Standards to Receive Financial Aid

Shubber Mohammed standing outside of Fletcher Hall

To receive financial aid funds, you must continue to meet satisfactory academic progress.

Your offer, acceptance and disbursement of aid is contingent upon meeting these standards.

You will be notified via UTC email if you are not making satisfactory academic progress.

Call or e-mail the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships if you have questions regarding this policy.

UTC's Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy →

Here’s the simple version of what you will read below:

  • The amount of financial aid you are eligible for depends on your enrollment status—the amount of hours you are taking in a semester.
  • Withdrawing from classes, or not showing up to any of them, has implications on your financial aid eligibility (even if you’ve already received it). You might have to pay it back.
  • If you need to withdraw from classes, meet with someone in the Financial Aid Office. They can advise you on the best course of action and prepare you for next steps.

Aid and enrollment

  • Financial Aid is awarded based on full time enrollment (12 hours or more).
  • Enrollment status for financial aid purposes is determined on the last day to add classes for the semester and financial aid is adjusted accordingly.
  • Aid is awarded for the academic year, half for fall and half for spring semester.
  • Defining enrollment: undergraduate students
    • Full-time student: 12 hours
    • Three-quarter-time student: nine to 11 hours
    • Half-time student: six to eight hours
    • Half-time status is required to receive student loans, HOPE and other federal aid, although less than half-time students may qualify for Federal Pell Grant funds.
  • Defining enrollment: graduate students
    • Full-time student: nine hours
    • Half-time student: five hours
    • Graduate students must be accepted as degree-seeking.

[Before Fall 2012, six credit hours was equivalent to half-time enrollment.]

Financial Aid Implications of Withdrawing from UTC Classes

The UTC Registrar manages the University’s withdrawal process. For more information, including procedures and forms, visit their website.

  • Financial aid recipients who officially withdraw from UTC or stop attending all classes may owe money back to financial aid programs. If this is something you are considering, schedule a meeting with our staff to learn more about options and decide what’s best for you.
  • Students who withdraw from all classes during the beginning of each semester may be entitled to a refund of institutional charges.
    • This refund is determined by the Bursar’s Office.  
    • Students receiving financial assistance from federal, state, UTC or external donors will have refunds of institutional charges returned first to these aid providers.
    • Federal and state financial aid programs have specific regulations on return of financial aid funds for aid recipients who withdraw from classes.
    • Federal Title IV recipients may also be subject to a return of federal financial aid funds if they unofficially withdraw (defined below) from UTC.

Withdrawing from classes will also affect the your course completion rate as outlined in UTC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy.


Official Withdrawal: A student is considered officially withdrawn when they follow the UTC Registrar procedures for withdrawing from classes. The student’s withdrawal date is the date they initiate the official withdrawal process. In the case of a backdated withdrawal, the student’s last date of attendance or academic activity is considered the withdrawal date.

Unofficial Withdrawal: Students who cease attendance and receive grades of F in all classes, or a combination of Fs and any of the following grades in all classes for the semester–W, I, IP, NC, NR, WF–are considered unofficially withdrawn. The determination that a student has unofficially withdrawn is made after grades are posted at the end of the semester. The withdrawal date for unofficially withdrawn students is the latest reported date of attendance or academic activity, as reported by the student’s professors. Faculty members are asked to report a last date of attendance or academic activity when assigning a grade of F to a student who ceased attendance. If the last date of attendance or academic activity is unknown, the mid-point in the semester is used as the withdrawal date for unofficially withdrawn students.

Title IV programs: Federal Title IV programs include Federal Pell Grant, Direct Loans, Perkins Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and TEACH Grant.

Return of Title IV (R2T4): Students who receive federal Title IV aid and withdraw either officially or unofficially are subject to federal Return of Title IV aid regulations. These regulations require a calculation to determine the amount of federal Title IV aid “earned” by the student based on his or her withdrawal date.

Students who never begin attendance for the semester are not eligible to receive any federal Title IV aid funds. If federal Title IV aid has been disbursed and it is then discovered that the student never attended, all federal aid must be returned. The student will be billed for any portion of returned aid that is not covered by the institutional refund. No Return of Title IV calculation is required, however, as students who have not attended are not eligible to receive any of their Title IV aid.

Return to Title IV Aid (R2T4)

Students who receive federal Title IV financial aid and withdraw from all classes–officially or unofficially—are subject to a federal Return of Title IV regulations. The Return of Title IV aid calculation determines the amount of earned and unearned federal Title IV aid, based on the student’s withdrawal date. Students earn Title IV aid as they attend classes during the semester. Only when a student has attended past the 60 percent mark in the semester have they earned all of their federal Title IV assistance for the term.

The Return of Title IV aid calculation determines if federal funds need to be returned by the institution and/or the student (when federal aid has been disbursed for the semester) or if the student is due a post-withdrawal disbursement of federal aid (when federal aid has not been disbursed).  The Return of Title IV aid calculation is made within 30 days of the University receiving the student’s withdrawal request (or notice of unofficial withdrawal) and the student is notified of the results of this calculation.

The Return of Title IV calculation may require a return of previously disbursed federal aid by UTC and/or the student. This return of Title IV funds may result in an outstanding balance that the student owes UTC. After UTC adjusts the student’s federal aid awards based on the R2T4 calculation of earned aid, federal funds may not cover all of the student’s institutional charges.

Students awarded federal Title IV aid that has not disbursed for the semester may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of aid. Post-withdrawal grant amounts are disbursed to the student’s UTC account and the student is notified of eligibility for this post-withdrawal grant disbursement. Students eligible for post-withdrawal loan disbursements are mailed a notice of their eligibility for a post-withdrawal loan disbursement. The student must sign and return a statement indicating that he or she wishes to receive the post-withdrawal loan disbursement. The post-withdrawal loan disbursement notice sets a deadline for the student to request the post-withdrawal loan disbursement. No post-withdrawal disbursement of loan is made without the student’s written request.

Title IV funds are returned in the order listed below, as determined by the federal Department of Education. Title IV funds are returned within 45 days of the student’s withdrawal.

  1. Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Direct PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Perkins Loan
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. FSEOG
  7. TEACH Grant
  8. Other SFA Programs
  9. Other federal, state, private, or institutional sources of aid
  10. The student

Note: The University reserves the right to bill the student for any Return of Title IV aid that exceeds the University’s institutional refund (as determined by UTC refund policy).


Students who receive federal student financial assistance funds in excess of their direct cost (i.e. maintenance, tuition, room) may be required to repay funds to certain Title IV programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Other SFA Programs
  • Other federal, state, private, or institutional sources of aid