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Financial Aid and Scholarships

Enrollment Changes

How Enrollment Changes Can Impact Your Financial Aid

Census Date:

The Census Date is the day on which a student's enrollment is recorded by the Financial Aid Office. Financial Aid awards are based on enrollment at census for students who have received their "Final Review Done". Keep in mind that the Financial Aid Office continues to review and complete files throughout the year. Students with files completed after Census will be paid according to enrollment at the time their file is complete. Financial Aid disbursements happen weekly.

Fall Census Date: 9/11/2023

Spring Census Date: 2/12/2024

Students receive financial aid based on their enrollment status. How does dropping a course or all of your courses impact you? When would you have an overpayment? When are you allowed to keep your aid?

Dropping Classes

Dropping a class may result in issues with Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements and/or a Federal Pell Grant overpayment. For more information, refer to our SAP policy.

Financial aid disbursements are based on your enrollment status, dropping a class can impact your financial aid.

  • If you drop before the published census date or never attend a class, you may be required to repay all or a portion of the Federal Pell Grant you received. Short-term and weekend classes are included.

    Note: Summer is a non-standard term and census dates will vary.

For example…

  • If your enrollment status changes from full time to 3/4 time, you will have a reduced second disbursement.

  • If your enrollment status changes full time to half time, you will not receive a second disbursement.

  • If your enrollment status changes full time to less than half time, you may be required to repay a portion of the Federal Pell Grant you received

Note: Depending on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), you may lose Federal Pell Grant eligibility by reducing your enrollment status. You may be required to repay a portion of the Federal Pell Grant you received.

  • If you received the Federal Pell Grant and drop within the first two weeks of the term (census), you may be required to repay a portion of the aid you received.

  • If you received the Federal Pell Grant and dropped ALL of your classes before the first day of the term, you must repay the entire amount.

  • If you finish the term with a combination of 'F', 'No Pass(NP)', 'Incomplete (I)', 'Emergency Withdrawals (EW)', or Late Instructor Drops (ID), a 50% aid calculation will be performed and you will be considered unofficially withdrawn. You WILL owe a repayment.

  • If you drop all of your classes BEFORE 60% of the term, even if you later add a late start course, you WILL still owe a repayment.*

  • If you drop AFTER the 60% dates below, you may not owe a repayment**, but your SAP status will be affected. Please view our SAP Policy for additional information.

-Fall 2023: November 2, 2023

-Spring 2024: April 11, 2024

*Your outstanding balance will not be impacted if you add any late start classes after this point. You are considered officially withdrawn.

**Late start, short term and weekend classes may have different 60% dates. Please check in with the Financial Aid Office if you are considering withdrawing.

If you are appealing for a removal of a “W” grade keep in mind that any financial aid funds already received for that course will need to be paid back to the College once the grade is removed. This option requires financial aid to re-evaluate your eligibility and you may see a balance on your account for any Federal Pell Grant or Cal Grant funds associated with the removed course. If you are unsure whether or not this will impact your funding please reach out to financial aid for clarification.

Withdrawal & Repayment

If you receive federal financial aid and withdraw from ALL of your classes before completing more than 60% of the term, you will be required to return any unearned federal funds. The Financial Aid Office will calculate the amount based on your withdrawal date. Federal Work Study earnings are excluded from the calculation. If you were awarded aid and drop or are dropped from all of your classes on or before the published census date, you must repay the full amount received. You have 30 days to repay the college in full and may be reported to the Education Department (ED).

Your withdrawal from college date is:

  • The date you notify the Financial Aid Office that you intend to completely withdraw, or

  • The midpoint of the term if you leave without notifying the college, or

  • You receive all F and/or No Pass(NP), Incomplete (I), or Late Instructor Drop (ID) grades, or

  • Your last date of attendance in class as determined by the instructor.

Students who receive either all F and/or No Pass(NP), Incomplete (I), or Late Instructor Drop (ID) grades will be considered unofficially withdrawn and the percentage at the midpoint (50%) of the enrollment period will be used to calculate unearned aid. Students who have loans will have to return funds in accordance with the terms of the Master Promissory Note (MPN).

For more information on Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4), click here

Note: If you attended the entire semester or graduated during this semester, you must submit a letter from one of your instructors indicating that you completed the class and earned an F or NP, or proof of graduation, and you will no longer be considered unofficially withdrawn. Please submit your letter to the Financial Aid Office at

Post Withdrawal Disbursement (PWD)

A PWD is calculated when a student attends a class or classes and then subsequently withdraws from all classes before they receive their Financial Aid disbursement. We are required to calculate any amount of Pell Grant owed to you for the days attended. To determine if you were eligible to receive federal funds even though none were disbursed, the Financial Aid Office must have:

  • Received your valid FAFSA with calculated EFC

  • Have a file completed within the school year


If you owe an overpayment, the Financial Aid Office will contact you within 30 days to repay the college in full. You will be unable to register for future classes at Cabrillo College until you clear this debt.

We are required to report your overpayment to the Department of Education (ED). You will not be able to receive further financial aid from any college until your overpayment is repaid.