Paying For School

Failing or withdrawing from HACC

We know college can be tough but before you decide to withdraw from your classes, we strongly encourage you to talk with someone about your options. Many students find that by meeting with their instructor they are able to get back on track and finish successfully. If you do decide to withdraw, be sure to talk with Financial Aid who will help you determine how it will affect your financial aid for the term and in the future. You must officially withdraw if you stop attending your classes during the term. Immediately contact the Welcome Center if you stop attending class. Learn more about how failing or withdrawing from HACC can affect your financial aid.

How does withdrawing from HACC affect my financial aid?

There are six (6) major ways that withdrawing or failing classes affect your financial aid:

  • You will likely have to repay some of the financial aid funds received for that term.
    This occurs if you withdraw completely from HACC or if you receive all “F” grades or a combination of “F” and “W” grades. When this occurs, the U.S. Department of Education requires schools to recalculate your financial aid. As a result, the calculation may result in you owing a balance to the school and future aid may be cancelled. Until the balance is repaid, HACC will not provide your grades or transcripts nor will you be permitted to register for subsequent terms.

    The Office of Financial Aid Services cannot make this determination while you are in the office during the withdrawal process. The office must gather information from several areas of HACC and will inform you by mail if you owe a balance. 
  • You may not make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)  for future financial aid.
    You need to meet specific academic standards in order to continue to receive financial aid. By completing 67% of the classes you attempt and maintaining the appropriate cumulative GPA, you may continue to receive aid. For specific guidance on what is required, please see Financial Aid and Your Grades.   

    You will have "unsatisfactory progress" if you:
    • Receive  "F","W",'Y", or "I" grades
    • Repeat coursework
  • You may enter a "grace period" for repayment of Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans.
    The six-month grace period begins once you drop below half-time (6 credits) status and you will be contacted by your servicer to begin repaying your loans.
  • HACC will cancel your upcoming student aid disbursements.
    We will automatically cancel future disbursements if you owe a balance to the College as a result of a recalculation.  If you repay the balance and wish to return to the College, you must submit a written request to have your financial aid reinstated.
  • The state may cancel your PA State Grant for the upcoming term.
    The PA State Grant Program has their own policy regarding academic progress. The program is administered by PHEAA, so further information can be found at HACC must adhere to this policy when determining your eligibility for the grant. 
  • HACC may terminate your position under the student employment program.
    You must be enrolled in six or more credits during the Fall/Spring Terms to participate in the Student Employment Program.


When a student withdraws from classes, he/she may be entitled to receive money back which had been paid to the College. The College may be able to refund all or a portion of the tuition, fees, housing costs, etc., the student paid. If the tuition, fees, housing costs, etc., were paid with Federal financial aid funds, then all or a portion of the student's refund must be returned to the SFA programs from which the money was awarded. A student who receives a cash disbursement to assist with living expenses and then withdraws, drops out, or is expelled, may be required to repay money to the aid programs from which the money was awarded (Federal Unsubsidized and Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, FSEOG, TEACH Grant, other Federal Aid).


HACC’s Return of Title IV Funds policies and procedures are disseminated to students via the HACC website and myHACC. Students may receive additional information from the Financial Aid Office.


All Federal financial aid recipients who cease attending prior to the end of the term, and/or fail to pass any credits for the term, will be reviewed to see if a Return to Title IV funds calculation should be performed. Students whose circumstances require that they withdraw from all classes are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid Services and their academic advisor before doing so. At that time, the consequences of withdrawing from all classes can be explained.


HACC’s Return of Title IV Funds policies and procedures were formulated based on the following Federal concept and requirements:


  • Student aid is paid to cover expenses during an expected enrollment period.
  • If a student fails to stay enrolled, they have not earned the right to keep the aid designated for the remainder of the payment period.
  • HACC must return the unearned aid to the Title IV Aid sources within 45 days of HACC’s determination that the student withdrew. HACC also returns any amount owed by the student.
  • The amount returned is based on the percentage of aid the student did not earn due to ceasing attendance.
  • Only Title IV Aid (Pell, FSEOG, Federal Student Loans, etc.) are affected by this policy.
  • This requirement has no bearing on the institution’s refund policy.

The date used to calculate the refund is determined as follows:


  • In the case of a student who officially withdraws, the date is determined from the withdrawal date(s) recorded by the Registrar’s Office, or by the last date(s) of attendance provided by the instructor (if available).
  • In the case of a student who unofficially withdraws, the date is the last recorded date of class attendance as documented by the institution. The Registrar’s Office is responsible for determining and documenting the last day of attendance, and for notifying the Office of Financial Aid Services when a student’s record is adjusted after the term has ended.
  • In the case of a student who is administratively withdrawn, the date of the withdrawal as recorded by the Registrar’s Office.
  • In the case of a student’s death, the date of death, the withdrawal date, or the last date of attendance documented by the Registrar’s Office.


The federal government mandates that students who withdraw from all classes may only keep the financial aid they have "earned" up to the time of withdrawal. Title IV funds that have been disbursed in excess of the earned amount must be returned to the federal government. Thus, the student could owe aid funds to HACC.

The unearned amount (total aid disbursed minus the earned amount) must be returned to the federal government. If the total aid disbursed is less than the earned amount, a post-withdrawal disbursement will be processed. The Office of Financial Aid Services will notify students when aid is returned to the source and of the amount the student may then owe to HACC.


When it is determined that a return calculation is required, the following steps are used to calculate the amount of funds to be returned (or, if applicable, the amount of post-withdrawal disbursement owed to the student):

    1. WITHDRAWAL DATE – the withdrawal dates (or last dates of attendance) recorded in the student’s registration record are used to determine the student’s overall withdrawal date
    2. PERCENTAGE OF PERIOD COMPLETED -determined by the overall WITHDRAWAL DATE, the number of calendar days the student completed in the payment period are divided by the total number of days within the period that the student was scheduled to complete (excluding scheduled breaks of at least 5 consecutive days).
    3. EARNED AID – the PERCENTAGE OF PERIOD COMPLETED multiplied by the total amount of applicable Federal Aid for which the student was eligible
    4. UNEARNED AID – the amount of applicable Federal Aid for which the student was eligible minus the amount of EARNED AID.



  • A student with an enrollment period of 100 days withdraws (or last attends) on the 25th day of the period
  • 25 days completed divided by 100 days scheduled results in completion of 25% of the enrollment period. Therefore, the student has earned 25% of the Federal aid for which they are eligible.
  • If the student was eligible for total Federal Aid of $4000 in Pell Grant and FSEOG funds, they have earned only $1000 of that aid, leaving $3000 to be returned to the aid programs.
  • If the full $4000 was already disbursed to the student’s account, $3000 is the amount designated to be returned to the aid programs. After the funds are returned, the student may owe a balance to the college and will be notified of the amount due. If only $500 of the eligible funds were disbursed to the student’s account, the student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of $500 (the remaining amount that the student earned). This amount will be posted to the student’s account, or the student will be notified to officially request the funds if loans are involved.




Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reimburse the

individual federal programs from which the student received the aid. Financial

aid returned by HACC must be allocated, in the following order, up to the net

amount disbursed from each source:


  1. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan
  2. Federal Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  7. TEACH Grants



If a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement has been calculated, the Office of Financial Aid Services will notify the student of any Post-Withdrawal Loan disbursement so that the student has the opportunity to request the Loan funds in writing. Any additional Grant funds will be posted to the student’s account so the Office of Student Accounts can disburse the additional amounts. If the student submits a written request for additional eligible loan funds, the extra loan amounts will be authorized so the Office of Student Accounts may disburse the appropriate amount.


Upon determining the amount of Title IV aid that is required to be returned (including for Direct Loans), the Office of Financial Aid Services will adjust the award amounts for any unearned Grant or loan funds (per the established process for each fund), so the Office of Student Accounts is notified to return the excess funds to the appropriate Federal aid program(s). An email to the student notifying them of the aid adjustment/return, and the possible repercussions of the change in aid is simultaneously scheduled to transmit to the student.

Institutional Refunds

HACC’s institutional refund policy is in direct accordance with regulations set forth by the

Pennsylvania State Board of Education.


Students who choose to withdraw from courses according to published deadlines may receive a refund. The refund amount is based upon the total cost of the course and the premise that a student paid the 

balance in full. A refund is calculated as follows: full refund of all tuition charges and fees up to the end of the first week of classes (or the equivalent for shorter parts of terms), refund of one half of tuition charges up through the third week of classes (or the equivalent). Course drops or withdrawals are not eligible for a refund after the third week of class of the major part of term or the equivalent for shorter parts of term. Refund dates are published on the reverse side of the Schedule/Bill and at



  • Student registers for their term courses and their full tuition bill is paid in full and there are no outstanding charges for books, fees, etc.
  • Student drops a course or courses during the 50% refund period
  • HACC will reduce the student’s charges for the courses dropped by 50%
  • With no outstanding charges, the student will be due a refund of the reduced charges
  • HACC will issue the refund to you using the option you have selected with Bank Mobile


Students dropped or withdrawn for disciplinary reasons may not be eligible for a refund. Students who withdraw prior to the completion of 60 percent of the term and are receiving federal grants or loans, such as a Federal Pell Grant, SEOG and Direct Loan, will have their financial aid recalculated which may result in a balance owed to the College.

Students may officially withdraw from the college either online through myHACC or by submitting a Drop/Add/Withdrawal form to the campus Welcome Center.

In extenuating circumstances, exceptions to the refund dates may apply. Students may inquire

about eligibility for reversal of tuition charges at the campus Welcome Center. Deadlines to apply for the reversal of tuition charges are: June 15 of the same year for spring term classes, September 1 of the same year for summer classes, and January 15 for prior year fall term classes.

See College website for term-specific information, including deadlines.