Withdrawal & Leave of Absence

If a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence the official withdrawal or leave date will be based on the date when the withdrawal or leave request is approved by the Office of Academic Deans. 

Students will be refunded 100% of their previously paid tuition, room (less room reservation deposit for new students or a $200 room cancellation fee for returning students) and board if the official withdrawal date is before the first day of classes. (Fall semester 2018 begins September 5 and ends December 18. Spring semester 2019 starts January 22 and ends May 7.)

The last date of attendance is determined by the Dean of Studies/Academic Deans office in consultation with the faculty and health services or the counseling service, depending on the circumstances. Students who do not officially withdraw will have their withdrawal date determined by the Office of Academic Deans based on the last day of academic activity (attendance in class or other academic work). This date will be determined no later than 30 days after end of the semester.

When a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence after the semester has started, Student Financial Services is notified by the Office of Academic Deans after the withdrawal date has been determined. For students receiving federal financial aid, SFS then completes a Return to Title IV worksheet in the financial aid software.  If a student is a recipient of financial aid from the College, SFS also completes an institutional financial aid withdrawal worksheet taking into account any Title IV funds that will be returned as “unearned” and the College’s refund schedule for adjusting billed charges. Financial aid is adjusted and, if there is a remaining credit on the student’s account, the funds are sent to the student or parent depending on the source of payment for the student account. 
If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution is required to return a portion of the funds and the student is required to return a portion of the funds. It is possible that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution. If a student earns more in federal aid than was disbursed (rare), the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal. Students are notified by email regarding revisions to their financial aid. Please see "Title IV Financial Aid (Federal Funds)" below, for more information.

If a student officially withdraws or takes a leave of absence on or after the first day of classes, charges will be adjusted per the following schedule:

Fall/Spring Semester Adjustment of Charges Schedule (Click here for specific dates.)

Week Tuition, Room & Board
1 90%
2-3 75%
3-4 50%
5-6 25%

There is no refund of the Student Government Association fee if a student withdraws on or after the first day of classes. 

Credit Hour Information: No per-credit tuition adjustments will be made for classes dropped after the drop period unless the student takes a leave of absence or withdraws from the College at which point the above refund schedule will apply. Important: Any credits dropped after the drop period for students who do not withdraw or take a leave of absence will be counted, for financial aid eligibility purposes, toward the 128 credit maximum. 

Title IV Financial Aid (Federal Funds)

Per federal regulation, when a recipient of Title IV (federal) grant or loan assistance withdraws or takes a leave of absence from the College during a semester, the College must determine, per a federal formula, the amount of federal aid that the student may retain as of the withdrawal date. Any federal aid the student may not retain according to the federal refund policy must be returned to the federal government.

Up through the first 60% of the semester the amount of federal funds a student may retain is based on the number of days the student was enrolled in the semester. After the 60% point in time of the semester a student is eligible to retain all of her federal aid for that semester.

Please note: the responsibility to repay any federal aid is shared by the College and the student. The College's share to repay is the lesser of:

  • The total amount of federal aid to be returned or the College charges multiplied by the percentage of aid that must be returned. The student's share is the difference between the aid that must be returned and the College's share. 
    Example: If the semester is determined to be 100 days long (including weekends but removing any break of five days or more) and a student withdraws on day 20 of the semester, 20% of the federal aid is earned and 80% must be returned. Once the 60th day is reached, all federal aid is considered “earned” and retained by the student. 

The College's share of federal aid must be returned to the Title IV programs in the following order:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan
  2. Federal Direct Student Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal Direct PLUS
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. Federal SEOG grant
  7. Other Title IV loan or grant assistance

The College must return its share of federal aid within thirty days after the withdrawal date. Any federal aid that the student must return resulting from a loan, is subject to the conditions and terms of the promissory note. If a student must repay a share of federal grant aid, the College may allow her to make payment arrangements with the College, in compliance with federal regulations. 

Sample Title IV refund worksheets are available upon request via email to Student Financial Services.

State Grant 

State grants will be refunded according to the rules of the individual state programs.


 After the federal refund calculation has been determined any remaining refund will be distributed in the following order: 

  1. Mount Holyoke College Grant
  2. Mount Holyoke College Loan
  3. Parent/Student Alternative Loans
Example: The 20th day of classes is considered within the first three weeks so 75% of tuition, room and board charges would be removed. Institutional aid would then be adjusted as well such that the percentage of the costs that the family was originally expected to pay would remain the same after all charges and financial aid are adjusted. For example, if the family was originally expected to pay 20% of the original charges less original financial aid, they would be expected to pay 20% of the adjusted charges less adjusted financial aid.

Scholarships and Tuition Assistance Grant Adjustments for Non-Academic Leaves

Undergraduate students awarded a merit-based scholarship or Tuition Assistance Grant who enter as first-time, first year students are eligible to receive the scholarship or grant funding for a maximum of eight semesters. For students who leave the college during a semester, the scholarship or grant will be adjusted by the same percentage as the tuition. For example, a 75% reduction in tuition for a leave that starts in the first three weeks will result in a 75% reduction in the scholarship or grant. Students who may need an additional semester of academic work at MHC (9th semester) may request the unused portion of their scholarship or grant for their 9th semester.

Students who also have need-based assistance will have aid adjusted based on federal aid requirements (see Title IV Financial Aid) and institutional policies.