Lovett Hall at sunset

Refund of Tuition & Fees at Rice University

Students who withdraw during the first 2 weeks of the semester are not charged tuition or fees for that semester. Students who withdraw during the 3rd week must pay 30 percent of the semester’s tuition, receiving a 70 percent refund. The amount of the refund drops by 10 percent at the beginning of each successive week that passes before withdrawal until the 9th week, after which no refund is made. Federal regulations require a refund calculation for all students receiving Title IV funds. The length of time during which a refund must be calculated is up to 60 percent of the payment period (semester). If a student withdraws on or before the 60 percent point in time, a portion of the Title IV funds awarded to a student (Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, Federal PLUS Loans, the Texas LEAP Grant) must be returned, according to the provisions of the Higher Education Act as amended. The calculation of the return of these funds may result in the student owing a balance to the university and/or the Department of Education.

For students withdrawing after the 2nd week of classes in a semester, fees or special charges are not refunded. Similarly, students withdrawing or taking leaves of absence in the spring semester do not receive a partial refund of fees paid for the full year. Students withdrawing at any time forfeit the $300 enrollment deposit they paid as incoming students.

Students who receive approval to enroll with a course load of fewer than 12 hours and do so within the first 2 weeks of the semester will be charged at the per hour rate plus a part-time registration fee. There are no refunds for part-time enrollment after the first 2 weeks of the semester.

Students unable to resolve with the cashier’s office any request for special consideration in connection with waivers, refunds, or adjusted payments on tuition, fees, and other charges should forward their appeals to the dean of undergraduates. Exceptions are granted by the dean of undergraduates only under extraordinary circumstances.


Return of Title IV Funds

The Rice Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term. The federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations.

If a student leaves the institution prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term, the financial aid office recalculates eligibility for Title IV funds. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula:

Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:

Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student may be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, this may create a balance due to Rice from the student.

If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student's withdrawal.

Return of funds are allocated in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants
  • Other Title IV Programs
  • Federal or State Programs where a return is required