Enrollment and Withdraws

Census Date

Eastern Michigan University uses a Census Date each semester to determine your enrollment status for awarding financial aid.  At census, credit hours are locked and financial aid, with the exception of student loans, is adjusted to reflect the official number of credit hours in which you are enrolled. It is important to make any adjustments to your enrollment prior to the close of business on the Census Date to maximize your aid eligibility, this includes adding classes that start later in the semester if applicable.  Changes in enrollment after the Census Date may or may not result in an adjustment to federal, state, or institutional grants.

For example, if you received aid at the beginning of the semester based on full-time enrollment and then dropped to half-time enrollment prior to the census date, your financial aid package will be recalculated to reflect half-time enrollment.  If you add a course after the Census Date, federal, state, and institutional aid may or may not be adjusted and you will be responsible for any additional tuition and fee charges.

Upcoming Census Dates

  • Fall 2023: Thursday, September 7, 2023
  • Winter 2024: Thursday, January 18, 2024
  • Summer 2024: Wednesday, May 15, 2024

*University Grant, Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Teach Grant and Michigan Competitive Scholarship


Fall and winter financial aid for undergraduates is based on full-time enrollment while graduate student offers are based on 3/4 time enrollment. Summer financial aid is based on assumed 1/2 time enrollment for both. If you plan to enroll in fewer hours than those outlined above, contact our office to determine the effect on scholarship and financial aid eligibility.

This chart reflects enrollment levels for fall, winter, and summer semesters.


  • Full-time: 12 or more
  • 3/4 Time: 9, 10 or 11
  • 1/2 Time: 6, 7 or 8


  • Full-time: 8 or more
  • 3/4 Time: 6 or 7
  • 1/2 Time: 4 or 5

Return of Funds Policy for Title IV Aid Recipients Who Withdraw

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998, as well as the program integrity regulations in 2010, set forth regulations governing the treatment of Title IV funds when a student withdraws from an institution. There are three types of withdrawals that fall under the return to Title IV (R2T4) federal calculation regulations:

Official Withdraws

The student contacts the Registrar’s Office to initiate an official withdrawal for a semester.

Unofficial Withdraws

If a student begins to attend class, receives federal Title IV aid, but then ceases to attend class without providing official notification to the University or if they earn 0 credit hours in a semester, the Federal Government considers this an "unofficial withdrawal." For Title IV purposes, the withdrawal date for students who unofficially withdraw is considered to be the midpoint of the semester unless a documented last date of attendance can be determined. However, if the University determines that a student did not provide official notice of the intent to withdraw due to illness, accident, grievous personal loss or other circumstances beyond the student’s control, the University may use a date that is related to that circumstance. The refund rules for Title IV aid recipients who withdraw are then followed to determine the unearned portion of Title IV aid that must be returned to the appropriate aid program(s).

Modular Withdraws

If a student is enrolled in a standard, term-based program offered in modules and ceases attendance at any point prior to completing the payment period or period of enrollment, unless the school obtains written confirmation from the student at the time of the withdrawal that he or she will attend a module that begins later in the same payment period or period of enrollment, the student is considered a modular withdrawal for Title IV purposes. If written confirmation of future attendance is received from the student but the student does not return as scheduled, the student is considered to have withdrawn from the payment period or period of enrollment and the student’s withdrawal date and the total number of calendar days in the payment period or period of enrollment would be the withdrawal date and total number of calendar days that would have applied if the student had not provided written confirmation of future attendance.

When a student is considered to have withdrawn, as described above, during an enrollment period in which they have begun attendance and received federal Title IV financial aid, Eastern Michigan University is required to determine the amount of earned and unearned Title IV aid. A student is only eligible to retain the percentage of Title IV aid disbursed that is equal to the percentage of the enrollment period that was completed by the student. The unearned Title IV aid must then be returned to the appropriate federal aid program(s) within 45 days of the determination that the student withdrew. If more than 60% of the enrollment period has been completed by the student, no Title IV aid needs to be returned.

All Title IV aid will be included in the calculations outlined below. The following steps will be followed when determining the amount of Title IV aid to be returned upon withdrawal:

  1. Determine percentage of enrollment period completed by student. Divide the number of days attended by the number of days in the enrollment period. If the calculated percentage exceeds 60%, then the student has earned all Title IV aid for the enrollment period.
  2. Calculate the amount of earned Title IV aid. Multiply the percentage of the enrollment period completed by the total Title IV aid disbursed (or could have been disbursed as defined by late disbursement rules).
  3. Determine amount of unearned aid to be returned to Title IV aid program accounts. Subtract the amount of earned federal aid from the total amount of federal aid disbursed. The difference must be returned to the appropriate Title IV aid program(s).
  4. Return of Title IV funds by institution and student:
    • EMU will return all unearned Title IV aid.
    • The student will be responsible for any balance this return creates with EMU.
  5. Unearned Title IV Funds will be returned to federal programs in the following order:
    • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
    • Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
    • Federal Perkins Loans
    • Federal Parent PLUS Loan/Graduate PLUS Loan
    • Federal Pell Grants
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity
    • Federal Teach Grants
    • Iraq and Afghanistan Grant

Example of Title IV return of funds calculation for a Title IV recipient who is considered to have withdrawn:

Title IV Return of Funds:

  • Institutional Charges: $5,000
  • Title IV Loans: $2,000
  • Title IV Grants: $1,000
  • Total Title IV Aid: $3,000

Student withdrew on 35th day of a 110 day enrollment period.

  • Percent Earned 35/110 = 32%
  • Percent Unearned 100% - 32% = 68%
  • Amount of Title IV aid unearned $3,000 x 68% = $2,040

EMU is responsible for returning unearned Title IV aid ($2,040 from above) and will return aid as follows:

  • Title IV Loans $2,000 (students remaining loan debt = 0)
  • Title IV Grants $40

The student is responsible for paying any EMU bill resulting from this return.
The example shown above does not reflect every student refund situation that may exist.

Questions regarding the return of Title IV Funds Policy should be addressed to The Office of Financial Aid at [email protected].

The University reserves the right to amend the Title IV Return of Funds Policy at any time in order to comply with federal regulations.

Additional Funds

The Office of Financial Aid will notify students if additional federal funds can be disbursed. This is called a post-withdrawal disbursement. Federal grants will automatically be applied towards the students account within 45 days of determining that the student withdrew. Federal Direct Loans must be accepted within 14 days of the notice, otherwise loan funds will be cancelled. Students who are serving active duty or qualifying National Guard Service, or reside or work in a declared disaster area may have additional time to respond. Please contact Service EMU. If the Federal Direct Loan post-withdrawal disbursement offer is accepted by the deadline, EMU will make the disbursement within 180 days of determining that the student withdrew.  The Office of Financial will notify a student, or parent for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan, in writing prior to making any post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds, whether those loan funds are to be credited to the student’s account or disbursed directly to the student (or parent).

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