Financial Aid Withdrawal Policies

Official Withdrawal from St. Olaf

A student must contact the Dean of Students Office (verbally or in writing) to withdraw from St. Olaf College or take a leave of absence. For tuition refunds and financial aid refunds, the date of withdrawal is the date the student notifies the Dean of Students Office they are withdrawing. Room and board refunds are prorated based on the date the student moves out of the residence facility.

Unofficial Withdrawal from St. Olaf

An unofficial withdrawal occurs when a student leaves the College without notice, or when all courses in which the student is enrolled are given an ‘F’ grade due to non-completion of the course.

Refund Policy

Tuition, room, board, and fees refunds for anyone leaving within five weeks after the beginning date of any semester will be determined according to the following graduated scale:

One week or less — 90% refund
Two weeks or less — 80% refund
Three weeks or less — 60% refund
Four weeks or less — 40% refund
Five weeks or less — 20% refund
Over five weeks — No refund

After five weeks, no refunds will be made on tuition. Room and board refunds will be pro-rated based on the number of weeks of attendance.

Medical Withdrawal

Students who withdraw for medical reasons may receive a pro-rated refund of tuition at any point throughout the semester and will be asked to provide the Dean of Students Office with documentation from a health-care provider.


Refund of Interim room and board in case of withdrawal will be calculated on a similar basis to the semester. Two days of an Interim course is equivalent to one week of a semester. For courses with additional charges, the above schedule also applies.

Students who enroll for the academic year but who elect to omit an Interim are not eligible for tuition or room credit/refund for the Interim. They may apply for an Interim board refund. The board refund request form (available in the Student Accounts Office) must be filed by the student before he or she leaves for Interim. If not filled out at that time, no refund will be given.

Students who attend St. Olaf for fall semester only, fall semester and Interim only, Interim and spring semester only, or spring semester only will be charged half of the annual tuition. Room and board will be prorated to reflect the partial-year enrollment.

Private Music Lessons

No refunds in fees will be made for absences from private lessons, except on account of illness of more than two weeks’ duration.


Students dismissed because of unsatisfactory work or infringement of college rules will receive refunds as determined by the administration.

Return of Title IV Federal Student Aid


Federal Financial Aid Refunds – Return to Title IV Calculation

A student recipient of Federal Title IV funds (i.e., Federal Pell, SEOG or TEACH grants or Perkins, Direct or PLUS loans) who withdraws from the College before completing 60% of the term is subject to the Return to Title IV (R2T4) Calculation to determine the percentage of Title IV funds required to be returned to the federal government. The R2T4 calculation is a federally mandated formula used to determine how much federal funding was “earned” up to the time of withdrawal.

The Title IV funds that were disbursed in excess of the “earned” amount must be returned to the federal government by the College and/or the student. If the student received a refund from financial aid, which was to be used for education-related personal or housing expenses, may be required to return a portion of those funds to the College. This portion represents funds that were intended to pay education-related expenses through the end of the semester. The amount to be returned to the College will be determined by institutional costs, refunds the student might have received for non-college expenses and the funds that must be returned to the government.

The amount to be returned to the federal government will be calculated from the date of official withdrawal from classes or, in the case of an unofficial withdrawal, the last date the student was involved in an academically related activity. An official withdrawal occurs when a student follows the published process for withdrawing from the College prior to the end of the term.

To determine the amount of aid earned up to the time of withdrawal, St. Olaf’s Financial Aid Office will determine the percentage of the semester attended. The percentage used to determine the return of federal student aid funds is equal to the number of calendar days remaining in the semester divided by the number of calendar days in the semester. Scheduled breaks of more than five consecutive days are excluded. The resulting percentage is then used along with the student’s college costs and total federal funds received (funds that were disbursed directly to the student account and possibly refunded to the student) or were eligible to be received, to determine the amount of aid allowed to be kept.

Any unearned Title IV aid must be returned to the federal government within 45 days of the date of the determination of the withdrawal. St. Olaf’s Office of Financial Aid notifies the student with instructions on how to proceed if the student is required to return funds to the government. Any funds returned after the R2T4 calculation is completed and processed are then used to repay St. Olaf funds, state funds, other private sources, and the student, in proportion to the amount received from each non-federal source, as long as there was no unpaid balance at the time of withdrawal. All aid sources are repaid before any funds are returned to the student.

Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reduce the outstanding balances in individual federal programs. Financial aid returned by you and/or your parent or the College must be allocated in the following order:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan
  6. Federal Pell Grant
  7. Federal Supplemental Educational Oppurtunity Grant (SEOG)
  8. Federal TEACH Grant


Post Withdrawal Disbursement

A student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement if, prior to withdrawing, the student earned more federal financial aid than was disbursed. If a student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of Title IV funds, it will be processed and a refund will be issued to the student within 14 days of the creation of a credit balance on the student

If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, St. Olaf College must get the student’s permission before it can disburse the loan. Students may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that s/he does not incur additional debt. A notice will be sent out to the student, and the signed, original document must be returned to the College within 14 days.

St. Olaf’s College may automatically use all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition and fees. However, the College needs the student’s permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other college charges. If the student does not give his/her permission, the student will be offered the funds. However, it may be in the student’s best interest to allow the College to keep the funds to reduce the student’s debt at the college.

It is also important to understand that accepting a post-withdrawal disbursement of student loan funds will increase a student’s overall student loan debt that must be repaid under the terms of the Master Promissory Note. Additionally, accepting the disbursement of grant funds will reduce the remaining amount of federal grant funds available to the student should the student continue his/her education at a later time.

Institutional Financial Aid Refunds

If a student is receiving only St. Olaf grants or scholarships, the reduction is pro-rated, based on the percentage of the tuition refunded. For example, if 40% of the tuition is refunded, 40% of scholarships and grants will be refunded. For more information on the academic policies and procedures with regards to taking a leave of absence or withdrawing, please visit the Academic Catalog.