Leaves of Absences and Withdrawals

Law students should contact the Dean of Students Office if they have any questions about the process for beginning a leave of absence or withdrawing from the Law School.

Return of Funds

If you received Federal Title IV funds (including Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS Loans and Federal Work‐Study), you are subject to the rules governing the return of funds in the event that you withdraw or begin a leave of absence after the start of a quarter, or do not receive a passing grade in at least one course in a quarter (deemed an unofficial withdrawal). When determining the amount you earned, UChicago will consider the date you first indicated your intent to withdraw and the number of days you were enrolled during the relevant quarter.

For the purposes of returning Title IV funds, the official withdrawal date from the university is the date when you first contacted a designated UChicago official in your area of study to discuss withdrawal. An official Intent to Withdraw Form will be completed at this point of contact. The following paragraphs will explain how the University determines both the amount of Title IV assistance a student has earned and the amount that must be returned.

Returning Title IV Assistance

The amount of Title IV funds you earn is in proportion to the length of time you were enrolled for the first 60% of the quarter. Title IV funds, relevant to graduate assistance at the University, are defined as Federal Direct student loans as well as the Federal Work-Study. The length of time you’re enrolled is determined by subtracting the number of days you attended UChicago from the number of days in the enrollment period. The last day of attendance is determined by the date you began the University’s withdrawal process.

If you fail to follow the official withdrawal process, UChicago will use the last date you participated in an “instructional activity related to the student's course of study” (e.g. attending class in person or online, participating in interactive computer‐assisted instruction, a lab, an exam, or the submission of an assignment) that can be confirmed by an employee of the school. If you leave without notifying the university (deemed an unofficial withdrawal), and a date when you last participated in an “academically related activity” cannot be established, the midpoint of the quarter will be considered the official last date of attendance for the purpose of returning unearned Title IV funds.

Any required Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) and post-withdrawal disbursements will be completed within 45 days of the date the school determined that a student withdrew. In the case of an unofficial withdrawal in which a student withdrew without providing notification, the Office of Financial Aid will determine the withdrawal date for a student within 30 days after the end of each term. Students eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of Federal Direct Loans will receive a notification explaining their loan disbursement eligibility, including a 14-day response deadline in which they must notify Financial Aid if they would like to accept or decline the loan funds.

After a R2T4 calculation is completed, unearned aid will be returned to the federal programs according to federal guidelines. Aid adjustments may also require a student to repay all or a portion of Title IV funds if their eligibility is reduced as a result of the R2T4 calculation. Unearned Title IV funds will be returned in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Direct PLUS Loan

Please note that the University will be responsible for determining their portion of the earned Title IV financial assistance as well as yours. Federal law specifies the order in which the funds are allocated. Title IV funds will be the first resource applied to tuition, fees, and room and board charges. These charges are the charges assessed prior to your withdrawal date and do not reflect the adjustment in charges that may have resulted from the University Tuition Refund Schedule.

Credit Balances

Students registered at least half time in a degree-seeking program (for Federal Direct Loans) and have credits that exceed the cost of tuition, fees, and other charges associated with registration, may be eligible for a student account refund. Any refund from Title IV funds will be paid directly to the student or parent by the Bursar's Office no later than 14 days after the balance occurred.

When a student has withdrawn and requires a R2T4 calculation, a new 14 day refund deadline is determined, based on the date of the R2T4 processing. Title IV credit balances will be refunded to students or parent borrowers within 14 days of the date the R2T4 calculation is completed.

Institutional Funding

If the amount of your institutional scholarship exceeds the adjusted tuition charge for the quarter, the Financial Aid Office will reduce your scholarship funding to match your adjusted tuition charge as institutional scholarship funding cannot exceed the tuition charge in a quarter. If the student is taking a leave of absence, any remaining scholarship funding from the quarter during which the leave began will be added back to the student's pool of scholarship funding to be allocated upon the student's return to the Law School.