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Tuition and Financial Aid Policies

Students who completely withdraw from Capella University will have a percentage of tuition and fees refunded in accordance with federal and state regulations. Students who receive financial aid will have their unearned monies returned to the appropriate funding agency. The amount of the refund is in direct correlation to the student's approved date of withdrawal as determined by the Records Processing and Operations department.

Capella University's Refund Schedule

5 calendar days 100%
6-12 calendar days 75%
Remainder of the term 0%

Doctoral Students

PhD students in business, education, or human services who drop all of their courses will be refunded based on the day the last course was dropped.

Return of Title IV Funds Procedure

Return of Financial Aid Funds at Withdrawal

If you withdraw completely from a term or stop attending before you have completed 60 percent of that term, you will need to abide by certain federal rules regarding the return of financial aid. This means that both you and Capella might need to return some of your financial aid funds to the Title IV program(s) from which the aid was received. For a quick look at how these financial aid returns are calculated, you can request examples of both calculations from the Office of Financial Aid.

Defining 60 Percent of a Term

The federal formula to calculate "60 percent" takes the number of calendar days you complete in a term, divided by the total number of calendar days in that term. If you withdraw or stop attending before the 60 percent point of that term, you may have "unearned aid" that will need to be returned to the applicable Title IV programs.

Scheduled breaks of more than four consecutive days are excluded. If you are on an approved Leave of Absence (LOA), you are excluded from the Return to Title IV funds calculation.

What is "Earned" and "Unearned" Aid?

During the first 60 percent of a term, you "earn" Title IV funds in direct proportion to the length of time you remain actively enrolled. If you remain actively enrolled beyond the 60 percent point, you earn all the aid for that period. "Unearned aid" covers federal financial aid funds that you have accepted, but that you have not yet earned by attending for a full term.

How is the Amount of Unearned Aid Determined?

The federal "Return to Title IV Funds" formula dictates the amount of federal Title IV aid that must be returned to the federal government by Capella and by you. The percentage of Title IV aid to be returned — the unearned aid — equals the number of calendar days you completed in the term divided by the total number of calendar days in the term.

Who is Responsible for Repaying Unearned Aid?

You and Capella share the responsibility to repay unearned aid, based on the proportion each of us is assumed to possess. If you and Capella University are required to return all or a portion of the financial aid that you accepted, this situation could result in you owing aid funds to Capella University, the government, or both.

Capella's share is returned by allocating the funds among the Title IV programs in this order:

  1.   Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  2.   Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
  3.   PLUS Loan
  4.   Federal Grants (Pell Grants and TEACH Grants)


Any remaining unearned aid is your responsibility, and Capella is responsible to collect it from you, and then allocate it among the Title IV programs in the order shown above.

What is the Timeline for Return Processing?

Capella University calculates and returns its share of unearned Title IV funds no later than 30 days after the date of withdrawal or when a student stops attending.

Other Information About Withdrawals and Tuition Refunds

The student may also be eligible for a refund of a portion of the tuition and fees paid to Capella University for the quarter, according to the Capella University Tuition Refund Policy PDF.