General Refund Guidlelines

Refund for Denial / Cancellation or Withdrawal

A student is accepted and enrolled in a course/program with the expectation of attending the entire course/program scheduled. Faculty contracts, learning materials, and other Institute resources generate expenses based on that assumption. If an applicant is not accepted by the Institute or a student does not complete a course/program, tuition refunds are governed by the policy outlined below.

Denied Admission and Tuition Refund
An applicant denied admission by the Institute is entitled to a refund of all monies paid. Monies shall be refunded no later than 30 days of the denial date.

Cancellation and Tuition Refund

  • A student’s notification of cancellation may be conveyed to the institution in any manner.
  • Five Day Cancellation: An applicant who provides notice of cancellation within five calendar days of signing an enrollment agreement is entitled to a refund of all monies paid. All monies will be refunded no later than 30 days of the Institute receiving the notice of cancellation.
  • Other Cancellations: An applicant who wants to cancel an enrollment agreement more than five calendar days after signing the enrollment agreement and making an initial payment, but before shipment of learning materials from the Institute, should notify Student Services. Monies will be refunded no later than 30 days of the Institute receiving notice of cancellation.
  • Students are expected to participate in classes weekly. During the initial period of enrollment, students will be subject to cancellation if they do not participate in coursework during the first week. It is recommended that students contact Student Services if they need to delay their start date to avoid cancellation.

Withdrawal and Tuition Refunds
SDI is subject to, and must abide by, the refund policies of any branch, agency, or department of the federal government with which it is associated or affiliated. In the event of a conflict between SDI’s Refund Policy and the refund policy of an affiliated federal branch, agency, or department, the federal policy may supersede that of the Institute. If a student is withdrawn and returns within 180 days of the withdrawal date, the terms of the Enrollment Agreement will be reinstated.

Refunds are calculated based on the last date of attendance based on academic-related activities. If a refund is due, it will be issued within 30 days of the date of determination of the withdrawal. The tuition refund amount shall be determined based on the table shown. Academic-related activities include:

  • Submission of assignment
  • Course-related discussions
  • Taking and/or submission of exam, quiz, or other assessment
  • Any other activity that is categorized as “academically related”

Official Withdrawal
Students wishing to officially withdraw from SDI should notify Student Services. The date of determination for official withdrawals will be the date the student initiates the withdrawal process. For quality improvement and reporting purposes, SDI may request information from the student regarding their decision to withdraw.

Unofficial Withdrawal
Students in credit-bearing courses/programs are subject to withdrawal if there is no demonstrated academic participation (attendance) for 14 consecutive days. The date of determination will be no later than the 14th day following the last date of attendance. Student progression will be monitored throughout each term and any adjustments to the student’s enrollment status and/or program status shall be updated no later than 30 days after the term end date.

Military Deployment Policy
Students who serve in the United States Armed Forces and who are deployed (or who receive deployment orders) prior to or during a term may be eligible to have their course(s) administratively dropped with no tuition or fee charges for the term. Sonoran Desert Institute 43 The policy accommodates deployments of up to 24 months in length. Students who are being deployed and who wish to withdraw from the respective term should notify SDI Student Services department as soon as deployment papers are received. Students will be required to submit a copy of orders prior to deployment to ensure eligibility. Upon confirmation of proper documentation, the student’s account will be adjusted as indicated below

  • If payment is not yet received, tuition will be forgiven or a tuition credit will be granted if applied within 90 days of return from deployment.
  • If required, a refund will be made to the appropriate party as determined by the Financial Services department.

Refund Calculation

Refund calculations will be done for each course the student has started, as determined by academic activities establishing “attendance” in the course. The course length determines the calculation as indicated on the chart shown. Refunds are determined based on actual charges to the student, less any applicable discounts or institutional scholarships. When a student is withdrawn, the Institute will retain a percentage of the tuition paid in accordance with the following refund schedule.

1-6 Week Course

Percentage of Refundable Tuition After
1st Week – 70%
2nd Week – 40%
3rd Week – 20%
4th-6th Week – 0%

7-10 Week Course

Percentage of Refundable Tuition After
1st Week – 80%
2nd Week – 60%
3rd Week – 40%
4th Week – 20%
5th-10th Week – 0%

Sample Refund Calculation

For each course, the week of the last academic activity will determine the percentage of refund due.

If a student is in an 8-week course and the last recorded academic activity occurs during week three, the student’s ledger will be credited for 60% of the tuition for that course. At the current rate of $295 per credit hour, a 4-credit hour course would have a tuition charge of $1,180 and $708 would be credited back to the student. If this creates a credit balance based on payments received, a refund will be processed to the student or other applicable funding entity aligned with relevant regulations. Additional refund sample information is available in the SDI catalog.



Other General Policies