Office of Student Financial Aid

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Financial aid recipients are obligated to remain enrolled and pass a certain number of units. Upon a financial aid recipient's withdrawal from school, SFSU is required by the Federal government to calculate, collect and return a portion of Federal financial aid grant or loan funds received by the student.


The portion of financial aid to be returned is determined by the percentage of financial aid not earned by the student. The percentage of unearned aid is calculated using the following formula:

Total # of Calendar Days in the semester Not Completed by the Student
Divide by The Total Number of Calendar Days in the Semester

During the first 60% of the enrollment period, a student "earns" Title IV funds in direct proportion to the length of time he or she remains enrolled. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60% point earns all aid for the period.

A student who withdraws from the university before the 60% period (approximately before the 10th week of classes) may be required to return all or a portion of the federal financial aid funds. The amount to be returned will be based on the formula stated above by calculating the financial aid funds that were used to pay the student's tuition fees and campus housing obligations as well as the portion directly disbursed to the student.


For a student who withdraws without notifying the University, the withdrawal date is the midpoint of the semester.

For example:

Joe Smith withdrew from the university on September 22nd.

The semester began on August 30th,

ends on December 15th, and is 108 calendar days long.

For that semester, Joe received :

  • $1,500 Pell,

  • $250 SEOG,

  • $1,500 in Subsidized Direct Loan

  • and $300 in Perkins loan.

  • Tuition Fees Paid Using Financial Aid Funds = $913

    Total Financial Aid Received = $3,550

    Percent of Semester Completed:

    08/30 - Semester start date

    09/22 - Withdrawal date

    12/15 - Semester end date

    24 Attended days / 108 days in semester = 22% of semester completed

    Percent of Unearned Aid:100% - 22% of semester completed = 78% Unearned Aid

    $3550 Total Title IV Aid Disbursed x 78% Unearned Aid = %2769 Unearned Aid

    Amount of aid SF State must return to Title IV:

    $913 tuition Fees x 78% Unearned Aid = $712 SF State must return to Federal Financial Aid Funds.

    The student, in turn, will be responsible for paying the university the amount of:



    A student may be responsible for all or a portion of the institutional tuition fees - housing - returned to the Federal financial aid funds based on the University's refund and withdrawal deadlines. (Refer to the Class Schedule or Class Bulletin for the TITLE V - CA State and University's REFUND and WITHDRAWAL deadlines.)

    SFSU returns $712 to Subsidized Federal Direct Student Loan.

    The student's loan obligation for the semester is reduced by this amount.

    Amount of Financial Aid the student Must Return:

    $2,769 Unearned Aid Amount - $712 SFSU Returns = $2,057 Amount Student Must Return.

    Student returns $788 to subsidized Federal Direct Student Loan

    $300 to Perkins Loan*

    50% of $969 to Federal Pell Grant = $485**

    *Student may repay the Federal Direct Student Loan and the Perkins Loan according to the original terms or both loans.

    **Student only repays 50% of unearned aid attributable to a grant and has 45 days to enter into satisfactory repayment arrangement with SFSU or the U.S. Department of Education.

    Unearned funds returned are credited to outstanding Federal loan balances and grant programs received by the student in the following priority order:

    1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
    2. Subsidized Direct Loans
    3. Federal Perkins Loans
    4. FFEL PLUS Loans
    5. Federal Pell Grants
    6. Federal SEOG
    7. Other Title IV assistance for which a return of funds is required

    8. The student's portion of the calculated amount attributable to a Title IV loan program may be repaid by the student according to the loan's terms.

      The student's portion of unearned aid attributable to a grant is reduced to 50%. The student has 45 days to enter into repayment arrangement with SF State or with the U.S. Department of Education.


    SFSU does not have the authority to waive or write off the repayment requirement regardless of the reason for the withdrawal, including extenuating circumstances such as illness, accident or grievous personal loss.

    A student who fails to return the unearned Federal Financial Aid funds will be referred to the U.S. Department of Education for collection and the university may withhold permission to register; to use facilities; or render services.

    Until the repayment issue is resolved, the student's record will be "flagged" every time a student files a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A student in repayment is ineligible for financial aid at any other institution in the nation.

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