Financial Aid Return Policy

Students who withdraw from all classes must follow NMU’s withdrawal policy. Students who formally withdraw or stop attending all classes may be required to return a portion or all of their financial aid. The formal withdrawal process starts in the Dean of Students Office, room 2001 of C.B. Hedgcock, with the completion of a Notice of Withdrawal form. The date of first contact with the Dean of Students Office concerning withdrawal will be considered as the official withdrawal date.

The amount of federal financial aid earned is calculated by the Financial Services Office based on the official withdrawal date, as determined by the Dean of Students Office, or last date of attendance by students that stop attending classes without formally withdrawing through the Dean of Students Office. NMU’s tuition refund policy is separate from the federal requirement to return unearned aid. Whether or not a student receives a tuition/fee refund has no bearing on the amount that must be repaid based on the federal formula. 

Students who drop all classes prior to the start of the semester or who never attend classes will have all financial aid cancelled. For students who attend at least one class period, the earned federal aid equates to the direct proportion of the length of time a student was enrolled prior to withdrawing. The amount of assistance that a student has earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you completed 30 percent of the payment period of enrollment, you earn 30 percent of the assistance that you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60 percent of the payment period, you earn all of the federal assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.

The Financial Aid Office will reduce all aid according to the Financial Services Office calculation. Based on the federal calculation any federal funds are returned in the following order:

  1. Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  2. Direct Subsidized Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loans
  4. Direct PLUS Loans
  5. Federal Pell Grants
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

All federal funds that are determined to be unearned will be returned directly to the federal government. As a result, the student may have a balance due to NMU.

If a student is determined to have earned financial aid that has not been funded to the student’s account, the Financial Aid Office will contact the student with any remaining requirements. If student loans are included in the unfunded aid, the student will have the option to decline the loan funds so that they do not incur additional debt. This is not an option for first time/first year students who withdrew during the first 30 days of enrollment.  Students carrying federal student loans may be required to complete an Exit Counseling session online. 

For alternative loans through private lenders, if a student withdraws from the university, and this withdrawal results in excess funds on the student's account, for default management, these proceeds will be returned to the lender. Before alternative loan funds are returned to lenders, Northern Michigan University will deduct any documented educational expenses on a student's account for that semester before returning the overage.

Michigan Competitive Scholarship calculations are completed using the state worksheet and other state awards and are refunded according to their guidelines (TIP, MET etc.).

If a credit remains on the student’s account after state and federal adjustments the credit is prorated among the remaining payment sources and the funds are adjusted accordingly. This part of the process cannot be completed until all necessary credits, such as room and board, are applied to the student’s account.

For fall semester withdrawals, aid for the winter semester will be entirely removed, unless NMU has information that the student is returning. 

Withdrawing from classes will also impact Satisfactory Academic Progress. Please review the requirements as listed in the Satisfactory Academic Progress section.