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Online Student Withdrawals & Refunds

Online Students

For various reasons, students may need to stop attending all of their courses. Any student who either stops attending or officially drops all of their current courses is considered to have withdrawn from the institution.

All students withdrawing from Clarks Summit University must complete a withdrawal form. Each student’s final day of class attendance must be documented on the form in order to avoid overpayment of federal student aid. Students who are dismissed are not exempt from this policy. Seminary, graduate and undergraduate online students may obtain the course Drop and Withdrawal Form from the Student Resources group in Schoology. Residential undergraduate students must stop by the Office for Student Development (OSD) to receive a form and begin the process of obtaining all necessary signatures from appropriate offices which will maintain a copy for their files.

Students attending modules or sessions shorter than a full semester must provide a written intent to attend their already registered courses for the next session or module within the same semester, or those courses they plan to register for. This can be accomplished by simply completing the Course Drop and Withdrawal Form located in the Student Resources section of Schoology. Just check the box that indicates you plan to attend other courses in a future session or module with the same term, specify the dates and sign the form. Any student already registered for a future session or module who does not check this box on the signed form and who does not end up attending the already registered courses will be considered withdrawn from the institution as of the last documented date of attendance. Any student who does not check the box but does in fact take later courses within the same semester will have all previously calculated refunds reversed as well as their withdrawal status.

Full Withdrawal Refund Schedule

Refunds are calculated based upon all institutional charges including tuition, fees, room and board.

Total amount of institutional costs
X percent of enrollment period not complete
= Student Refund

Return of Federal Title IV Aid upon complete withdrawal from school 

If a student has completed 60 percent or more of the enrollment period then the percentage of costs incurred by the student is 100 percent.

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to determine how much financial aid was earned by students who withdraw, drop out or are dismissed prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term. For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there are no unearned funds. However, Clarks Summit University must still complete a return calculation in order to determine whether the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. The calculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV Funds Formula: Percentage of term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula: percentage of aid to be returned = 100 percent – percentage of earned aid. Multiply the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the term by the percent of aid to be returned. If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds to the government and the student may be required to return a portion of the funds as well. When Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution. If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal. The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the student’s withdrawal.

Refunds are allocated in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
  3. Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans
  4. Federal Pell Grants for which a return of funds is required
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
Return of Non-Title IV Aid

When a student withdraws during Clarks Summit University’s refund period (less than 60% of the term completed), the institutional aid received by the student will be reduced in proportion to the adjustment of the student’s charges. The only exception is outside scholarships with specific program requirements for full return upon withdrawal.

Unofficial Withdrawals

Students no longer desiring to complete a course must fill out a course drop form to officially notify the University of the student’s intent to withdraw from the course. Course drop forms are available from the Registrar’s Office or in Schoology. Students that stop attending a course without filling out the course drop form will be withdrawn from the course after 14 consecutive calendar days of non-attendance.

Attendance for online courses is determined by submission of an academic assignment such as an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post or other similar academic event.

Courses not officially dropped, in which the student stops attending the course for 14 days or more, will be assigned a grade of FN (Failure for Non-attendance), dated to the student’s last date of attendance in the course. The FN grade indicates that the student stopped attending the course and failed to meet the course objectives. An FN grade is calculated into the student’s grade point average like an F grade.

Students receiving a course grade of FN are responsible for all resulting charges to their student account. If, at any point, a student has dropped and/or unofficially withdrawn from all courses for the term, the student will be withdrawn from the University and will be subject to the Unofficial Withdrawal procedure, including the reduction and/or return of all financial aid.

Unofficial Withdrawal Appeal

Students who receive a grade of “FN” may appeal to their professor to have the grade removed in order to continue work in the course. This appeal must be communicated in written form to the faculty member within 1 week of the notification of the “FN” grade being posted. The  appeal must include a statement that the student desires to continue in the course. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the professor, the student may appeal the decision according to the University’s Student Appeals and Grievance Policy.

The following states require a separate statement be posted for students enrolled in online classes:

Iowa Residents

Online students who are residents of Iowa will be subjected to the policy put forth by the Iowa Department of Education. 

Military Refund Policy

CSU is supportive of a student who is a member, or the spouse of a member if the member has a dependent child, of the Iowa National Guard or Reserve forces of the United States and who is ordered to state military service or federal service or duty. Upon verification of orders requiring active duty, you may select from several tuition credit options. Upon meeting with the Director of Financial Aid to verify orders, CSU will work with the student to determine the best plan for those circumstances. Below are the three options to review and consider:

  • Withdraws from the student’s entire registration and receive a full refund of tuition and mandatory fees.
  • Makes arrangements with the student’s instructors for course grades, or for incompletes that shall be completed by the student at a later date. If such arrangements are made, the student’s registration shall remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees shall be assessed for the courses in full.
  • Make arrangements with only some of the student’s instructors for grades, or for incompletes that shall be completed by the student at a later date.  If such arrangements are made, the registration for those courses shall remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees shall be assessed for those courses.  Any course for which arrangements cannot be make for grades or incompletes shall be considered dropped and the tuition and mandatory fees for the course refunded.

These rules are in compliance with Iowa Code 261.9(1)9g.


  1. A person offering a course of instruction at the postsecondary level, for profit, that is more than four months in length and leads to a degree, diploma or license, shall make a pro rata refund of no less than ninety percent of the tuition for a terminating student to the appropriate agency based upon the ratio of completed number of scheduled school days to sixty percent of the scheduled school days of the school term or course.
  2. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 1, the following refund policy shall apply:
    1. If a terminating student has completed sixty percent or more of a school term or course that is more than four months in length, the person offering the course of instruction is not required to refund tuition for the student. However, if, at any time, a student terminates a school term or course that is more than four months in length due to the student’s physical incapacity or due to the transfer of the student’s spouse’s employment to another city, the terminating student shall receive a refund of tuition in an amount which equals the amount of tuition multiplied by the ratio of the remaining number of school days to the total school days of the school term or course.
    2. A refund of ninety percent of the tuition for a terminating student shall be paid to the appropriate agency based upon the ratio of completed number of school days to the total school days of the school term or course. This paragraph applies to those persons offering courses of instruction at the postsecondary level, for profit, whose cohort default rate for students under the Stafford loan program as defined by the United States department of education is more than one hundred ten percent of the national average cohort default rate for that program for that period or six percent, whichever is higher.
  3. If the financial obligations of a student are for three or fewer months duration, this section does not apply.
  4. Refunds shall be paid to the appropriate agency within thirty days following the student’s termination.
  5. A student who terminates a course of instruction or term shall not be charged any fee or other monetary penalty for terminating a course of instruction or term other than a reduction in tuition refund as specified in this section.
  6. A violation of this section is a simple misdemeanor.
Maryland Residents

Online students who are residents of Maryland will be subject to the policy put forth by the Maryland Department of Education. The minimum refund that an institution shall pay to a Maryland student who withdraws or is terminated after completing only a portion of a course, program or term within the applicable billing period is as follows:

A refund due to a Maryland student will be based upon the date of withdrawal or termination and must be paid to the student within 60 days from the date of withdrawal or termination.

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