Refund Guidelines

What students should know if they want to withdraw or take a leave of absence:

The determination of a tuition percentage refund is based on:

  1. the day the student notifies the University Service Center that he is no longer attending classes
  2. if the student has received federal aid
  3. the college of enrollment

Room and dining plan charges are based on the day the student moves out following the leave or withdrawal.

The percentage refund determines the refund of tuition, room and dining plan charges. Example: A student withdraws and is granted an 80% refund. If tuition was $11,885 then $2,377 is the adjusted tuition charge. If room and dining plan was $4,065 then $813 is the adjusted room and dining plan charge. This does not mean they get to keep 20% of their aid. Their aid is adjusted based on a formula that takes costs, payments, and disbursements into consideration.

A family contribution is still expected for the semester since the family has the primary responsibility for paying educational expenses. Charges that remain will be used to construct a revised student budget and to calculate a student’s revised need.

Federal financial aid will be adjusted in accordance with federal regulations. Boston University grant will be adjusted in accordance with University guidelines. These regulations and guidelines govern how much money is refunded to the family or how much money the family will still owe the University. If additional information is requested, please see the Boston University Bulletin.

An example of how a federal refund calculation works:

John Smith withdraws from Boston University on 9/4/13, which is after the first day of classes.

John received a financial aid award that includes federal financial aid. Based on the day John has withdrawn, John should receive an 80% refund on his tuition, fees, room and dining plan.

To determine what happens to John’s financial aid, the following takes place:

The Office of Financial Assistance (OFA) determines what financial aid has been disbursed to John’s student account for that semester and what aid was awarded but not yet disbursed. This aid includes federal and institutional or state financial aid. For this example, let’s assume the following aid has been disbursed to John’s student account:

Federal SEOG $1,000
Federal Pell Grant $800
Fed. Subsidized Direct Loan $3,000
Federal Perkins Loan $1,200
B.U. Grant $5,000
Total Aid $11,000

Based on the number of days in the semester and the date that John has withdrawan, a determination is made as to the percentage of aid earned. For example, if the semester begins on 9/3/03 and and ends on 12/20/03 there are 103 days in that semester. John withdrew on 9/13/03 which means that he attended for 10 days. 10 days of enrollment divided by 103 days of the semester mean that John has earned 9% of his federal aid. Using John’s figures, this is how it looks:

John’s federal aid $6,000
Percentage John earned 9%
Initial amount earned by John to stay on his account $540
Amount returned by school $5,460

The order that aid is refunded back to the federal government follows this order:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SEOG
  • Other Title IV programs

Based on the above calculation, Boston University would be required to return all of John’s Subsidized Direct Loan, Perkins Loan and Pell Grant and $460 of his SEOG grant.

In some instances, the student will have earned federal aid that has not yet been disbursed to their student account. In these instances, students are notified of their eligibility and asked to respond to the Office of Financial Assistance within 14 days if they want this aid applied to their student account.

In the determination of institutional grant, the same percentage of grant that covered John’s original tuition charge will now cover his new tuition charge.

Original tuition $12,936
Original BU Grant $5,000
Percentage of tuition covered by grant 39%
Revised tuition based on 80% refund $2,587.20
Revised BU Grant $1,009
Percentage of revised tuition covered by revised grant 39%