective July 1, 2021, students who are enrolled in modular courses and then withdraw will not be considered withdrawn for Return of Title IV purposes if one of the following conditions are met:

  • Successfully complete (with a grade of A, B, C, D, or P) modular coursework equal to or greater than half-time enrollment (6 credit hours for undergraduate students and 3 credit hours for graduate students)
  • Successfully complete (with a grade of A, B, C, D, or P) one module or a combination of modules that equals 49 percent or more of the number of days in the student’s payment period
  • Successfully complete a module (with a grade of A, B, C, D, or P) and all requirements for graduation from your program before completing the days or hours in the period that you were scheduled to complete
What happens if I stop attending, or never started attending, classes but did not cancel my enrollment? 

Failing to show up for class is not considered an official cancellation. You may be billed for all or a portion of your financial aid. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for the Cancellation/Withdrawal process. For information regarding the Summer Session Refund policy please visit Summer Sessions.