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Withdrawal from Cal Poly

Students who find it necessary to withdraw from all classes for any academic term are required to follow the University’s official withdrawal procedures. More information about withdrawing is available from the Registrar’s Office.

Leave of Absence

If you are on an approved leave of absence, you retain in-school status for Federal loan repayment purposes. If you fail to return, we will report your status as ending with the last term of attendance prior to the start of your approved leave of absence. For Federal loans, you will only be granted one leave of absence within a twelve-month period. Additional approved leaves of absence may be granted for a total not to exceed 180 days within a twelve-month period for unforeseen circumstances.

Date of Withdrawal

The date of withdrawal is the date you begin the process or the date you notified the Office of the Registrar of your intent to withdraw. After the eighth day of the term, you must process term withdrawal petitions through the Office of the Registrar. If you drop all classes prior to the eighth day of the term, you are not required to file a withdrawal petition and will be considered fully withdrawn the date you drop your last class.

Federal Aid Repayment

The Federal Return of Title IV Funds policy mandates that students who officially or unofficially withdraw from all classes may only keep the financial aid they've earned up to the time of withdrawal. Federal aid recipients who withdraw from Cal Poly will need to repay a portion of their financial aid money. You are not required to repay any money you have earned via Federal Work-Study.

The portion you will need to repay will be calculated by the Financial Aid Office and returned to federal or state programs. You will need to reimburse Cal Poly for what has been returned on your behalf. No repayment is required if you withdraw after completing 60% of the term. If you are considering withdrawing for a term, contact the Financial Aid Office to determine the impact of doing so.

Federal financial aid is returned to the source in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  2. Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. Federal SEOG Grant
  7. Other Title IV Programs

Unofficial Withdrawal

If you stop attending all classes during a quarter and don’t go through the formal withdrawal process, you’re considered to have unofficially withdrawn for that term. Cal Poly records the midpoint of the term as your withdrawal date to determine your refund/repayment amounts.

Under the university's grading policy, a grade of WU indicates that a student failed to complete the course requirements and did not officially withdraw from the course before the official withdrawal deadline. For the purpose of GPA computation, this symbol is equivalent to a failing grade. In cases of documented emergency withdrawal, an unofficial withdrawal may be waived.

State and University Aid Repayment

If you receive State or University Financial Aid and withdraw from all classes prior to completing 60% of the term, you will need to pay back a prorated portion of your aid.

State and University Aid is returned to the source in the following order:

  1. Cal Grants
  2. State University Grant (SUG)
  3. State Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOP)
  4. Cal Poly Grant

Cal Poly Scholarships are not required to be repaid when you withdraw but the remainder of the Scholarship (if applicable) will be canceled. Outside Scholarships are subject to the instructions of the individual donors.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements

If a student withdraws before receiving their federal aid for the quarter, the University is required to determine if the student was eligible for the funds and if eligible, what portion the student is allowed to retain based on the period of enrollment and to disburse that portion to the student.

For detailed information on the University’s refund policy, please refer to the Student Accounts website.