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. Students must submit a complete appeal request within five (5) years from the semester for which they seek an appeal for it to be considered. (Starting September 1, 2021, the deadline to complete an appeal will be reduced to one (1) year from the semester for which they seek an appeal). Requests are considered case-by-case based on the unique circumstances of the student.


  • Students must be engaged in the course(s) prior to the qualifying circumstance. 
  • 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 are only eligible for one partial and one full tuition appeal for extraordinary circumstances during their lifetime.
  • Students must drop their courses before an appeal coordinator can review your appeal. Students should work with their academic advisor to request a late drop/withdrawal if their request is past the deadline.
  • Students must complete an appeal request within five (5) years from the semester for which they seek an appeal. (Starting September 1, 2021, the deadline to complete an appeal will be reduced to one (1) year from the semester for which they seek an appeal).
  • Students must have documentation to support that they have experienced a qualifying circumstance. Blanket exceptions are not authorized.

Qualifying Circumstances

Students 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. 

Unfortunately, students are generally not eligible for a tuition and fee appeal for the following circumstances: 

  • Insufficient financial aid and/or financial hardship 
  • Lack of awareness or misinterpretation of UWM policies (e.g., add/drop policies, 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
  • Change or major; changes in academic and/or personal goals
  • Forgetting one was registered for the course
  • Being overwhelmed by academic, work, or personal circumstances
  • Lack of familiarity with computer systems

ONE Medical Appeal can be granted throughout a student’s academic career with UWM.

Things to Do Before Requesting an Appeal

  • Students should consult with their academic advisor before dropping classes. Advisors can help a student determine if dropping/withdrawing is the best option or if other options, such as requesting “incomplete,” are more appropriate.
  • Students should speak to a Financial Aid advisor if they receive loans, scholarships, veteran’s benefits, grants, assistantships, etc., to see how dropping or withdrawing from courses will affect their financial aid package. Students may also need to complete a separate appeal with the Financial Aid Office (NOTE: dropping courses or withdrawing may cause a student’s financial aid package to be recalculated).

Tuition and Fee Appeal Application

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

Tuition and Fee Appeal Application

Review Process

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 all 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 request the submission of additional documentation to justify the request. 

A decision may be rendered in as short as two (2) weeks from submission of the appeal. However, we recognize that sometimes students are unable to schedule an appointment immediately or may need more time to gather documentation. Students have up to five (5) years from the semester for which they seek an appeal.

Starting September 1, 2021, the deadline to complete an appeal will be reduced to one (1) year from the semester for which they seek an appeal. We strongly recommend that students submit their request as soon as possible as students may have more difficulty gathering necessary documentation as time passes.