fbpx Withdrawal or Leave of Absence | Harvard Kennedy School

If you decide to withdraw from Harvard Kennedy School after you’ve started classes, tuition will be refunded based on the schedule outlined in the financial information section of the HKS student handbook.

A portion of your federal loans may need to be returned. The federal financial aid refund policy applies if you have received—or are eligible to have received—federal financial aid for the semester from which you withdrew.

Returned Title IV Funds—Direct Unsubsidized or Perkins—are calculated by the dates you withdrew, which include the:

  • Date you began the withdrawal process from HKS
  • Date you officially notified the institution of your intent to withdraw
  • Your last date of attendance at a documented academic-related activity
  • Midpoint of the enrollment period if you leave without notifying the institution

If you do not return from an approved leave of absence, the calculation is determined either by the end of your leave of absence date or when you notify HKS that you will not be returning—whichever is earliest.

Title IV Aid

The Title IV aid amount you “earn” is based on the percentage of a semester you complete. This percentage is calculated by determining the total number of days in a semester (excluding breaks that are five days or more) and dividing this amount by the number of days in a semester.

For example, if a semester is 110 days and you attend 30 days, the percentage of Title IV funds “earned” would be 30/110 = 27.27 percent.

Once you complete 60 percent or more of a semester, you have “earned” the full amount of your Title IV funds. When determining funds to be returned, any amount to be returned is first applied against your Direct Unsubsidized  loan and then followed by your Grad PLUS loan.

Further details can be found here.

Your Loan Must Be Repaid

The percentage of institutional charges owed is not the same as the percentage of federal loans earned.

Federal regulations dictate the portion of federal financial aid that may be retained. You may be eligible to retain a portion of loans that this represents; however, a loan must be repaid. Once you exhaust any grace periods, you will enter repayment no later than six months after your last day of attendance. We encourage you to review deferment and forbearance information if you foresee any difficulty in repayment.

Lastly, if you have a break in attendance, you are required to complete Student Loan Exit Counseling within 30 days of your withdrawal. Contact the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid for details.