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When students withdraw from classes or drop out of school in the middle of a term, they may be eligible for a refund. There are two types of refunds:

  • Refunds of institutional charges (tuition, fees, etc.)
  • Refunds of financial aid.

A refund of institutional charges credits money to the student's account (decreasing what he or she owes). A refund of financial aid reduces the amount of financial aid available to pay the institutional charges (increasing what he or she owes).

A student planning to withdraw must notify the Graduate School director of academic services and complete the required petition to withdraw before the enrollment deposit is refunded.  Because the institutional refund policy follows a different formula for reducing tuition, a student may still owe money to the school after all calculations are complete. A student considering withdrawal is encouraged to contact the financial aid team to determine the effect withdrawing would have on financial aid.

Tuition Refund

Students withdrawing either on a voluntary or involuntary basis are entitled to a refund of tuition for all courses not yet begun.  Courses in progress will be refunded on a prorated basis to be determined by the last date of attendance.  Refunds of tuition are based on the date of official withdrawal.  Students who leave without officially notifying the Graduate School director of academic services in writing will receive no refund in tuition, unless mandated by the federal or state refund policy.

Financial Aid Refunds

There are four sources of financial aid: federal government (e.g. Title IV funds or Veteran's Administration education benefits), state governments, Bethel University, and private third-party organizations (e.g., Dollars for Scholars). Financial aid is refunded in accordance with policies established by each entity. Refunds are first calculated for federal funds, then state funds, then Bethel and third-party funds.

Students who withdraw from all classes during the 100% tuition refund period are presumed to have not attended their classes. These students will receive a full refund of all their financial aid unless they complete a Supplemental Withdrawal Form (available in the Office of Student Life), documenting their attendance at each class. Upon receipt of the Supplemental Withdrawal Form, the federal financial aid refund policy will be calculated using the last date of class attendance as the official date of withdrawal. If students receive a full (100%) refund of tuition, they are ineligible for any state, institutional, or private sources of financial aid.

1. Return of Title IV (R2T4) Funds Refund Policy. The following Title IV financial aid programs are subject to the Federal Return of Title IV Funds refund calculation: Federal Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG), TEACH Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Direct Loans and Federal Perkins Loans. If a student withdraws or is expelled from Bethel after beginning classes but before completing 60 percent of their term (or period of enrollment), the school or the student may be required to return a portion of the students' Title IV aid for the semester. Students retain funds earned through the Federal Work Study Program prior to withdrawing from Bethel.

The R2T4 calculation measures the percent of the enrollment period the student completed. This ratio (number of days attended/number of days in the enrollment period or semester) is then multiplied by the days in the enrollment period (or semester) is then multiplied by the Title IV Aid that was disbursed (or could be disbursed) to determine what percent of the Title IV Aid was earned via class attendance or participation (scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days are excluded). Students retain the earned portion of their Title IV Aid. The unearned portion of aid is subject to being returned to the government, and is allocated to Title IV program from which students received assistance in the following order: Direct Unsubsidized Loan; Direct Subsidized Loan;  Direct PLUS; Federal Pell Grant; FSEOG; TEACH Grant; and then IASG.

The withdrawal date is the earlier of (a) the date the student first notified Bethel of intent to withdraw, or (b) the date the student actually began the withdrawal process. College of Arts and Sciences students initiate the official withdrawal process in the Office of Student Life, where they can inform staff of their intent to withdraw, pick up the withdrawal forms, or schedule an appointment for an exit interview. Notification of intent to withdraw can be done in-person or by phone (651.638.6300). Students enrolled in Bethel Seminary, the College of Adult & Professional Studies or the Graduate School initiate the official withdrawal process with the Office of Student Success and Retention (phone 651.635.8800 or email student-sucess@bethel.edu).

Students who do not officially withdraw, but simply stop attending classes, are considered unofficially withdrawn for the purposes of R2T4 calculations. The withdrawal date used in the R2T4 calculation for unofficial withdrawals is (a) the last date of attendance (when available), or (b) the midpoint of the semester or period of enrollment. Students who do not successfully pass any of their courses, and do not officially withdraw, are also subject to the R2T4 calculation, unless they completed more than 60 percent of the semester (or enrollment period), as documented by their attendance in academically related activities.

Academically related activities include but are not limited to the following: physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students; submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam, completing an interactive tutorial, or participating in computer-assisted instruction; attending a study group that is assigned by the school; participating in an online discussion about academic matters, and initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course. Academically related activities do not include activities where students may be present but not academically engaged, such as: living in institutional housing, participating in the school's meal plan, logging into an online class without active participation, participating in academic counseling or advisement.

If the amount of Title IV funds earned by the student is more than the amount disbursed as of the withdrawal date, the school must disburse, or offer to disburse, the difference in a "post-withdrawal disbursement."

Within 30 days of the date the school determined a student withdrew, the school must notify the student in writing of any unearned Title IV funds the student is responsible to repay, and/or notify the student and/or parent PLUS borrower of possible post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds. The Direct Loan borrower(s) must confirm in writing their approval of any post-withdrawal loan disbursement.

Students have 45 days to repay a grant overpayment or enter into a satisfactory repayment agreement. Students who fail to repay the overpayment after 45 days, or fail to enter into a satisfactory repayment agreement, will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) by the school and referred to the U.S. Department of Education's Borrower Services-Collections.

Bethel also has 45 days from the date it determined the student withdrew to return its share of unearned funds and make any post-withdrawal grant disbursement. Title IV funds are returned to the program in the following order: Unsubsidized Direct Loans, Subsidized Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal TEACH Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG).

2. Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) Financial Aid Refund Policy. Bethel is required to use the OHE financial aid refund policy when calculating refunds for the Minnesota Public Safety Officer's Survivor Grant Program, Minnesota GI Bill, Minnesota State Grants, and Minnesota SELF loans. After applying Bethel's "billing refunds" and the "Return of Title IV Funds" refund calculations to the student's account, a proportionate share of the state aid is refunded. Students who withdraw during a 100% tuition refund period are not eligible for any Minnesota state financial aid. Students retain funds earned through the Minnesota State Work Study Program prior to withdrawing from Bethel.

3. Financial Aid Refunds for Institutional and Third-Party Funds. After calculating the federal and Minnesota financial aid refund policies, Bethel reduces institutional and third-party sources of gift aid using the Tuition and Housing Refund Schedule. Institutional and third-party gift aid is reduced by the same percent as the student's tuition was reduced. Private educational loans are first used to pay any remaining balance on the student's account. If, after all refund calculations, there is a credit on the student's account, a portion of the private loan may be refunded to the lender.

4. Sample refund calculation. Because there are several different refund policies involved in most withdrawals, students may still owe money to the school after all calculations are completed. Students considering withdrawal are encouraged to visit with a financial aid counselor and simulate the financial effect of withdrawing before officially withdrawing from the university.

Suppose a student is enrolled full time and withdraws from all classes on the 12th day of a 105-day semester. . The student lived on campus and had a meal plan. Sample charges and financial aid are listed in the "original" columns below. After applying all the refund calculations, this student will receive a refund of $2,946. See details below:

Instutional Charges

Original Refund % Refund $ Net Charges
Tuition $19,960 90% (17,964) $1,996
Room $2,995 90% ($2,696) $300
Class Fee (e.g., lab) $80 0% 0 $80
Meal Plan $2,318 90% ($2,084) $234
Student Activity Fee $80 0% 0 $80
Total Charges $25,433 ($22,744) $2,689

Financial Aid and Cash

Original Refund % Refund $ Net Payments
Federal Pell Grant ($3,175) 78% $2,470 ($705)
Federal Subsidized Loan ($2,750) 100% $2,750 $0
Minnesota State Grant ($3,248) 89% $2,880 ($368)
Bethel Royal Merit Scholarship ($7,600) 90% $6,840 ($760)
Bethel Grant ($3,025) 90% $2,723 ($303)
Private Scholarship ($500) 0% $0 ($500)
Sub-total ($20,298) 87% $17,663 ($2,636)
Cash Paid ($3,000) 0% $0 ($3,000)
Total Payments on Account ($23,298) $17,663 ($5,636)


Original Bill Refund $ New Bill
Total Charges $25,433 ($22,744) $2,689
Total Payments on Account ($23,298) $17,663 ($5,636)
Difference* $2,135 ($5,081) ($2,946)

*Prior to withdrawal this student owed $2,135 on his/her Bethel account. After withdrawal this student will receive a refund of $2,946 from his/her Bethel account.