Return of Aid

Return of Aid after Drop or Withdrawal

We understand that unexpected events occur in life that will cause a student to drop a class or withdraw from all classes. Information on how to begin the withdrawal process can be found at Withdrawal


  • Drop – if a student drops a class prior to the end of the add/drop period it may or may not affect the student’s financial aid.  A student should consult with their financial aid counselor prior to dropping one or more classes.
  • Withdrawal – Federal regulation requires financial aid to be awarded under the assumption that a student will attend the institution for the entire period in which federal assistance was disbursed.  The following policies will help you to understand that a withdrawal may not only affect you academically but also financially.  We encourage you to read all the information below prior to making your final decision.

Important:  The tuition and fees refund policy set by the Colorado School of Mines is separate from the federal regulation to repay unearned aid.  Whether or not you receive a tuition/fee refund has no bearing on the amount you must repay to the federal aid programs.  Please see the refund policy published in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Student Fails To Begin Attendance

If a student receives financial aid but never begins attending classes, the Financial Aid Office must return all disbursed funds to the respective federal, state and institutional aid programs.

Types Of Withdrawals

For financial aid purposes, there are two types of withdrawals: official and unofficial.

  • Official: An official withdrawal will be recorded once the withdrawal process has been completed by the student.  The current academic year’s policy for a Complete Withdrawal can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.
  • Unofficial: Federal financial aid regulations consider a student to be an unofficial withdrawal if the student receives all failing grades for the term.  If the student has not completely withdrawn and has failed to earn a passing grade in at least one class for the term, federal regulations require the school to determine whether the student established eligibility for financial aid by attending at least one class or participating in any CSM academic-related activity.  An unofficial withdrawal calculation will be performed and funds returned to their respective federal and institutional aid programs if:

         a)  there is no documentation supporting the student’s last day of attendance
         b)  the documentation indicates the student stopped attending prior to the 60% point of the term.

Student Notification Of Repayment To Federal Programs

A notification letter outlining the amount repaid to the federal program(s) will be mailed to the student’s Mines email account.  The student will be instructed during the withdrawal process to monitor Mines email for two business days after withdrawing to make certain there are no outstanding requirements. Mines will repay the amounts to the appropriate federal program(s) on the student’s behalf and will bill the student’s account.  Most Direct Loan borrowers will be required to enter repayment six months after withdrawal – unless they begin classes on a half-time basis (6 credits undergraduate/4.5 credits graduate) before the end of their six month grace period.

Order of Return of Title IV Funds

Funds that are returned to the Federal government are used to reduce the outstanding balance in individual federal programs.  Financial aid returned, either by CSM and/or the student or parent, must be allocated in the following order:

  1. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
  3. Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal TEACH Grant
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Exit Counseling

Students that leave Mines with any federal student loan debt will need to complete Loan Exit Counseling. Notification will be sent to the student at the time of withdrawal if completion of exit counseling is required.

Other Financial Aid Policies A Withdrawal Will Affect

A student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to continue to receive federal assistance.  If a student withdraws from a term it may impact the pace requirement for satisfactory academic progress.  This decision may also impact scholarship eligibility if a student is currently receiving an academic scholarship.  Please contact the Financial Aid Office for further details.

Contact Info

Mailing address:
Colorado School of Mines
Financial Aid Office
1301 19th Street
Golden, CO 80401

Office Location:
Ben Parker Student Center, E160
1200 16th St
Golden, CO 80401 

Toll-free: 1-888-446-9489

For scholarship questions, email

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Students Right to Know

More information:

For billing issues contact: Bursar's Office 303-273-3158

For health insurance waivers contact: Student Health Insurance 303-273-3388

For College Opportunity Fund contact: Registrar's Office 303-273-3200

For information on Veteran Affairs contact: Registrar's Office 303-273-3200