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. Usually, consideration is for a complete withdrawal from all courses. If a student requests a late drop for one or more courses for medical reasons under this policy while remaining enrolled in others, the medical circumstances must be especially well-documented to explain the selective nature of the academic impact (e.g., a student breaks a leg and requests to drop a dance class because they cannot dance, a student cannot complete in-person courses while hospitalized but can complete their online courses).

Please click on the buttons below to learn more about Medical Withdrawals.

Medical Withdrawal and Tuition and Fee Appeal Request Form

What Circumstances Qualify for a Medical Withdrawal?
Qualifying Circumstances

A request may be granted to students who experience a serious and unexpected condition during the academic semester that completely prevents them from being able to function as a student. This includes:

  • Experiencing a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition.
  • Needing to provide care to an immediate family member who is experiencing a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition.
  • Experiencing the death of an immediate family member.

In the case of pre-existing, recurring, or chronic health conditions, documentation must show that the recurrence or worsening of the condition(s) began after initiation of the term for which the withdrawal is requested.

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 spring 2021 must be submitted no later than the spring 2022 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 are the primary remedy; tuition adjustments may not be possible.

How do I Apply for a Medical Withdrawal?

Complete the Medical Withdrawal Application. Please fill out as much information as possible. If you do not have a piece of information, leave the space blank.

  • Drop course(s). If you are certain about your decision to drop your courses and it is before the drop deadline, drop your courses in PAWS before submitting the application.
  • Provide a statement. Within your application, provide a statement regarding the circumstances that necessitate your withdrawal. If you are requesting a drop for a few courses (rather than all courses for the semester) explain the specific reason(s) why your situation or medical circumstances only impacted some courses (e.g., broke bones and cannot complete dance class; cannot complete in-person courses while hospitalized but can complete online courses).
  • Attach Supporting Documentation. Documentation must be from a licensed healthcare provider or professional victim advocate. See below.
Documentation

Documentation must be from a licensed healthcare provider or professional victim advocate and include:

  • That you experienced a serious or unexpected condition during the academic semester that completely prevents you from being able to function as a student. They should address that you experienced a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition, need to provide care to an immediate family member who is experiencing a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition, or experienced the death of an immediate family member.
    • 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 cases where it a student requests to drop a few courses (rather than all courses for the semester), documentation must explain why the condition only impacted some courses (e.g., broke bones and cannot complete dance class; cannot complete in-person courses while hospitalized but can complete online courses).
  • Date(s) when you experienced the serious and unexpected condition and when you saw your provider. The dates must pertain to the semester of the appeal.
  • Documentation should be signed and dated by the health care provider and either should be on official letterhead or include the healthcare provider’s contact information.
  • In the case of death of an immediate family member, an obituary or death certificate may be submitted in lieu of a statement from a licensed healthcare provider.

If your circumstances don’t quite fit within the above criteria, please have your health care provider do their best in explaining why they think you would qualify.

All documentation must be submitted within one year from the semester of withdrawal/drop for consideration. We consider all requests that are submitted by the appeal deadline.  Documentation can also be emailed to dos@uwm.edu.

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 Medical Withdrawal Committee 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 Medical Withdrawal Committee 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 Student Financial Accounts 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. This date will also be used by the Financial Aid Office to make award and/or repayment decisions, which could result in a change to the student’s overall financial aid.

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

All students are expected to thoroughly read the UWM financial policies including reviewing the Interactive Add/Drop Calendar for information on the fee assessments for dropping or withdrawing from classes. All students, regardless of circumstances, are subject to the published UWM tuition and fee policies. These policies are guided by the UW System Tuition and Fee Policies. Refund policies related to dropping or withdrawing from courses are found under C4: Refunds/Withdrawals/Drops

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.

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 may check this 60% completion date on the add/drop calendar.  You can also learn more about the process of returning financial aid after a withdrawal on the UWM One-Stop drop/withdrawal page.  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:

Complete the Medical Withdrawal Application. Please fill out as much information as possible. If you do not have a piece of information, leave the space blank.

  • Drop course(s). If you are certain about your decision to drop your courses and it is before the drop deadline, drop your courses in PAWS before submitting the application.
  • Provide a statement. Within your application, provide a statement regarding the circumstances that necessitate your withdrawal. If you are requesting a drop for a few courses (rather than all courses for the semester) explain the specific reason(s) why your situation or medical circumstances only impacted some courses (e.g., broke bones and cannot complete dance class; cannot complete in-person courses while hospitalized but can complete online courses).
  • Attach Supporting Documentation. Documentation must be from a licensed healthcare provider or professional victim advocate and include:
    • That you experienced a serious or unexpected condition during the academic semester that completely prevents you from being able to function as a student. 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, an obituary or death certificate may be submitted in lieu of a statement from a licensed healthcare provider.

See “How do I Apply for a Medical Withdrawal?” above for additional information about documentation requirements.

Medical Withdrawal and Tuition and Fee Appeal Request Form