New federal financial aid policy will affect students who withdraw from all classes St. Thomas Newsroom February 19, 2001 A new federal policy has gone into effect this academic year that may affect students receiving federal financial aid who withdraw from all their classes at St. Thomas. This new federal policy requires that students earn their federal aid based on the amount of time they attend classes at St. Thomas.In order to earn all their federal aid, students must attend classes through 60 percent of the semester (April 8, 2001, for spring semester). If a student withdraws before this date, the financial aid office is required to calculate how much of a student’s federal aid he or she has earned and return the unearned portion to the federal government. This new requirement may mean that students will end up owing St. Thomas money because some of their financial aid has been returned.Federal financial aid includes Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, Perkins Loans, Pell Grants, SEOG Grants and the Byrd Scholarship. Students who are receiving aid through any of these programs may want to meet with the financial aid office to consider the financial implications of withdrawing from school. There are no special circumstances (like medical emergencies) that can prevent federal funds from being refunded.