VCU Bulletins

Graduate School

Drop vs. withdraw

Drop charges are removed to indicate that the student never attended the class. The student is not eligible to receive financial aid, and any financial aid already credited to the student’s account based on the original course registration will be removed from the student’s account, which may create a balance due to the university.

Withdraw results in the academic grade of W. Charges are assessed and adjusted according to the University Refund Policy. Students may owe a balance to the university.

Refund of tuition and fees

The official university tuition and fee policy, applicable for the fall and spring semesters only (excluding short/nonstandard courses), is outlined below. Refunds are calculated on a course-by-course (per-credit-hour) basis, disregarding the full-time cap amounts. Students who are enrolled full-time and withdraw from courses may not receive a refund.

The refund policy and deadlines of the English Language Program (ELP) are different from the university’s refund policy for academic courses. Details of the policy may be obtained from the English Language Program Office.

A full refund for Holiday Intersession will be granted if the course is dropped before midnight on the day of the first class meeting. Partial refunds are not granted.

A full refund for a short/nonstandard course’s tuition and applicable fees will be granted if the course is dropped no later than the day following the first day of a given class. Partial refunds are not granted.

A full refund for summer tuition and applicable fees will be granted if the course is dropped no later than the day following the first day of a given class. (This policy also is applicable if the class does not meet on two consecutive days.) Students reducing their academic course loads to fewer than full time (12 credits for undergraduates and nine credits for graduates) before the end of the last day to drop a course will be entitled to a refund of tuition and applicable fees reflecting the reduced course load. Partial refunds are not granted for the summer session.

Students who are financial aid recipients and withdraw from all courses prior to completing 60 percent of the semester are subject to the Federal Return of Title IV Funds Policy. For more details see Federal Financial Aid Refund Policy.

Refunds will be computed based on the actual withdrawal date certified by the Office of Records and Registration. Refunds will not be made to students who do not attend classes and have not completed the required withdrawal procedure. Refund processing may take approximately two to three weeks. Exceptions to this refund policy are made only in rare instances. Written application for an exception must be filed in the Student Accounting Department to the Refund Appeals Committee within three years.

Refer to the Residential Housing contract and Dining Services’ “Terms and Conditions” for housing and dining services refunds.

Requests for refunds that are not generated from the overpayment of financial aid should be made in writing to: VCU Student Accounting Department, P.O. Box 843036, Richmond, VA 23284-3036. Refund request forms are available at the Student Services Centers, 1015 Floyd Ave. or 1000 E. Marshall St., Room 323, and on the Web at

In accordance with credit card regulations, the university will refund any credit balance that may result on a student’s account as the outcome of a credit card payment back to the credit card account. The remaining credit balance, if any, will be refunded to the student.

Students are responsible for paying any increase in charges that may occur after the generation of any refund.


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Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia
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Last update: 9/20/2011

Created by VCU University Relations