Leaving the University, Refunds and Return Aid

Students may leave the University upon graduating, or while on an approved leave of absence, or because of withdrawal.

Leave of Absence

Leaves of absence constitute interruptions in progress and are generally discouraged. A student in good standing who must interrupt study for compelling circumstances beyond his/her control may petition the college dean for a leave, usually not to exceed one year. Students who fail to return after the leave has expired are not considered to be in the degree program any longer and must reapply for subsequent readmission. During the period of leave, the transcript carries a designation of “LOA” and the date. Students on approved leave are considered inactive and are ineligible for those Education & Student Life services normally provided to enrolled students.  However, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Student Health may provide services for up to 30 days in order to facilitate transfer of care.

Voluntary Withdrawal

Voluntary withdrawal from the University (as well as from individual courses) during the drop/add period results in no transcript entry. The drop/add period extends through the first 14 calendar days of each semester. Course Drop/Add  forms must be appropriately signed and submitted to Enrollment Management. Courses dropped during this period do not appear on the academic record. After this period, withdrawal of any type results in withdrawal grades if approved by the college dean. Failure to return for the succeeding semester constitutes disruption of studies. Readmission in each instance requires the student to complete again the entire application process.

Involuntary Withdrawal

Students dismissed are customarily ineligible to return except upon meeting specific conditions stipulated by each college. A notice of “dismissed” and the date are documented on the transcript.

Withdrawal/Leave of Absence Effective Date Policy


A student's effective last date of attendance is important for calculating potential tuition refunds and return of federal financial aid for students who are granted a leave of absence, voluntarily withdraw, or are suspended or dismissed. The University is required by regulation to notify government and lenders promptly upon a student's withdrawal. Failure to do so can result in the University being prohibited from providing federal aid in the future.


The student's dean's office must ensure the registrar's office receives the withdrawal form no later than 2 weeks after the student's effective date of last attendance. The following policies determine the effective date of last attendance for withdrawn students:

Leave of Absence or Student-Initiated Withdrawal

The effective date of last attendance will be the date given on the withdrawal form as requested and approved by the College. 

Dismissal or Suspension

The effective date of last attendance will be the latter of either the date the student agrees not to appeal the dismissal or suspension as indicated by a signature on the withdrawal form, or at the completion of any appeals process. The student's access to some campus resources may be restricted immediately upon notification of dismissal or suspension, but it is expected that the student will remain engaged in academic study during the time of appeal through communication with faculty


For authorized withdrawals and changes in schedules, cancellation of semester academic charges will be made in accordance with the schedule that follows. Applications for withdrawal from the University or for a change of class schedule are available from Enrollment Management and must be presented to the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. The date of the withdrawal granted by the dean will be the controlling factor in determining the amount of refund. Authorization to withdraw and certification for work done will not be given to a student who does not have a clear financial record.           

1. Complete withdrawal from the University:  

Fall and Spring Semester Refund Rate
WD dated on the first day of your program 100%
WD dated in the first week   90%
WD dated in the second or third week   75%
WD dated in the fourth week   50%
WD dated after the end of the fourth week   None
Summer Semester Refund Rate
 WD dated the first day of your program  100%
 WD dated in the first week  75%
 WD dated after the end of the first week  None

Students receiving financial aid who are withdrawing on or before the 60% point of their first university enrollment period will have their refund of tuition/fees prorated based on the length of their attendance prior to withdrawal.

2. For a change in student status from full-time to part-time, the above schedule applies to the difference in charges between the original program and the adjusted program, according to the date(s) of the adjustment(s).

3. For the part-time student whose program changes are not initiated by the University, any refund for dropped credit hours is calculated based on the refund schedule shown above, according to the date(s) of the adjustment(s). Any charges for added credit-hours are equal to the amount shown on the Schedule of Academic Charges.

4. In all cases, the amount refunded or charged is calculated using the credit hour charge for the appropriate college.

5. All laboratory fees, the library fee, and the informatics fee are non-refundable.

6. The refund policy for students in evening or extension programs will conform to the drop/add policy approved for those programs.

7. A student enrolled in a full-time program who drops or adds a course and continues to be in a full-time program will have no financial adjustments of academic charges.

8. A student called to active duty may be granted military leave for the period of active duty upon presenting his/her dean with a copy of his/her orders and a petition for a military leave. The maintenance of continuous registration is not required of a student on military leave. He/she may apply for readmission to the University well in advance of the semester in which he/she expects to return.

A student granted military leave before completing the semester will receive credits for current charges in accordance with the schedule for complete withdrawal from the University (see number 1). Payments made in excess of the nonrefundable balance will be refunded to the student. The nonrefundable balance will be maintained as deferred credit for use by the student when he/she returns to the University. The deferred credit will be held for one year following the student’s discharge date from the military. 

Return of Title IV Funds for Financial Aid Recipients

Return of Title IV Funds policy for financial aid recipients is consistent with requirements specified by federal guidelines and regulations. The following policy outlines how the return of Title IV financial aid monies will be assessed for students who completely withdraw from classes.

Terms used in the Return of Title IV Funds policies:

Return of funds by school – The amount of institutional charges that must be returned to the Title IV Student Financial Aid Programs for a student who withdraws completely within the first 60% of the term.

Return of funds by the student – The amount of Title IV Student Financial Aid funds that the student must pay back.

Title IV funds – The following aid sources are federal monies which are governed by Title IV, U.S. Department of Education regulations: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Stafford Loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized), and Federal PLUS Loans.

Non-Title IV funds – The following aid sources are monies which are not funded through the Department of Education: Federal Title VII funds, Department of Health and Human Services (Disadvantaged Health Professions Scholarships, Health Professions Loans, Loans for Disadvantaged Students, Nursing Loans), Graduate Incentive Fellowships, other diversity grants, donor loans, and donor scholarships.

Note: After the appropriate Title IV Student Financial Aid Programs amounts have been returned to the corresponding accounts, non-Title IV funds will be returned proportionately to the remaining accounts according to the priority listed above. Loan funds administered by the federal Department of Health and Human Services will be excluded from other calculations since students already owe these funds and monies disbursed to the student will be added to the total outstanding balance(s) of the student’s loan(s). Non-federal loan repayments will be determined by the policies of individual lenders.

Unpaid charges – Any institutional costs that have not been paid ( i.e., unpaid charges) by a student receiving federal aid will be the responsibility of the student.

Withdrawal date – The student’s withdrawal date is the earlier date the student began the school’s withdrawal process or date the student otherwise provided “official” notice; or if the student didn’t notify the school, midpoint in period; or if student didn’t notify due to circumstance beyond student’s control, date related to that circumstance; or if student didn’t return from approved leave of absence, date student began leave; or date of student’s last attendance at documented academically-related activity.

Note: An approved leave of absence of no more than 60 days is not considered a complete withdrawal and is not subject to the Return of Title IV Funds policy. However, if a student’s leave of absence is not approved or if the student fails to return to school at the end of an approved leave of absence (or within 60 days from the time the leave of absence began), the student is considered to have withdrawn and the return of funds requirements apply.

Force Majeure

In the event the University must suspend or close due to force majeure, no adjustment of tuition or fees shall be made. “Force Majeure” shall mean any cause or event which is outside the control of the University and may include war, flood, storm, epidemic or financial exigency.

Per federal regulations, in the event the University must suspend or close due to force majeure, the following two scenarios may apply in determining Enrollment Status, Withdrawal Date, and potential Return of Title IV funds:

1.       If the University ceases operation during a payment period and fails to reopen by the end of the period, the students are considered no longer in attendance and must be considered withdrawn for that period of enrollment.

2.       If the University closes and subsequently reopens during the payment period, any students who began attendance but failed to return are considered withdrawn effective the midpoint of the semester or the date the institution ceased operation.

Student Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the student to withdraw officially from classes and he/she may do so by contacting the Dean’s Office in the appropriate College or the Office of Enrollment Management. Students are encouraged to meet with their financial aid counselor prior to, or after making the decision to withdraw from school. The official office to notice of a complete withdrawal from the university is the Office of Enrollment Management.

Return of Funds Procedure

The return of Title IV funds for a student who is receiving federal financial aid funds and withdraws completely within the first 60% of the term will be calculated accordingly:

  1. The student’s Title IV aid amount will be determined;
  2. Percentage of Title IV aid earned by the student will be calculated;
  3. Amount of Title IV aid earned by the student will be assessed;
  4. Determination will be made if the student is due a post-withdrawal disbursement or if the Title IV aid must be returned to the appropriate account;
  5. Amount of unearned Title IV aid the school has credited to the student’s account will be calculated;
  6. Unearned Title IV funds held by the school will be returned by the school to the appropriate funding accounts;
  7. Initial amount of unearned funds received by the student will be determined;
  8. Student will return unearned portion of funds to be returned to program funds by the school and/or lender.

The amount of the Title IV Student Financial Aid Program funds returned will be determined by the federal regulations governing the return.

Failure to repay Title IV funds for which the student is ineligible will result in the loss of eligibility to receive any additional Title IV funds at the Medical University as well as any other college or university.

Non-Title IV aid will be reviewed for return of funds after the Return of Title IV funds policy has been followed. Return of Title VII grant and scholarship funds will be calculated and will receive the next highest priority for redistribution of funds back to the accounts. Return of non-Title IV funds will be made proportionately to the amounts awarded for the term.

Distribution Policy for Return of Funds

The return of funds from the Title IV and non-Title IV accounts will be paid back to the programs as outlined below. Once the amount of Return of Title IV funds is determined, funds will be returned to the Title IV programs in the following order as prescribed by federal law:

  1. Unsubsidized FFEL/Federal Stafford Loan*;
  2. Subsidized FFEL/Federal Stafford Loan*;
  3. Federal Perkins Loan;
  4. FFEL/Direct PLUS*;
  5. Federal Pell Grant;
  6. Federal SEOG;
  7. Other Student Financial Aid Programs administered by the Department of Education;
  8. Other federal, state, private, or institutional sources of aid (with federal Health and Human Services funds receiving priority).

*Loan amounts are returned by the student in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. No further action is required other than the school notification to the holder of the loan of the student’s withdrawal date.

Non-Title IV return of fund monies will be paid back proportionally to program funds from which the monies came based on the appropriate scholarship, grant and/or loan guidelines up to the maximum of the amount awarded for the term in which the student withdrew.

Students interested in obtaining additional information concerning the actual calculations used in the University’s Refund Policy and the Return of Title IV funds policy should contact the MUSC Office of Financial Aid Services. Examples of how the Return of Title IV funds calculations are determined will also be provided upon request.