Medical Withdrawals

Students who experience a serious and unexpected condition during the academic semester that completely prevents them from being able to function as a student may apply for a Medical Withdrawal. The Medical Withdrawal is the process used to fully remove the student from the requested term. In some instances, a Medical Withdrawal may also result in the proration of tuition and segregated fees for that term. This process is in accordance with the UW System Medical Withdrawal Policy, 807.

What Circumstances Qualify for a Medical Withdrawal?
Qualifying Circumstances

A request may be granted to students who:

  • Experience a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition during the semester that significantly affects their ability to participate in courses.
  • Experience a pre-existing, recurring, or chronic health condition that has worsened after the start of the term for which the withdrawal is requested.
  • May need to provide care to an immediate family member who is experiencing a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition
  • Have experienced the death of an immediate family member.

Approval is not guaranteed, and it will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Non-Qualifying Circumstances

Typically, requests are not granted to students who:

    • Did not participate in the course prior to the qualifying event.
    • Are going through disciplinary proceedings or are suspended or expelled from UWM.
    • Have experienced the death of a loved one who is not an immediate family member.
    • Provide care to someone who is not an immediate family member.
    • Experience medical situations that were known before the start of the semester with no substantial worsening in symptoms.
    • Experience medical situations where the student could have reasonably anticipated or have taken more timely action.
    • Experience medical situations for which the University could have provided accommodations.
Is a Medical Withdrawal Right for Me?

Sometimes dropping classes can have unanticipated consequences. Thus, a decision to drop classes or withdraw from the University should not be taken lightly.  We encourage students to first explore course accommodations, incomplete grades, or other options before dropping courses or withdrawing.  When students are granted an “incomplete” from their instructor, they are given extra time (typically no longer than one semester) to complete the final assignments and receive a grade. See the Incomplete Policy for more information.

To help determine if a Medical Withdrawal is right for you, we encourage you to contact:

  • Your academic advisor or the Assistant Dean or Director in your school/college to discuss dropping courses or withdrawing.
  • A financial aid advisor to discuss the implications that dropping classes or withdrawing may have on your financial aid award package.
  • The Dean of Students Office to consult about Medical Withdrawals, to receive assistance in navigating this process, and to receive general support related to finances, health, community resources, and your overall success.

Here are some things you should consider before dropping courses:

  • Financial aid awards. When students withdraw from or stop attending courses, their financial aid awards may be recalculated. If a student received a refund to cover living expenses, they may have to repay this. A tuition adjustment does not cover this balance.
  • Future financial aid awards, especially with regard to completing, and meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements.
  • Repayment of outstanding student loans
  • Military benefits
  • Assistantships, scholarships, grants, student-teaching placements, internships, etc.
  • On-campus employment
  • Access to on-campus housing. Students must be enrolled in courses to live on-campus.
  • Access to Norris Health Center
  • Access to University Counseling Services
  • Meeting academic degree time frame requirements
  • Insurance premiums and eligibility
  • Tax dependent status
  • Visa status, study abroad, etc. Consult with the Center for International Education if you are uncertain about how you may be impacted.
What is the Deadline to Apply for a Medical Withdrawal?

Students may apply for a retroactive medical withdrawal up to one year after the end of the term in question (e.g., requests for the fall 2020 must be submitted no later than the fall 2021 semester).

Whenever possible, requests for medical withdrawal should occur during the term in which the medical condition arose. For applications submitted after the end of the term, transcript adjustments may be the only possible remedy; tuition adjustments may not be possible.

How do I Apply for a Medical Withdrawal?
  1. Complete the application. Please fill out as much information as possible. If you do not have a piece of information, leave the space blank.
  2. Provide a statement. Within your application, provide a statement regarding the circumstances that necessitate your withdrawal.
  3. Attach Supporting Documentation. In your application, attach documentation that substantiates the circumstances of your drop/withdrawal:
    • Include a supporting letter from a licensed healthcare provider, professional victim advocate, or healthcare records that correlate with and substantiate the request for the term of medical withdrawal.
    • In the case of preexisting, recurrence, or worsening of condition(s), documentation must show that the recurrence or worsening began after the start of the term for which the withdrawal is requested.
    • In the case of death of an immediate family member, provide an obituary or death certificate.

Medical Withdrawal Application

What Happens After I Request a Medical Withdrawal?

Medical Withdrawal requests undergo a multi-step review. Applicants will receive updates regarding which step in the review process their application is in.  Students who have already dropped their courses in PAWS will skip Step 1 and go straight to Step 2.

Step 1: The academic department reviews the application to decide whether a Medical Withdrawal shall be granted. Students may be contacted via email and asked to provide additional information for review.

Step 2: In cases where a Medical Withdrawal is approved by the academic department and in cases when students drop courses on their own in PAWS, the Dean of Students Office reviews the application to determine proration of tuition and segregated fees. For applications submitted after the end of the term, tuition adjustments may not be possible.

Students may be contacted via email and asked to meet with a Dean of Students Office Coordinator or to provide additional information for review.

Step 3: In cases where tuition and fees are prorated, the Bursars Office will make adjustments to the student’s PAWS account. This step typically takes about 3 weeks to be completed.

What Happens to my Transcripts if I am Granted a Medical Withdrawal?

The last date of class attendance shall be considered the official withdrawal date to be used by the Registrar’s Office for record keeping. Based on the date, dropped classes will either be removed entirely from your transcripts, or if your last date of attendance was after the W deadline (25% or more through the course), the courses will be listed on your transcript with a “W” notation. The “W” notation stands for withdrawal and it serves a record keeping function. “W” notations have no impact on your GPA or ability to re-enroll in classes in a future term.

How are Tuition and Fees Prorated (reduced) if I am Granted a Medical Withdrawal?

In cases where a proration of tuition and fees is in order, the following table will be used:

FALL AND SPRING FULL SEMESTER COURSES
Weeks into Session Refund Range
0-2 weeks 100%
3-4 weeks 70-90%
5-8 weeks 50-70%
9-12 weeks 20-50%
13 weeks or more 10-30%
WINTER TERM, SUMMER, AND OTHER NON-STANDARD-LENGTH COURSES
Weeks into Session Refund Range
First week 100%
Second week 70-90%
3-4 weeks 50-70%
5 weeks or more 10-50%

Please note that tuition and fee adjustments only apply to balances related to tuition and fees for the semester of their request. Adjustments associated with a Medical Withdrawal do not apply to University Housing and Meal Plan charges, library fees, fines, recalculation of financial aid, or other balances. Refund or proration of other fees is subject to existing university policy.

What Happens to my Financial Aid if I am Granted a Medical Withdrawal?

The last date of class attendance shall also be used by the Financial Aid Office to make award and/or repayment decisions. Please note that if you are covering all or part of your charges with financial aid and you withdraw from all of your courses, you may be required to return a portion of your award.

Financial Aid is awarded to students under the assumption that they will complete the courses they are enrolled in.  This means that each day a student is enrolled and attending classes, they “earn” a portion of their financial aid.  When a student withdraws from all classes before completing at least 60% of the semester, they have not earned all of their financial aid, and a portion may be sent back to the Department of Education. You can find what date corresponds to 60% completion of the current semester here.  You can learn about the process of returning financial aid after a withdrawal here.  If you have more questions about the financial aid charges you might see after withdrawing, you can contact the Financial Aid Office.

What Should I do About My Outstanding Balance While I Apply?

Students who apply for a Medical Withdrawal should continue to pay all outstanding balances as shown on their PAWS accounts. Students are encouraged to work with the Bursars Office to make payment arrangements during the application process.

I Would Like Help Navigating the Medical Withdrawal Process

The Dean of Students Office will help you navigate this process. If you are uncertain about whether you would like to complete a medical withdrawal, please state this in your application. We would be happy to talk to you before making a determination on your Medical Withdrawal Request.  You can also contact us via email at dos@uwm.edu or via phone at 414-229-4632.

The Dean of Students Office can also provide you with general support related to finances, health, community resources, and your overall success.

 

Please review all of the above information before applying for a Medical Withdrawal. If a Medical Withdrawal is right for you, you may apply by following these steps:

  1. Complete the application. Please fill out as much information as possible. If you do not have a piece of information, leave the space blank.
  2. Provide a statement. Within your application, provide a statement regarding the circumstances that necessitate your withdrawal.
  3. Attach Supporting Documentation. In your application, attach documentation that substantiates the circumstances of your drop/withdrawal:
    • Include a supporting letter from a licensed healthcare provider, professional victim advocate, or healthcare records that correlate with and substantiate the request for the term of medical withdrawal.
    • In the case of preexisting, recurrence, or worsening of condition(s), documentation must show that the recurrence or worsening began after the start of the term for which the withdrawal is requested.
    • In the case of death of an immediate family member, provide an obituary or death certificate.

Medical Withdrawal Application