Withdrawals, Drops, and Underloads

Withdrawals, Drops, and Underloads


Individual circumstances may require you to consider dropping courses or withdrawing from a semester of classes. It is very likely withdrawing from the semester will result in a reduction of aid and a bill.

  • An official withdrawal occurs when you decide to drop all classes and leave the University after the semester has begun, and you notify the University through the official withdrawal process.
  • If you stop attending all classes, or do not pass any of your classes without notifying the University, this an unofficial withdrawal. You will be asked to prove your attendance for the term and, if you fail to provide documentation, we will use the midpoint of the term to calculate any reduction of financial aid.
  • If you withdraw within the first nine weeks of the term, you may receive a prorated refund of tuition. Please see the University Cashier’s refund policy here.
  • By federal regulations, you “earn” your financial aid based on the length of time you enroll and attend classes.  For example, if you attend class for 25% of the semester, you have earned 25% of your financial aid. The unearned portion of your financial aid will be reduced from your account and returned by the University to the appropriate aid program.
  • We will notify you once your aid has been adjusted so that you may review your updated aid offer and University account balance on Connect Carolina.
  • If you have attended more than 60% of the semester, you may be eligible to keep all of the aid you were awarded for the term.
  • Based on amounts that are returned and other adjustments to your bill, you may owe money. You will be responsible for repaying this amount to the University Cashier’s office.
  • Federal Aid –
    1. Federal Unsubsidized Loan
    2. Federal Subsidized Loan
    3. Federal PLUS/Grad Loan
    4. Federal PLUS Loan
    5. Federal Pell Grant
    6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • University Aid –
    1. UNC Loan
    2. University Grants
  • State Aid –
    1. NC Scholarship or Next NC Scholarship
    2. UNC Campus Scholarship
    3. NC Tuition Grant

Yes. Courses from which you withdraw will be counted as attempted but not completed, and this will affect your completion rate. You can find more information on the SAP Page.

Dropping individual Courses

You are able to drop and add courses to get the schedule you need through the University add/drop deadline.

Dropping a course after University census date will generally result in receiving a withdrawal indicator of “W” on your transcript.  If you had already received your financial aid for the term, this generally will not result in a change to your financial aid, so long as you do not withdraw from all classes.


You may be approved by Advising to underload for one of the following reasons –

  • Academic
  • Medical
  • Senior (final semester)
    • Studying Abroad? Unfortunately, seniors cannot underload if they are studying abroad, so you must be enrolled full-time to participate in your study abroad program.

If you plan to attend for fewer than 12 credit hours, please complete the underload request form for our office as soon as possible. Double check to make sure your enrolled hours match your approved hours for underload and that we have received your form before census to avoid owing money and/or to receive your aid funds.  If we do not have an underload form and you are enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours, we will not release your financial aid until we adjust your account at census.

Our office will adjust your budget based on your new enrollment to reflect the reduced tuition amount, and for books and supplies, as fewer classes result in lower book expenses. We will re-calculate your aid based on this new budget.  Unless you are graduating in the current term, you must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours to receive university grant funds.  You also must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours to receive federal loans. If you have an academic scholarship and wish to underload, please email our academic scholarships team to see if you are able to underload with your scholarship.

Dropping below half-time (6 credit hours for undergraduates) at any time will result in loans going into “grace period” or repayment and you will be asked to complete loan exit counseling.