Withdrawals, Leave of Absence and Refund Policy

Withdrawal Process

The withdrawal process is overseen by the Dean of Students Office. Visit the withdrawal page to review the process and obtain the necessary forms. 

Cancellation of Charges and Federal Title IV Refund Policy

Since Whittier College makes faculty engagements and other commitments for the entire year, the following tuition cancellation schedule has been established so that students share the cost when it is necessary for them to drop a course or withdraw from the College. These commitments are not subject to change, even though the number of students may vary. For this reason, no deviations from the tuition cancellation schedule will be made. This policy applies to all undergraduate and graduate students who withdraw or take a leave of absence, whether or not they receive federal Title IV financial aid. There is no cancellation of charges for individual courses dropped after the College's "End Drop" published deadline.

Withdrawal or Leave of Absence Process

Students who plan to withdraw or take a leave of absence from Whittier College must contact the Dean of Students office immediately. A student is not considered on leave or to have officially withdrawn from the College until the student submits a completed and signed Withdrawal Form to the Dean of Students office. If the Withdrawal Form is not submitted on a business day, the form will be processed on the next business day. This date will also be used to calculate tuition cancellations whenever applicable.

Students who fail to notify the Dean of Students office of their withdrawal will not qualify for tuition cancellation of any kind.

Upon approval from the Dean of Students, notification of the withdrawal will be forwarded to the Office of Financial Aid, the Business Office, and the Registrar to assure timely adjustments to student accounts, financial aid awards and college records.

Cancellation of Institutional Charges

Based on the date of withdrawal from the College, a student may receive a pro-rated cancellation of that semester's direct costs for tuition, room, and meal plan. Please see the Housing and Meal Agreement generated by the Office of Residential Life, for the schedule of room and meal plan fees and withdraw dates. Indirect costs such as fees, insurance, and book purchases will not be subject to proration or refund.

Tuition Cancellation Schedule

The tuition cancellation schedule is based on official withdrawal date. The College policy is as follows:

During week 1, 100% of tuition will be canceled.
During week 2, 90% of tuition will be canceled.
During week 3, 80% of tuition will be canceled.
During week 4, 70% of tuition will be canceled.
During week 5, 60% of tuition will be canceled.
During week 6, 50% of tuition will be canceled.
After week 6, 0% of tuition will be canceled.

For Summer Sessions, tuition cancellation policy will be applied based on the same schedule. However, the number of weeks in the semester is replaced by the number of days in the session. For example, week 1 will be replaced by the first day of class, week 2 is equivalent to the second day of class, week 3 equals the third day of class, etc.

If a student is suspended, dismissed, expelled or asked to leave the College for any reason, under no circumstance is the student is eligible for tuition, related fees, room, meal plan, or insurance fee cancellation.

Return of Title IV Funding - Financial Aid

When a student withdraws from the College, his or her federal financial aid must be returned to the government. The date of withdrawal Whittier College uses for the return of Title IV funds shall be the date the student submits a completed and signed Withdrawal Form to the Dean of Students office. The  Office of Financial Aid will apply federal, state, and institutional policy to determine the amount of funding, if any, that must be returned to the Department of Education, as well as any entity of student or parent aid assistance programs.

Title IV funds include the following programs:

  • Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grands (FSEOG)
  • Direct Loans
  • Parent/PLUS Loans

When calculating the return of federal aid, Whittier College uses the Department of Education's formula and software to determine the amount that must be returned upon a student's withdrawal. A copy of this calculation worksheet will be included in the student's file and can be forwarded to the student upon request. The percentage of Title IV assistance earned will be equal to the percentage of the semester completed by the student when said percentage is less than 60%. If a student withdraws after completing 60% of the semester, the percentage of aid earned during this time will be 100%. For more information, visit the US Department of Education website and search "Return of Title IV".

Federal Work Study funds are excluded from the return of Title IV process. However, upon notification of withdrawal, a student will forfeit his or her remaining work study allocation because these funds are paid when earned.

Title IV funding is returned in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Direct Loans
  3. Parent/PLUS Loans
  4. Pell Grant
  5. SEOG(supplemental educational opportunity grant)
  6. Other Title IV funds

Return of Institutional Aid

When a student withdraws from the College, financial aid given by the College is also returned to its original source. Institutional aid consists of restricted and unrestricted scholarships, Whittier Grants, endowments, and Whittier loans. The refund or cancellation of institutional financial aid shall follow the pro-rata policy of the "Cancellation of Institutional Charges." The date of withdrawal from Whittier College used for the return of institutional aid shall be the date the student submits a completed and signed Withdrawal Form to the Dean of Students office.

Notification of Students

Students will be notified of all changes to their account via student billing statements available on-line. Please note that withdrawing from Whittier College, regardless of circumstance, does not release students from financial obligations.

Read more about Tuition Protection Insurance and how it expands the scope of the College's tuition cancellation policy.