Return of Federal Title IV aid policy

In accordance with federal regulations, a student who receives federal financial aid but does not complete the payment period for which that aid was awarded may not be entitled to all of the financial aid funds awarded and/or disbursed. The WSU Withdrawals and Return of Title IV Policy applies to leaves of absence in addition to withdrawals.

There are two payment periods within the academic year that correspond to the academic calendar and to the scheduled financial aid disbursement dates.

Reasons for not completing a payment period include but are not limited to:

  • Withdrawal
  • Dismissal
  • Leave of absence

Students are required to meet with the a Financial Aid Officer to discuss the financial aid implications (including potential repayment of federal loans) when a withdrawal, dismissal, leave of absence or other disruption of regular attendance occurs.

If seeking to withdraw or be granted a leave of absence, a student must submit a request in writing to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs. Students should contact the Office of Student Affairs for additional information.

Calculating "earned" versus "unearned" financial aid

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) must follow federal regulations in determining the amount of "earned" versus "unearned" federal financial aid disbursed to a student who then leaves school without completing the payment period or the academic year. The refund percentage is determined by the student's effective date of separation which is the last recorded date of attendance (LDA). If a student completes 60% or less of a payment period, s/he will be considered to have "earned" the same percentage of financial aid as the percentage of the payment period completed. This percentage will be calculated by dividing the completed number of days by the total number of days in the payment period. The percentage of "unearned" aid will correspond to the percentage of the payment period not completed. If a student completes more than 60% of a payment period, s/he will be considered to have earned 100% of the financial aid disbursed for that period and no return of federal financial aid will be calculated.

Students who leave school before the end of a payment period and before federal financial aid was disbursed will be contacted if a post-withdrawal disbursement is due.

For students subject to a Return of Title IV Aid, the following will occur:

OSFA will obtain the last date of attendance from the Records/Registration or Student Affairs Office. The last date of attendance will be used to determine the percentage of the payment period that the student completed. The percentage of the payment period completed will be used to calculate "earned" and "unearned" financial aid. The amount of "unearned" aid will be returned to the appropriate program(s) in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Graduate PLUS Loan

The student will be responsible for repaying any balance owed the university that results from a return of financial aid.  The last date of attendance (LDA) will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) by the Records/Registration Office. The student's loans will enter into the six-month grace period and then into repayment. If the loans do not have a six-month grace period, they will enter repayment within 60 days of the LDA. The student will be required to complete Exit Loan Counseling.

Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss the implications of a leave of absence, withdrawal or dismissal before it occurs. A Financial Aid Administrator will review examples of the Return of Title IV Aid and refund policies with the student.

Leave of absence

WSU School of Medicine (SoM) has a formal policy regarding leave of absence. For financial aid purposes all new leaves of absence is treated as a withdrawal effective the first day of the leave and a return calculation of Federal Student aid will be performed. A return calculation could result in having to repay all or a portion of your financial aid back to Wayne State University.

Withdrawal or dismissal

Students who withdraw are subject to the terms of the Return of Title IV Funds Policy. The last date that the student attended school will be used in determining the amount of "earned" and "unearned" financial aid. If the student completed at least 60% of the payment period, the student will be considered to have "earned" all aid disbursed to them. The amount of "unearned" aid will be returned to the appropriate program. The student will be billed for any balance that results from a return of funds.

Financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy

Federal regulations require the Financial Aid Office to apply reasonable standards for measuring whether you are making progress toward a degree. This is to ensure that you are successfully progressing through your program of study. Maintaining satisfactory academic progress is not only important for your academic success, but it is also a key factor in terms of minimizing student debt. If you do not meet the minimum requirements, you could lose your eligibility for financial aid.

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is a term used to describe successful completion of coursework toward a degree or certificate. This policy applies to all students who receive federal and state financial aid, Board of Governors scholarships and grants, departmental awards and some awards from external university sources.

SAP standards

Student academic progress is measured at the end of each academic year against the following standards:

Qualitative standards

Students in the MD program must satisfactory completion of all course requirements and examinations.

Quantitative standards

Maximum time frame – School of Medicine (SoM) MD degrees generally require four years of coursework. A student may require additional time. In such situations, an academic plan may be established for the student that departs from the norm and that may require the repetition of all or a part of a year of study. Per SoM academic policy, attempted coursework must be complete within seven years.

Pace of progression – Pace of progress will be calculated by dividing the cumulative hours that you have successfully completed by the cumulative credits you have attempted. At least 67 percent of all credits attempted must have passing grades. Note: Pace is measured in credits only, regardless of full-time or part-time attendance.


Satisfactory academic progress is monitored at the end of each academic year. Students who are not maintaining SAP will be placed in lose their eligibility to receive financial aid.  As progress is measured annually, there is no warning semester. If you are denied aid, you may appeal.

  • Outstanding grades may change or delay your SAP status decision.
  • If you submit a SAP appeal and it is approved, you will be put on Financial Aid Probation for the payment period. If you fail the satisfactory progress check after the end of the probationary period, you may only continue to receive aid if you are meeting the requirements of your academic plan.
  • If you are over the maximum time frame for program completion; financial aid can only be used to pay for courses required for your degree or eligible program.
  • The financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy is separate from the academic regulations at the School of Medicine.

SAP and leave of absence

A student may be granted a personal or medical leave of absence for a variety of reasons.  The approved period of leave may be excluded from the seven year maximum to complete the program as mentioned above (Maximum Timeframe).  However, a student will not be allowed to take more than seven years from the time of matriculation to complete the requirements for the MD degree, including leaves of absence, without approval from the WSU SoM Promotions Committee.

Repeat coursework and SAP

If you repeat a course, credits for each registration will be added to your attempted total credits. However, only the most recent grade received in the course will be included in the calculation of the qualitative standard. Remember that federal financial aid will pay for only one repeat of a previously passed course.