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If you withdraw from your course you must inform Student Registry, your College, Department and your Servicer as soon as possible.

If a student who receives Title IV loans withdraws, takes unapproved intermission (unapproved leave of absence) see details and definition below, or intermits (takes a leave of absence) for a period more than 180 days, or drops below half time attendance, the University of Cambridge is required by US regulations to complete a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation and arrange for any ‘unearned’ loan funds to be returned to the US Dept. of Education. We will use worksheets provided by the US Dept. of Education to determine how much of the loan can be retained and how much is required to be returned. If it’s established that a return is required then it’s mandatory that our office arrange for any unearned loan funds to be returned within 45 days from the date of determination.


Unapproved intermission (unapproved leave of absence): If a student cannot resume their education at the point they left off before they went on intermission (leave of absence) the period cannot be counted as intermission (leave of absence) for Title IV purposes. Instead US regulations relating to Title IV require that we treat this as a withdrawal and use the date the change in enrolment began to update a student’s enrolment on NSLDS to withdrawn. 

Unofficial Withdrawals: Unofficial withdrawals (withdrawals without notification) we will use the last date of attendance at an academically related activity. 

Students that Never Attended: If a student never attended all funds received for the period will be returned. 


University of Cambridge Procedure: Withdrawal or Intermission (Leave of Absence) Medical and Non-Medical intermission

Postgraduate students: Students should apply via their CamSIS self-service. Information is available on the Applying for a change in your student status (postgraduates only) | Cambridge students  page. Once submitted, your application to withdraw, take medical intermission or non-medical intermission will be considered by your supervisor, Department, College and Degree Committee before arriving at Student Registry for the final decision.

Full guidance can be found at the following links:

Information on withdrawing: Withdrawing from the University | Cambridge students  

Information on medical intermission: Medical Intermission (postgraduates) | Cambridge students

Information on non-medical intermission: Non-medical Intermission (postgraduates) | Cambridge students

Undergraduate students: Students should follow the withdrawal or intermission process within their College and this process can vary slightly between Colleges. Normally this will involve meeting their Personal Tutor/College Tutor and/or Senior Tutor/Director of Studies, and potentially (if applicable) also the Welfare Team. A formal letter will be sent once the request has been approved by the Senior Tutor, setting out any terms and conditions of the intermission or confirming the withdrawal.


When considering US Federal loans the University is classed as an attendance taking institution. Schools/institutions that are attendance taking must make a determination within 14 days of a student’s non-attendance if he/she should be withdrawn or not.


The R2T4 calculation may result in a reduction of a student’s US federal loan(s) if the student attended 60% or less of a loan payment period. The R2T4 calculation is based on the following:

  • The number of days a student attended during a loan payment period
  • The number of days in the loan payment period
  • The institutional charges during the loan payment period
  • The total amount of US Direct Loan aid awarded and/or disbursed during a loan payment period

For the purposes of the R2T4 calculation, the withdrawal date is the last date of attendance at an academically related activity.

Scheduled breaks of five days or more AND days that a student was on an approved leave of absence are excluded from the RT24 calculation.

The day of withdrawal is counted as a completed day.

We will inform you via e-mail if the R2T4 calculation results in a requirement to return loan funds to your loans with the US Department of Education. In the e-mail we will inform you of the amount that has to be returned. We will then arrange with your College’s Finance Office for the funds to be returned via Convera UK Financial Limited.


Direct Loans is earned 100% if the R2T4 calculation results in more than 60% earned (a student attended 60% or more of a loan payment period).


Post-withdrawal Disbursements

If the value disbursed to the University or student before withdrawal is less than the earned value, we would contact the student and arrange for a post-withdrawal disbursement to be made by bank transfer in pounds sterling to the student. The following regulations would apply;

  • University will provide written notification within 30 days of date of determination of withdrawal
  • Student (or parent) confirmation is required within 14 days of written notification
  • Funds disbursed directly to student - as soon as possible, but no later than 45 calendar days after date of determination
  • Disbursed as credit to account – within 180 days after date of determination


Post-Withdrawal Disbursements are determined through the R2T4 process and will be only relevant to students where there have been multiple disbursements within a payment  period.


Any credit balance refund for withdrawn student must be put on hold until the R2T4 (Return to Title IV) is calculated. The regulatory timeframe for any credit balance resets to 14 days from the day we perform the R2T4 calculation. A student ‘earns’ aid on a daily basis and if a student withdraws any ‘unearned’ aid for that payment period will need to be returned to the US Dept. of Education. We are required to perform a R2T4 calculation within 30 days from the date of determination (date a student has withdrawn) and will notify affected students of any earned Direct Loan funds that have not been disbursed. Once the calculation has been completed the student and their College will be informed of the amount to be returned. Arrangements will be put in place for the College to return any designated amount (via Convera UK Financial Limited) to the student’s loan(s) with the US Dept. of Education. The student will be informed if any of the loan funds received are required to be repaid in accordance to the terms of their promissory note.


Loan funds returned to the US Dept. of Education on behalf of a student are used to repay the current year’s loans in the following order:

Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan

Federal Direct Subsidised loan 

Federal PLUS (Graduate or Parent) loan 


University of Cambridge Policy: Refunds of Fees

The amount of Title IV funds due for return as a result of a withdrawal is calculated independently of the tuition fee liability charged by the University.

For reference, the University Refund Policy is as follows, and is not to be confused with R2T4 calculations and refunds.

Should a student withdraw from their programme of study, they will only be entitled to a refund of fees paid if they have not yet reached the 21st day of the start of a ‘full term’.  Further information is in Withdrawing from the University’ .

The University will also inform NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System) of the withdrawal, which will trigger all loans going into repayment.

As a result of a R2T4 calculation a student may be required to pay back any ‘unearned’ US financial aid received. If the amount of the loan funds required to be returned exceeds any existing credit on the student account, the College a student is a member of may be obligated to return funds on behalf of the student. If this happens the student will owe the funds to their College. Arrangements will need to be made with their College to repay the outstanding balance as soon as possible.

Please refer to Withdrawing from the University’ for full information on withdrawing from the University of Cambridge.