Refunds and Withdrawals


If your credited aid exceeds Boston Conservatory charges, you may be eligible for a refund check. For the majority of students, refunds are not provided until four to five weeks after the start of classes.

Refund of Credit Balances

Credit balances from federal Title IV funds (Pell Grants, SEO Grants, Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans; PLUS and Grad PLUS loans): When federal Title IV funding is received and posted to the student’s account and creates a credit balance, refunds will be issued automatically to the student approximately 7 to 14 days after the tenth class day. All refunds are issued to the student unless one of the following situations applies:

  • The Title IV authorization form, completed by the student at the beginning of each year, specifies that the credit balance remain on the student's account.
  • If there is a Parent PLUS Loan, the refund is issued to the parent. The parent may instruct the Financial Aid Office or Bursar’s Office in writing to issue the refund to another party, leave it on the account, or return it to the lender.

Pell-eligible students who are expecting a Title IV refund will receive a book stipend no later than seven days after the beginning of the semester. A Title IV refund is made up entirely of federal funds (Pell, SEOG, Subsidized Loan, Unsubsidized Loan, and PLUS Loan).

Checks should be ready for pickup or mailing no later than 14 days after the funds are posted to the student’s account. Checks not picked up by the student within 21 days of processing will be mailed. If the student or parent cannot be located, the funds must be returned to the appropriate Title IV program.

Credit balances from all other funds (cash payments, scholarships, grants, Prepaid Tuition 529 Plans, TuitionPay monthly payments): Refunds from credit balances from all other funds will be issued to the student upon request in writing, via email, by telephone, or by visiting the Bursar’s Office. Refund checks can be issued 7 to 14 days after the tenth day of class. In order to allow sufficient time for the refund process, the Conservatory requires 14 business days from the receipt of the refund request to the issuance of the refund check.

Credit balances from student withdrawal or leave of absence: A credit balance created from a refund issued to a student who is withdrawing or taking a leave of absence from Boston Conservatory at Berklee will be processed and mailed to the student once the Registrar’s Office has officially changed the student’s status and the Financial Aid Office has completed any necessary adjustments. If a student has federal aid, the school has 14 days from the date the Financial Aid Office does a Title IV refund calculation to process and make available for pick up/mail a refund check.


Please note that there are many ways in which a student may a) withdraw, b) receive a refund, and c) receive a refund due to a withdrawal. Three major types of withdrawal are:

  1. Voluntary Withdrawal—Drop or withdraw from a course; change grading to method to audit. If changes made with this type of withdrawal do not affect full-time status, your award is not affected. If changes made change your status to anything besides full time, see Financial Aid Office for more information.
  2. Withdrawal from Enrollment
  3. Involuntary Withdrawal—Administrative Withdrawal Policy

Boston Conservatory at Berklee Withdrawal and Refund Policy

Voluntary Withdrawal
  • Your award letter lists the amount of financial aid you will receive based on full-time enrollment status. If you change your enrollment status (drop, withdraw, or change grading method to audit), your financial aid package may be revised.
  • You cannot receive aid for audited courses or courses that are dropped before the add/drop date.
  • A course is considered “dropped” if you drop before the add/drop date. There are no charges or Student Academic Progress (SAP) penalties for dropped courses.
  • If you withdraw from a course after the add/drop date, it is a “withdrawal.” You will be charged for “withdrawn” courses, and withdrawals can lead to violations of the Financial Aid SAP Policy.
  • If you withdraw from all your courses or stop attending them before completing more than 60 percent of the semester, you may have to return all or a portion of the federal financial aid that you received. A more complete explanation of the federal financial aid withdrawal and refund policy is available in the online Student Handbook.
Withdrawal from Enrollment

If you withdraw from all courses, you may be charged a percentage of your tuition.

A student withdrawing from the Conservatory must do so in writing to the Registrar. In the event of withdrawal, leave of absence, or dismissal, charges will be determined based on the number of class days the student has attended. The confirmed last date of attendance will be considered the official last date of attendance.

Students are reminded that the refund policy on withdrawals is the official one, regardless of any payment arrangements.

Refunds are calculated for the fall and spring semesters using the following schedule:

Termination date refund student obligation
Before first day of class 100% 0%
Within 10 class days 80% 20%
Within 15 class days 60% 40%
Within 20 class days 40% 60%
Within 25 class days 20% 80%
After 25 class days 0% 100%










Refunds are calculated for the Institute for Music Education (summer) by the following schedule:

termination date refund student obligation
Before first day of classes 100% 0%
Within 3 class days 80% 20%
Within 4 class days 60% 40%
Within 5 class days 40% 60%
Within 6 class days 20% 80%
After 6 class days 0% 100%











Any additional charges related to courses exceeding the maximum credit load (please refer to your individual advising manual) will be refunded according to the above refund schedule.

The application fee and deposits toward tuition and/or room and board are not refundable. No fees (e.g., general student, student activity, health service, gym, and medical insurance) are refunded after the start of classes. The refund policy as stated above applies to tuition and room and board charges only.

Residents in Conservatory Housing and/or Participants in Conservatory Meal Plans

The regulations described above also pertain to room and board charges for a student who is withdrawing from the Conservatory. Students who withdraw from Conservatory housing and/or meal plans, but are not withdrawing from the Conservatory, are not eligible for a room and board refund. In addition, students who are removed from the residence halls for disciplinary reasons are not eligible for a room and board refund.

Withdrawal, Federal Loan Funds, and the Exit Counseling Interview

Students who graduate or withdraw and have taken out federal loan funds are required to undergo an Exit Counseling Interview. The exit interview is a federal requirement. Students who fail to complete the exit interview will have their transcripts held until the interview is completed. The Exit Counseling Interview is available at Students sign in using their FSA ID and are given information about a variety of loan subjects. They are then required to take a number of short quizzes. The interview takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Withdrawal and Financial Aid

Institutional Aid

Institutional financial aid is refunded using the same schedule as tuition refunds (see above). If, for example, a student leaves school within 10 class days, he would be charged 20 percent of his tuition, which means he would be allowed to keep 20 percent of his institutional aid (Conservatory Scholarship, Tuition Assistance Grant, etc.).

Federal Financial Aid

The federal government requires that refunds of federal aid funds be calculated in another way. The Financial Aid Office recalculates students’ eligibility for federal funds when they withdraw, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence before completing 60 percent of the semester.

The recalculation determines how much federal aid a student has “earned” by dividing the number of calendar days the student has attended class by the number of calendar days in the semester (excluding scheduled breaks of five days or more). This is based on the date of the official withdrawal received by the Registrar’s Office. If no such official withdrawal exists, the Financial Aid Office can use the 50 percent mark of the semester.

If the student has completed at least 60 percent of the semester, that student is said to have “earned” 100 percent of his or her federal financial aid, and none of it need be returned to the federal government.

Any “unearned” aid must be returned to the federal government in the following order (each fund is fully refunded before moving to the next fund):

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  • Direct Grad PLUS Loan
  • Pell Grant
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Other Title IV Aid

If the student has received a refund before withdrawing from school, the student may be required to repay some or all of those funds.

Any fund remaining after these restorations have been made will be refunded to the student within 30 days of the student’s termination.

State or Private Aid

State and/or private aid will be refunded to the appropriate providers if required. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that a refund calculation similar to the federal calculation be done for students who withdraw with state aid. 

Federal Loan Aid and Withdrawal

Students with federal loan aid (Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans and Direct Grad PLUS Loans) are required by law to go through the Exit Counseling Interview process. The exit interview goes through your rights and responsibilities as a borrower from the federal government. It also provides you with a listing of your federal loans, estimated repayment amounts, and information on different repayment plans. The exit interview is located at Students will need to sign in using their Social Security number and their FAFSA pin number. If they don’t have a FAFSA pin number, they can get one at Students will need to complete the entire exit interview and receive a congratulations notification before they are considered finished.


For more information on student loans and student loan repayment, these are a few of the many websites available:

For additional information regarding withdrawal and financial aid, visit the Financial Aid Office.

Tuition Refund Appeal Process

The Enrollment Division Appeals Committee will review an appeal received no later than 120 days from the date on which the student withdraws from the course(s). Any appeal must be submitted via email to and must include supporting documentation (e.g., copies of registration forms, drop/add forms, medical documentation, military activation papers). Since the information concerning procedures, dates for drop/add, and/or course withdrawal are widely publicized, the Enrollment Division Appeals Committee will not consider an appeal that is not filed in compliance with these guidelines.

An appeal will be considered for the following reasons:

  • Death of the student or death in the student’s immediate family (parent, sibling, offspring, spouse, domestic partner, or guardian)
  • Voluntary or involuntary medical withdrawal
  • A medical emergency in the student’s immediate family (parent, sibling, offspring, spouse, domestic partner, or guardian)
  • Military activation

This appeal process pertains to tuition charges only. Fees are non-refundable, and room and board charges are refunded according to the refund policy, publicized in the Bursar section of the Student Handbook and the website. A tuition refund appeal for any student who has financial aid is subject to guidelines and/or restrictions set forth by federal/state agencies. The committee may decide that the credit balance, which results from a refund of tuition, will remain on the student’s account and be applied against future charges when he or she returns to the Conservatory.

The committee will issue its decision within four weeks of receipt of all necessary documentation. The committee’s decision is final.

Please direct any questions regarding this process to