You Could Pay Thousands More If Your Child Drops That College Course

"This fall, tell your child to think twice before withdrawing from that class she hates. She could lose thousands of dollars in financial aid. That's because college students must meet a series of requirements, including maintaining a minimum C average and successfully completing a minimum number of credits, in order to qualify for the full amount of loans and grants they're expecting to receive," CNBC reports.

"In the worst case, students who drop from full-time to less than half-time — that is, generally fewer than six credits per semester for undergraduates — may no longer be able to take out federal loans and may have to start repaying what they've already borrowed.

... Here's what you need to know if your child is thinking of going below full-time status.


Paying Up

If students fall below half-time status for more than one concurrent semester, their federal loans enter a six-month grace period and then repayment begins, said Megan Coval, vice president, public policy and federal relations at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Further, depending on the school and the circumstances behind the drop to part-time status, a college could require that a student repay aid already received, she said. Students should check these details with their financial aid office.

Schools make a distinction between withdrawing from a class and dropping it, and this factors into whether a student is considered full time.

Add or Drop
If a student enrolls in a class and drops it prior to the school's 'add-drop' deadline, bringing him below full-time status, the school may adjust his aid.
However, if he remains in the course beyond the deadline and withdraws from it, he may still be considered full time and will be allowed to keep his financial aid package for that semester.
'If you withdraw after that date, it shows that you've attempted the class, so you get to keep your enrollment status,' said Coval. 'You've attended the class for a greater portion of the semester.'
Students who are failing classes and stick around still run the risk of losing their aid: Remember that they have to successfully complete a number of classes to meet satisfactory academic progress standards."
NASFAA's "Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 8/10/2018

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