Financial Liability for Dropping Courses or Withdrawing

If you officially withdraw from the University or reduce the number of credits for which you’re registered by dropping a course without swapping it with another, you may be liable to pay part of or all the tuition and fees associated with the course — even if you don’t attend a single class. You may also put your financial aid in jeopardy of being reduced or canceled. 

Please meet with a Student Financial Services advisor before withdrawing or dropping a course to learn how your enrollment affects your awards. Contact us at [email protected] or 518-442-3202 to schedule an appointment. 

This page contains information on the following topics: 


Dropping a Course

Dropping a course means you’ve canceled your registration for that course on MyUAlbany. What you do after dropping a course can determine your financial liability: 

  • Swapping courses: Whether you are a full-time or part-time student, you can drop a course and add another of equal credit during the University’s two-week drop/add period at the start of the semester. If you start the drop/add period enrolled in nine credits and swap one of the courses for another degree-eligible course of equal credit amount, there will be no change to your financial liability or your financial aid. 

  • Dropping a course without swapping: If you drop a course but don’t replace it with another course — meaning your registration drops below your enrollment at the beginning of the second week of classes — you may be liable to pay part of or all the tuition and fees associated with that course. Your financial liability will be based on the day you dropped the course on MyUAlbany. 



Withdrawing from UAlbany 

Withdrawing means you’ve dropped all courses for an entire semester or you've left the University. Canceling on-campus housing or your meal plan does not constitute a withdrawal. 

Simply dropping courses on MyUAlbany or not attending your classes does not constitute an official withdrawal. If you decide to formally withdraw from UAlbany, you must drop all courses on MyUAlbany and contact the office related to your academic status:

If you choose to withdraw before completing at least 60% of the academic term, a portion of your federal Title IV aid — which includes Pell Grants, SEOG and federal loans — may be returned to the appropriate aid program. If aid is returned, you may still owe a balance to the University. 

Calculate if / how much of your aid will be returned

You earn federal aid by remaining enrolled, so the percentage of aid you’ve earned is based on the date you began the official withdrawal process. (If you leave without officially notifying the University, your withdrawal date will be your last date of recorded attendance or the midpoint of the semester.) 

To determine the number of days in each semester or term, please refer to UAlbany’s Academic Calendar. Each semester-length and eight-week course may be calculated differently, depending on the number of days within the term or session. 

First, complete this calculation: 

(number of days you completed) ÷ (number of days in the semester or term) = (percentage earned) 

Next, complete this calculation: 

(100% - percentage of aid earned*) x (amount of aid used to pay institutional charges) = (aid to be returned)

*For percentages of 60% or greater, enter 100%. 

Information on medical withdrawals

If you need to seek a medical withdrawal, please coordinate with the University’s Health Center or Counseling Center to preserve your medical confidentiality.  

Tuition refunds for medical withdrawals must be for a total semester or term withdrawal. Exceptions to the SUNY refund policy won’t be granted if: 

  • You drop or withdraw from classes after the mid-point of the semester or term. 

  • You’ll still earn academic credit for the semester or term. 

  • Your account has already been sent to a collection agency or the New York State Attorney General’s Office. 

Tuition Liability Charts 

If you don’t attend class or don’t pay your bill, but remain enrolled in the course on MyUAlbany, you are still liable for tuition and fees. Your registration for courses constitutes acceptance of these terms: 

  • Late fees are automatically added to your student account if your outstanding balance is not paid by the respective bill’s due date.  

  • Unpaid balances, which lead to holds being placed on your account, can also result in your bill being referred to collection agencies or the New York State Attorney General’s Office — meaning you’ll be charged collection fees and interest.  

Note: The SEVIS Fee is not refundable once classes begin. 


Tuition Refunds 

If you officially withdraw from the University or reduce the number of credits for which you’re registered by dropping a course without swapping it with another, you may be entitled to an adjustment of charges or a refund of payments you have already made. 

Please be aware that academic deadlines (the last day to drop a class without receiving a W) and refund deadlines (the last to drop a class and receive a full tuition refund) are not the same. Students who drop classes after the refund deadline will need to seek an exception to the SUNY refund policy. 

How to seek an exception to the SUNY policy 

If you are seeking an exception to the SUNY refund schedule, you’ll need to provide documentation for one of the following: 

  • Call to active military duty 

  • Dismissal from the University at Albany before the start of the academic term 

  • Concurrent registration at another State University, excluding community colleges 

  • Tuition and fees were collected in error or in excess of the required amounts in an administrative error 

  • Undue hardship out of the student’s control, such as medical incapacitation 

Refunds can only be approved if you appeal within one year of the end of the last academic term for which you paid tuition. You must complete the Tuition Appeal Request Form.  A Tuition Appeals Committee meets monthly to review appeals. They will mail a written decision to the student's permanent address, unless another is provided.



Reasons for which you cannot seek an exception

You will not be refunded for any of the following reasons: 

  • You forgot you registered or were unaware that you registered. 

  • You thought you would automatically be dropped if you didn’t show up. 

  • No one told you that you had to drop.  

  • No one told you there was a refund schedule. 

  • You never received a bill, so you assumed you weren’t registered. 

  • You never set up a MyUAlbany account, so you assumed UAlbany knew you weren’t coming. 

  • You turned in your key, so Residential Life should have told Financial Aid you weren’t coming. 

  • You were doing poorly in a course or received a bad grade. 

  • You found an online class too difficult or time consuming. 

  • You didn’t understand Blackboard. 

  • You didn’t have internet access. 

  • You couldn’t fit classes into your work schedule. 

  • Someone told you that you were “all set.” 

  • You didn’t have transportation to class, or you moved away. 

  • You had to go overseas. 

  • An academic advisor, professor or an administrative office told you the wrong thing.