Tuition and Fee Appeals

All students are expected to thoroughly read the UWM financial policies including reviewing the Interactive Add/Drop Calendar for information on the late registration fee period and understanding 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. 

As governed by UW System policy, exceptions to any of the stated procedures, provisions, etc., due to extraordinary circumstances or university error can be made by the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office must receive written documentation justifying exceptions; blanket exceptions are not authorized. 

Tuition and Fee Appeals will NOT be considered for students who were going through disciplinary proceedings or who are suspended or expelled during the semester of their Tuition and Fee Appeal. 

We recognize that students may experience challenges that necessitate them to drop classes. To help students manage their financial obligations in such circumstances, UWM will further look into the students condition in which and tuition and fee can be grantedStudents may be eligible for a Tuition and Fee Appeal for the following circumstances: 

  1. University Error 
  2. Extraordinary Circumstances 
    • Medical Circumstances – Students may request a tuition and fee appeal for medical reasons if they experience a serious medical issue, extended illness, or serious injury during the semester that significantly affects their ability to participate in courses, necessitating them to drop classes to seek treatment as advised by their health care professional or professional victim advocate. Medical situations involving preexisting conditions are eligible if the student experienced severe exacerbation of symptoms during the semester of withdrawal. However, the following are typically ineligible: medical situations that were known before the start of the semester with no substantial change in symptoms; medical situations that one could reasonably have anticipated or have taken more timely action; and medical situations for which the University could have provided accommodations.  
    • Death of an Immediate family member – Students may request a tuition and fee appeal if they experience the death of an immediate family member during the semester. Circumstances related to the death of extended family members or friends are typically ineligible. 
    • Primary caregiver for a parent, child, or spouse – Students may request a tuition and fee appeal if, during the semester, their healthcare provider has designated them to be the primary caregiver for an immediately family member who requires daily care. 
    • Other extraordinary circumstances beyond a student’s control will be evaluated on a case by case basis. 

Additional Criteria 

  • Students must be engaged in the course prior to the qualifying event. 
  • Students are ineligible for a tuition and fee appeal during semester(s) in which they are going through disciplinary proceedings or are suspended or expelled from UWM. 
  • Students can only complete ONE partial or full tuition appeal for extraordinary circumstances during their lifetime
  • Students must drop their courses before an appeals coordinator can review your appeal. Students can work with their academic advisor to request a late drop/withdrawal if their request is past the deadline.

Things to Do Before Requesting an Appeal

  • Consult with you academic advisor to drop your classes. Your advisor will help you determine if dropping/withdrawing is the best option or if other options, such as incomplete are more appropriate.
  • Speak to Financial Aid. If you receive loans, scholarships, veteran’s benefits, grants, etc., make an appointment to speak to a advisor in the Financial Aid Office to see how your drop/withdrawal will affect your financial aid package and if you need to complete a separate appeal with their office (NOTE: dropping courses or withdrawing may cause your financial aid package to be recalculated).

Unfortunately, tuition and fees generally cannot be adjusted for: 

  • Insufficient financial aid and/or financial hardship 
  • Lack of awareness or misinterpretation of UWM policies: add/drop and fee deadlines 
  • Obtaining new employment; changes in hours/location of employment 
  • Dropping course(s) to avoid failure or low grades 
  • Dissatisfaction with instructor, course content, delivery of instruction, or academic progress
  • Changes in your academic and/or personal goals
  • Change of major
  • Forgetting that you were registered
  • Being overwhelmed by academic, work, or personal circumstances
  • Lack of familiarity with computer systems
  • Transportation issues 

Students who believe that they experienced university error or had a qualifying extraordinary experience can complete this Tuition and Fee Appeal form to request an exception to the published fee policies. Please attach all supporting documentation to this form before submitting it.

Review of Tuition Appeals

Once the Dean of Students Office receives a request, a staff will briefly review the request. A Dean of Students Office staff member may require the submission of additional supporting documentation. When the request is complete with supporting documentation, a Dean of Students Office staff member will email the student to schedule an appointment to discuss the circumstances warranting an exception.

During this meeting, the Appeal Coordinator may require additional the submission of additional documentation to justify the request.  This process may be completed in as short as 2 weeks from when all documentation is submitted and the student schedules an appeal meeting. However, we recognize that sometimes students are unable to schedule an appointment immediately or may need more time to gather documentation. Thus, cases can remain open much longer.

Students have 5 years from the semester in which they dropped courses or withdrew to complete an appeal. However, we recommend that students submit their request as soon as possible as students may have more difficulty gathering necessary documentation as time passes.

Requests are considered case-by-case based on the unique circumstances of the student.