Top Questions

All Questions

If our Summer 2020 semester in-person courses are converted to online courses, will I be assessed the online course fee?

April 6, 2020

Given the uncertainty over what public health guidance might be in place in the future, UWM will continue with an online instructional approach for the Summer 2020 session. There may be exceptions for a small number of courses, and the provost is working with deans to determine which classes must be offered face to face. Ideally they would be scheduled during the latter half of the summer session, subject to public health guidance at that time. UWM hopes to be able to share more information about summer classes, including course fees, soon.


What is the status of summer classes?

April 6, 2020

Given the uncertainty over what public health guidance might be in place in the future, UWM will continue with an online instructional approach for the Summer 2020 session. There may be exceptions for a small number of courses, and the provost is working with deans to determine which classes must be offered face to face. Ideally they would be scheduled during the latter half of the summer session, subject to public health guidance at that time. UWM hopes to be able to share more information about summer classes, including course fees, soon.



Have any extensions to complete master’s and doctoral degrees been put in place?

April 1, 2020

The Emergency Time Clock Accommodation for Graduate Students extends the timeline to complete doctoral and master’s degrees by one year for students who entered their programs before or in the Spring 2020 semester. The COVID-19 emergency also will be regarded as an extenuating circumstance for all current doctoral students to request up to one-year extension of the deadline to complete the preliminary examination. For more details on the policy, click here.


What if a student has to miss class due to illness in the Spring 2020 semester?

April 1, 2020

Faculty and instructional staff should relax requirements this semester for doctor’s or health care provider’s notes when a student misses class due to illness. This request is to help relieve pressure on overburdened health care workers. We also ask that instructors do not request notes from students’ parents, as many UWM students live on their own. It is appropriate this semester if a student informs you of an illness to take the student at his or her word.

Faculty and instructional staff are also asked to be flexible with students whose families have been impacted by COVID-19. During this time, students may be caring for loved ones who are ill or otherwise need their support, or contending with other complications related to the pandemic.

Faculty and instructional staff are asked to consider posting this information in their Canvas course announcements.


With UWM incorporating a credit/no credit (pass/fail) policy for the Spring 2020 semester, what will happen to my scholarship if I’m required to maintain a certain GPA?

March 30, 2020

Students who have received renewable scholarships from UWM will have their continuing eligibility for the scholarships reviewed at the end of the Spring Term under standard business practices. The unit responsible for administering the scholarship (typically either Financial Aid, or the school/college in which the student is enrolled) will review eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

Even though the interim Emergency Grading Accommodation policy allows for credit/no credit grading, all students will receive a letter grade in each of their Spring 2020 courses by the grade deadline of May 21. Students will have until July 3 to exercise their option to designate each eligible Spring 2020 course to be graded on a credit/no credit basis or to keep the grade they received. Students who earn a C-minus or better in a course may opt for the credit/no credit option for that course.

In the event that a recipient has become ineligible due to academic performance, inability to maintain full-time enrollment or other circumstances, the unit will have the freedom to waive any eligibility requirement as it deems appropriate under the circumstances. Units will be encouraged to review individual circumstances with flexibility and compassion, understanding that UWM, the UWM Foundation and our scholarship donors provide renewable scholarships to help students achieve their academic goals.

Please reach out to the school/college/unit that awarded your scholarship with any specific questions or concerns, or information regarding your individual circumstances. Please remember that if you have received scholarships from external sources (outside of UWM or the UWM Foundation) that incorporate a GPA requirement, you will want to check with the funder directly.


Will UWM move to a credit/no credit grading system for undergraduate students this semester?

March 30, 2020

Many students have asked whether UWM will have a credit/no credit (sometimes called pass/fail) grading policy this semester. The short answer is yes, through the interim Emergency Grading Accommodation policy.

Undergraduate students will receive a letter grade in each of their Spring 2020 courses by the grade deadline of May 21. Students will have until July 3 to exercise their option to designate each eligible Spring 2020 course to be graded on a credit/no credit basis or to keep the grade they received. Students who earn a C-minus or better in a course may opt for the credit/no credit option for that course. The current limitations on the number of courses/credits for the credit/no credit option are being suspended for the spring semester.

By April 14, each school/college will designate a limited number of courses as ineligible for the credit/no credit grading option due to licensing/certification/accreditation requirements. Students can designate classes as credit/no credit by downloading a form and submitting it to their academic advisor as an email attachment from their UWM email account.


When should I apply for financial aid for the Fall 2020 semester?

March 30, 2020

You should apply now. The recommended date to complete the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive maximum consideration was March 1, 2020. If interested in financial assistance and you have not yet applied, you may still do so by going to the FAFSA website.

You may monitor the status of your financial aid file, including information about items that you still need to submit, via your PAWS account. You can review our PAWS tutorials if you need help accessing your account. It is very important that documents are completed in their entirety and consistently with information reported on the FAFSA. Incomplete or inconsistent documents require additional follow-up, slowing the process for everyone.

The Financial Aid, Military Education Benefits, and Student Employment departments are expecting a much higher number of applicants than usual, so submitting all paperwork now will allow adequate time for processing and awards to be provided in a timely fashion.


My income has change significantly due to coronavirus, so can I have my financial aid package reviewed and adjusted?

March 30, 2020

Financial aid eligibility for the 2019-20 academic year (Fall 2019, Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 terms) is based upon 2017 federal tax information as reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In special situations, schools can also look at 2018 and 2019 federal tax information.

If income has changed in 2020, this would not impact the current 2019-20 academic year. However, it may be taken into account for the 2020-21 academic year (Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 terms). Per the 2020-21 Special Circumstance Form, we can look at 2018 and 2019 federal tax information or estimated 2020 federal income information. Due to the current economic situation, a large volume of such appeals is anticipated. Therefore, it is extremely important that if a 2020-21 Special Circumstance Form is submitted, all supporting documentation as outlined on the form is provided at the same time and in a timely fashion.



My course could not be converted to online delivery and I had to drop it, so how will this affect my financial aid package?

March 30, 2020

If the class had already begun, it will not impact your eligibility for the current term. However, it may impact your continued eligibility per the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy. The campus SAP policy can be found here.

If your class has not yet begun, you might be able to still drop it. In such a case, your financial aid eligibility for the current term would need to be recalculated based upon the appropriate number of credits. Please consult with a financial aid advisor for help with your specific circumstances. You also may want to consult with your academic advisor to see if there is another course starting mid-semester that you could add to maintain enrollment in a certain number of credits.



Has the deadline to pay the new student fee been extended?

March 30, 2020

For the $250 new student confirmation fee, the deadline to pay the $150 deposit is May 1, 2020. The remaining $100 portion is charged when your tuition posts in July. The deadline for these fees is not being extended, but they do not incur interest. The $150 new student confirmation deposit must be paid before you can register for orientation. We encourage you to pay the deposit as soon as possible so you can attend orientation early in the summer and select your classes.


Will I receive a refund for the graduation fee if I no longer plan to graduate this semester?

March 30, 2020

Students who no longer plan to graduate will not receive a refund for the $40 graduation fee. However, students who have paid this fee will not be required to pay it again during the semester when they do graduate. The fee is only charged once per student.

The graduation fee is required of students who apply for graduation regardless of whether they participate in the commencement ceremony. The fee goes toward processing expenses, commencement, diplomas, diploma covers and mailing. Please note that when you pay the graduation fee, funds will first be applied to any fines on your PAWS account, so double-check that you don’t have any outstanding library, parking or other fines.

Also note that the graduation fee does not cover the cost of your cap and gown, which involves a separate ordering and payment process.




I was an online student before the campuswide shift to online instruction. Will I get a refund for my online fees?

March 30, 2020

No. Students who started the semester online paid online course fees to help fund the digital infrastructure associated with those courses, while students who initially enrolled in face-to-face courses paid more segregated fees to support several on-campus resources. Although we seek to provide an equitable learning experience with this midyear conversion, we are not imposing additional online course fees for courses that moved to remote instruction due to the disruption. We also are not reducing segregated fees for students who are now taking online courses. All students paid fees associated with their courses to help fund the services and infrastructure of the campus.



When is the last day to apply for financial aid for the Spring 2020 semester?

March 30, 2020

As the Spring 2020 semester is coming to an end, it is extremely important that students still interested in pursuing financial aid options act immediately. Due to federal regulations, all paperwork must be processed no later than the last day of the Spring 2020 term. Therefore, if you still need to compete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), submit additional requested information, or apply for loans, you should do so no later than April 10, 2020. This will allow time for processing. If you have questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@uwm.edu.


Can I still enroll for summer or fall courses if I have an outstanding balance at UWM?

March 30, 2020

UWM has temporarily increased the enrollment balance limit for Summer and Fall 2020 terms to $2,500. Students with an outstanding balance of up to $2,500 can sign up for courses while continuing to pay off their balance. If you would like to enroll in courses but can’t pay off your balance, please contact the Accounts Receivable Office at bursar@uwm.edu to schedule a time to talk to a staff member and explore payment options. If you need to enroll for summer or fall classes but have not reviewed and signed a UWM credit agreement in PAWS, please visit UWM’s One Stop website for instructions.



I am in a course that begins mid-semester and no longer want to take it. Can I receive a refund?

March 30, 2020

Please review the UWM interactive add/drop calendar here. Select the appropriate term (Spring 2020) and session (which you can find on your PAWS schedule) to see the deadlines for dropping your courses to receive a full or partial refund for the course. Note that any deadlines falling within the extra week spring break, March 23-27, 2020, have been extended by one week. Please know that dropping courses within the plateau (for example, from 18 to 15 credits, or from 15 to 12 credits) may not result in a tuition reduction. We also encourage you to consult with Financial Aid to determine if a reduction in credits will result in a recalculation of your financial aid award package (which could result in you having to return a portion of your financial aid award). Email finaid@uwm.edu to talk to a financial aid advisor.


I don’t have the equipment to complete my courses. Can I drop my courses and receive a refund for tuition?

March 30, 2020

Please first consult with your instructor and the Dean of Students Office to see if we can help you get the necessary equipment or accommodations for you to complete your coursework. Email dos@uwm.edu to connect with a DOS staff member. Our goal is to help you be successful. The Dean of Students Office reviews tuition appeals for students who experience extraordinary circumstances beyond their control. Appeals are reviewed on a case by case basis and many factors are considered. To appeal tuition charges for dropped courses, go to this webpage. Please include supporting documentation with your request.


I am experiencing a medical emergency or hospitalization and need to drop my classes. Can I receive a refund for tuition?

March 30, 2020

Please first consult with your instructors or academic advisor to see if there is any possibility to make up assignments or receive an incomplete (which gives students extra time to finish the course and receive a letter grade). Students who have extraordinary circumstances beyond their control, such as medical emergencies, can request a tuition appeal with the Dean of Students Office. To submit a request, first work with your academic advisor to drop your course. After you have dropped your courses, go to this webpage to complete a request. Please include supporting documentation with your request.



Have there been any changes to how the UWM Help Desk operates?

March 27, 2020

UWM’s Help Desk will be using a new Microsoft Teams phone system to answer incoming calls from the campus community. Callers will hear an introductory message and then choose an option to route their call to the Help Desk or the Classroom hotline.

Faculty, staff and students can continue to contact the UWM Help Desk through the usual methods (calling 414-229-4040, emailing helpdesk@uwm.edu or visiting uwm.edu/help). All issues will continue to be handled according to the order they are received and the urgency of the issue. Help Desk personnel ask for your continued patience during this time, as they navigate a new working environment and acclimate themselves to new tools.







I am an international student and am planning to leave the U.S. Can I get a travel signature before I return home?

March 19, 2020

We are not currently able to sign travel signatures in person. We will be in contact with all students with instructions on requesting a new I-20 with a travel signature mailed to you before your return to the U.S. If you plan to return to your home country, please let us know when you’ve arrived safely by emailing isss@uwm.edu. We will ensure that you have the documents you need to request re-entry to the US.