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.



Because classes are being taught remotely and I’m not on campus, can I get a refund for my segregated fees?

April 2, 2020

Many students have asked about refunds for Spring 2020 segregated fees, noting that they are not on campus to take advantage of the services those fees provide.

Segregated fees provide funding for a wide range of services, including Norris Health Center, University Counseling Services, University Recreation and other student engagement services, including Student Involvement, the Women’s Resource Center, Military and Veterans Resource Center, the Center for Inclusive Excellence and the LGBTQ+ Resource Center. These services are still operating, although they may look a little different right now.

For example, University Recreation is offering online fitness classes and recreation clinics. University Counseling is offering telehealth-based counseling. Many of the aforementioned units, along with the Graduate Student Resource Network and UWM Student Association, are collaborating on a virtual student union, which is a Canvas course where Panthers can connect and build community through discussions, one-on-one conversations and social media.

Segregated fees also pay for maintaining buildings, such as the UWM Student Union, the Klotsche Center and related utility costs. These buildings and services have costs that can’t quickly be reduced, such as heat, maintenance and professional staff. And we want to make sure that the buildings and services are available when students return to campus. For this reason, UW System has determined no UW campus will refund segregated fees for the spring semester.

It’s too soon for us to say whether the COVID-19 situation will continue beyond spring semester or what its total financial impact will be. Although some units are seeing savings with providing online services, others are facing a loss of non-seg fee revenue from things like locker fees, dining and space rentals, which also help support their budgets. And after years of state budget cuts, UWM has little in reserve to cover these losses.

As we look ahead, campus leaders are working with the UWM Student Association to determine adjustments to future segregated fees. If you are concerned about these fees, we encourage you to contact your SA representatives so that your voice will be heard.


Now that classes are online for the rest of the semester and I’ve moved out of student housing, will I get a refund on my housing and dining charges?

April 2, 2020

Housing and dining refunds for students who recently moved out of the residence halls will be processed by the end of April, if not sooner. Students who have credits on their accounts will have checks mailed to their permanent address on record in PAWS.

As of this spring, the Cashier’s Office no longer processes refunds by electronic funds transfer. It is currently processing checks two times per week while maintaining social distancing between employees.

Room reimbursements will be issued for the period from March 23 to May 16 for most students living in residence halls, regardless of the day they move out.

Students who lived in Kenilworth and have since vacated were being billed monthly. They will not be billed in April and May, and they will receive a credit for the period from March 23 to March 31.

Please note that any balances owed to the university will be deducted from housing and dining refunds before checks are issued. University Housing is sending additional information to students with residence hall contracts. You can also visit the University Housing COVID-19 site to contact staff with a question.


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.



What assistance is being providing to UWM student employees unable to continue working because of the coronavirus-related campus changes?

March 26, 2020

UWM is providing a one-time COVID-19 leave payment to all active student hourly workers who have logged hours on or since Feb. 1, 2020. Students who qualify will receive $100 per week for two weeks – a total of $200. The payment will be effective for the April A payroll, which begins Sunday, March 29, ends Saturday, April 11, and pays Thursday, April 23. Student workers who have logged hours during the April A pay period will receive this payment in addition to their logged hours during the same pay period. This is a one-time action designed to help student employees who have not been able to continue their jobs. UWM continues to advocate to federally elected officials for student assistance.


Can I still drop a class?

March 26, 2020

Yes. The deadline to withdraw from semester-length courses has been extended by one week — to Sunday, April 12, at 11:59 p.m. Those who withdraw would receive a “W” on their transcript for the dropped course(s). There is no impact on the GPA. However, it’s recommended students speak with their academic advisor before making any decisions. It’s also recommended that students receiving financial aid should consult with the financial aid office to see how a drop or withdrawal might affect their financial aid package. There are no refunds this far into the semester.




Is UWM adjusting payment deadlines in response to the COVID-19 crisis?

March 20, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis and its impacts to UWM students and families, UWM has extended the Spring 2020 payment deadline. UWM will not assess late payment fees or interest charges from March 20 to  June 2, 2020. We are committed to working with our students and families to the best of our ability through these challenging times.

Students who cannot make payments on time are encouraged to contact the Bursar’s Office at bursar@uwm.edu. UWM will continue to monitor this issue as events develop.

  • Should you have any questions regarding billing dates, please contact the Bursar’s Office via email at bursar@uwm.edu.
  • Questions about your financial aid can be directed to finaid@uwm.edu.
  • Questions pertaining to University Housing or meal plans can be directed to university-housing@uwm.edu.
  • Other questions should be directed to the Dean of Students at dos@uwm.edu.


What if all of someone’s classes get pushed online – will the person get refunded for some of his housing plan’s money if they choose to go live with their family?

March 19, 2020

Housing and dining refunds for students who recently moved out of the residence halls will be processed by the end of April, if not sooner. Students who have credits on their accounts will have checks mailed to their permanent address on record in PAWS.

As of this spring, the Cashier’s Office no longer processes refunds by electronic funds transfer. It is currently processing checks two times per week while maintaining social distancing between employees.

Room reimbursements will be issued for the period from March 23 to May 16 for most students living in residence halls, regardless of the day they move out.

Students who lived in Kenilworth and have since vacated were being billed monthly. They will not be billed in April and May, and they will receive a credit for the period from March 23 to March 31.

Please note that any balances owed to the university will be deducted from housing and dining refunds before checks are issued. University Housing is sending additional information to students with residence hall contracts. You can also visit the University Housing COVID-19 site to contact staff with a question.