Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Tuition and Fee Refund Policy Due To Total Withdrawal

Students who wish to withdraw from the university must notify the Office of Academic Affairs and obtain the required authorizations and signatures.

Students who officially withdraw after drop/add but before the end of the academic semester will receive a grade of W for the course. Students who have officially withdrawn from the university and do not return within one academic year must apply for readmission.

When students officially withdraw from all courses (cease enrollment), they might receive a prorated refund of tuition. Refer to the Tuition Refund Chart that follows. Fees are not refundable when withdrawal occurs after the drop/add period for that semester (usually the eighth day of the semester).


Period of Withdrawal During Semester                     

Percentage of Tuition Refund     

On or before the last day to drop/add each term (Up to and including calendar day 8)

100% Including Fees

Calendar days 9 - 15

80% Not Including Fees

Calendar days 16 - 22

70% Not Including Fees

Calendar days 23 - 29

60% Not Including Fees

Calendar days 30 and beyond

0% Not Including Fees

Refunds for room and meal plans will be prorated for number of days of usage between the 1st and 29th days of the semester (an exception is granted for students who never moved into campus housing; these students are eligible for 100% refund provided they withdraw by calendar day 8 of the semester). There are no refunds for tuition, room, or meal plans after the 29th day of the semester. The tuition refund policy for the summer session follows the same schedule.

Treatment of Financial Aid for Total Withdrawal (Cease Enrollment)

If a student withdraws from all courses (ceases to be enrolled), Student Financial Services must review the student’s financial aid to determine if financial aid funds must be adjusted in accordance with federal, state, and institutional policies governing total withdrawal from the university. 

Student Financial Services calculates refunds for tuition, room, and meal plans according to university policy. However, the policies for financial aid for total withdrawals (cease enrollments) are specific to each designated financial aid program and are applicable only if a student was awarded that particular type of fund. If a student is awarded various types of financial aid, more than one policy might apply in determining a student’s revised financial aid eligibility. 

Federal (Title IV) Financial Aid Refund Policy (Cease Enrollment)

The federal policy for return of Title IV funds maintains that a student can retain only that portion of federal aid that the student has earned, based on time in attendance before withdrawal prior to completing 60% of a payment period or semester. The percentage of time the student attended an academic semester determines the amount of federal aid that must be returned to the federal government. 

This federally mandated policy is independent of Mercyhurst’s institutional refund policy for tuition, room, and meal plans. The schedules vary by start and end dates of each semester and each academic program. 

For a student who withdraws after the 60 percent point in time, there are no unearned funds. However, a school must still complete a Return calculation to determine if the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. The calculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula: Percentage of payment period or semester completed is the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or semester. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the semester.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid. 

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula: Aid to be returned (100 percent of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) is multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or semester. 

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, Mercyhurst would be required to return a portion of the funds, and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower might owe a balance to Mercyhurst, which must be paid within 60 days of notification. If a student earned more aid than was disbursed, Mercyhurst may owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement, which must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal. 

The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the student’s withdrawal. Refunds to aid programs are returned in this order: 

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans 
  • Federal Direct GRAD PLUS Loans 

Students who receive all F’s for a semester who did not formally withdraw will be considered unofficial withdrawals and will be reviewed by the Graduate College to establish the students’ last date of attendance. If a student ceased attendance for all classes before 60 percent of the semester was over, that last date of attendance will be used. If a last date of attendance cannot be determined, the “unofficial” withdrawal date will be the midpoint of the semester to calculate unearned federal funds that must be returned to the appropriate federal aid program. 

Students need to understand that, although they can withdraw from a semester with W grades, federal aid disbursements must be reviewed based on their last date of attendance or unofficial withdrawal date. 

Students are responsible for any returned federal funds that result in a balance due on their student account. If payment is not made within 60 days, a student will be liable for all collection fees and costs, as described in the Payment Policy section. 

Institutional Scholarship Financial Aid Refund Policy (Cease Enrollment) 

Adjustments to institutional scholarships follow the university’s policy on refunds for tuition (refer to the Tuition Refund Policy Due to Total Withdrawal section). For example, if a student’s tuition is refunded at 70 percent, the student’s institutional scholarship will also be refunded at 70 percent. This means the student would retain 30 percent of the institutional scholarship. 

Course Withdrawal Policy

Students who wish to withdraw from a course after the drop/add period for a semester must complete the appropriate form, which is available in the Office of the Registrar. Once a student obtains the necessary signatures, the form is returned to the Office of the Registrar. Course withdrawals after drop/add will result in a W grade for the course and will not change financial aid or tuition charges for that semester, because they are based on the enrollment status on the census date, which is usually the morning after the last day of drop/add*. 

*Students registered for Mini 2 or Mini 4 courses will have a secondary census date after the drop/add period for those terms. If changes to enrollment cause the student to be less than full time for the semester, aid for the entire semester will be recalculated and rebilled (only for Mini 2 or 4 changes). If there is an increase related to Mini 2 or Mini 4 sessions, a student will be rebilled for any credit overloads or tuition increases. Students should always consult with Student Financial Services prior to withdrawing from any course to determine impacts on financial aid and billing. 

Withdrawing from courses may prevent a student from making Satisfactory Academic Progress, and that may impact a student’s eligibility for future financial aid assistance. Please refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress section. Whether a student chooses to withdraw from one course or withdraw from the university completely, it is important that the student contact Student Financial Services for advice regarding financial aid and billing and consult with an academic advisor to ensure the student will meet the minimum criteria for Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements (both pace and GPA). 

Refund Policy In The Event Of University-Wide Residential Disruption

If the university were compelled to cease residential operations during a semester due to circumstances beyond its control (e.g., public health mandate, natural disaster), the university will offer prorated refunds based on the general framework below. The university reserves the right to modify these terms based on the nature of the disruption and surrounding circumstances, including the ability to offer refunds as credits towards future semester costs for those continuing their enrollment.

Tuition. Our students’ successful academic progress remains the university’s highest priority in the event of an emergency or critical incident. In most circumstances, the university’s critical incident response plans ensure that instruction continues remotely through a variety of technologies, sometimes on a compressed or modified calendar. In such circumstances, no refunds of tuition will be issued.

Fees. Standard fees, program fees, lab fees, music fees, and other participation fees are used to support the preparation, maintenance, and operations of specific components of the university; therefore, fees are generally nonrefundable. Refunds for fees related to cancellation of specific study abroad programs will be addressed on a case-by-case basis; the university cannot guarantee a full return of these funds for expenses incurred by the university in preparation for travel (e.g., the purchase of nonrefundable travel tickets, etc.). 

Housing. Room charges will be refunded on a prorated basis based on the housing rate assessed a student, less a $500 room reclamation allocation (the portion of housing charges used to clean and maintain housing in preparation for students’ arrivals). In calculating any proration, the start date of housing is equal to the first day all students are permitted to move on campus.The end date is the last date of classes, excluding final exams. The date of determination is the day following the last date students are permitted to remain in campus housing (i.e., the date students are required to exit campus following a public health order). Due to family or travel circumstances, some students may be unable to exit by the stated deadline. For students that request an extension due to extenuating circumstances, they will be permitted to remain on campus for up to seven additional days, in which case their proration shall be based on the original date of determination plus seven days. For students who must remain in emergency housing beyond that point, no housing refund will be provided. 

Meal plans. Board refunds for block meal plans and unlimited meal plans will be prorated. For students enrolled in block meal plans, the proration will be based on the number of meals used, less any spent bonus bucks. Proration for students enrolled in unlimited plans will be based on the number of meal plan service days provided as of the date of determination (as outlined above). As dining dollars do not expire, students on dining dollar-only plans or with dining dollar credits balances will have their balances rolled to future semesters.

Adjustments to institutional financial aid. At the point of admission, residential students are provided with an institutional financial aid package that considers the costs of campus housing and meal plans. In the event of a residential disruption under this policy, the university may reduce the amount of institutional aid provided based on the reduced costs associated with the disruption. Students with institutional need-based aid (e.g., Mercy Scholarship, Presidential Scholarships, etc.), students with scholarships specific to support housing costs (e.g., Erie Housing Grant, Resident Assistant Scholarship, etc.), or students whose total grant and scholarship aid exceeds the costs of tuition and standard fees will have their aid adjusted. These reductions in financial aid are only for the semester in which the disruption occurred; aid will be fully restored in subsequent semesters, provided students continue to meet the eligibility criteria. Adjustments to financial aid may reduce, in whole or in part, any refund of housing or meal plan costs. 

Refund Policy Due to Suspension or Expulsion

Students who are suspended or expelled from the university for a violation of the Student Conduct Code are ineligible for any refund of tuition, fees, room, or board charges for the semester in which the suspension or expulsion is imposed. The Vice President for Student Life and the Vice President for Enrollment may waive this policy in whole or in part at their mutual discretion. Under no circumstances will this policy be waived for violations related to physical violence, threat of violence, sexual violence or harassment, or reckless endangerment (including endangerment related to the violation of a required quarantine or isolation period in the context of a public health emergency).