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Student Financial Aid

Return Aid After Withdrawing 

If a student withdraws from classes during the academic semester, they cannot keep all financial aid awards. Students who withdraw must follow specific processes to return unearned federal and institutional financial aid.

Federal Aid 

If you have questions about your federal financial aid, you can call the Office of Student Financial Aid at 864-656-2280 or email Also, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available at

Title IV Aid 

Federal law specifies how Clemson University must determine the amount of federal (Title IV) financial aid you earn if you withdraw from school. Federal programs covered by this law include:  

  • Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans.
  • Federal Subsidized Direct Loans.
  • Federal Graduate PLUS Loans.
  • Federal Parent PLUS Loans.
  • Federal Pell Grants.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.
  • Federal TEACH Grant.
  • Iraq/Afghanistan Service Grants. 

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements and Returns to Title IV (R2T4)

When you withdraw during your term, the amount of federal financial aid you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or Clemson University or your parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds as a post-withdrawal disbursement. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned to the government by Clemson University and/or you. This is called Return to Title IV (or R2T4). 

Determining Earned Assistance

The amount of assistance you have earned is determined on a pro-rata basis. For example, if you completed 30 percent of your payment period, you earn 30 percent of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60 percent of the payment period, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period. 

Clemson University Financial Aid Returns 

If you received (or Clemson University or your parent received on your behalf) excess federal financial aid that must be returned, Clemson University must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of: 

  1. Your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
  2. The entire amount of excess funds.

Clemson University must return this amount even if we did not keep this amount of your federal financial aid. This may create a significant indebtedness for you if this aid was used to pay for charges for which you are still responsible or if you received these funds as a refund.

Student Financial Aid Returns

If Clemson University is not required to return all the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time. 


Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with Clemson University to return the unearned grant funds. 

Unpaid Institutional Charges 

The requirements for federal financial aid funds when you withdraw are separate from Clemson’s adjustment policy for institutional charges. Therefore, you may still owe funds to cover unpaid institutional charges. Clemson University will also charge you for any federal financial aid that we were required to return. Be sure you are aware of the adjustment policy, academic consequences and withdrawal procedures before making your final decision.  

Nonfederal Aid 

Financial aid is expected to help meet educational costs, so any academic, housing or meal plan refunds resulting from your withdrawal from the University will be returned to the financial aid programs from which you received assistance. University, state and outside scholarships may be adjusted based on the tuition adjustment schedule. You may be required to return funds from previously issued financial aid refund checks.

General Returns

Indebtedness to the University created by the return of aid must be resolved before you can re-enroll or be issued an academic transcript. Federal regulations prohibit the use of federal financial aid to pay prior-year balances. Therefore, you need to consider the payment of any outstanding balances as you make plans to return to school.