Impacts on Scholarship When a Student Withdraws Mid-Semester

Does your community foundation have a policy addressing how scholarship funds are handled if a student withdraws prior to the completion of a semester? We have a situation where a student withdrew with 3 weeks remaining in the semester. Do you request the college/university return those funds (or a portion of funds)? Do you follow the Federal student aid policy where a student is able to retain the aid if they have completed 60%+ of the semester? If you have a policy addressing this, please share. Thank you!

Laurie Abildso

Vice President

Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.

Tagged:
KaraAdamstamikafisher

Comments

  • Great question, @LaurieAbildso! I can imagine that scenario can cause some disruption in your processes. Let's see what others think!

    LaurieAbildso
  • Following this thread; similar situation.

    LaurieAbildsotamikafisherKaraAdams
  • edited December 2021

    This is a great question. I had this happen recently and the university returned the remaining funds. The student is expected to return to studies in spring. I processed it as a normal return but I would love to see others perspectives on this occurrence. No specific policy that I am aware of that addresses this situation. We have a general policy on applying refunds.

    KaraAdamsLaurieAbildso
  • This is a great question & will lead to us updating our policies! We did not formally have a policy around this specific situation before, we simply state that if any amount of the funds are unused they will be returned. This also applies if a student does not enroll. However, we have not yet had a situation where the student leaves mid-semester, but would likely let the school keep the funds. I should also note, we only have a handful of scholarship funds, so the financial impact is small for our organization and donors.

    LaurieAbildsoKaraAdamsWalterWilliams
  • We did have a similar situation where a student left mid semester due to illness. The college refused to return any monies - I thought they should have at least pro rated the funds. Student did return the next semester and there was no ramifications to him.

    KaraAdams
  • Thanks, all. We decided not to request funds be returned in this instance. We would like to put a policy in place to address this for the future.

    Laurie Abildso

    Vice President

    Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.

    KaraAdams
  • Would the college point to their refund policy they have in place for tuition that students paid? Usually they have a date by which a student must withdraw to receive 100% refund, 75% refund, 50% refund, and so on. I would imagine they would expect scholarships to follow the timeline as well.

  • Thanks, @MollyCerroni. In this case, the student withdrew after the window to receive any refund. The university offered to refund the scholarship to us, but would then bill the student for that amount. We decided not to go that route.

    Laurie Abildso

    Vice President

    Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.

    MollyCerroniKaraAdams
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