Tuition Adjustment

Tuition adjustment and refund is dependent on a number of factors, including the student’s academic program, number of credits taken and the date the drop occurs.

Dropping a course(s)

For most students, the tuition and segregated fees rate (referred to as simply “tuition”) is based in part on the number of credits of the classes students take in a semester.  Other students may be enrolled in programs (such as Evening MBA or fourth-year Pharmacy students) that have a single tuition rate not based on credits.

Students are encouraged to talk with their academic advisor before dropping a class to understand all the impacts. Dropping a class may impact the student’s degree progress, the ability to enroll in other courses, or the student’s financial aid. Students can locate their academic advisor’s contact information in the MyUW Student Center.

Understanding Tuition per Credit and Full-Time student status

Credits above a certain level

Some academic programs are designed so credits above a certain number are assessed at a single rate. For example, students in the Graduate School who take 8 credits are assessed the same tuition rate as those taking 11 credits. Changes in the number of credits 8 or above wouldn’t change a tuition assessment.

Credits within a range

Some academic programs have range of credits that equals full-time student status, and a single tuition rate (called a “plateau”) is assessed if a student is taking a number of credits in that range. For undergraduates, that range is 12 to 18 credits in the Fall or Spring terms, and 6 to 9 credits in Summer term.

For undergraduate students taking 17 credits, and dropping a 3-credit course, credits will change to 14 for the term. The credit range will still be in the 12- to 18-credit range, and still be assessed the same full-time tuition rate. So, no change in tuition means no adjustment.

For undergraduate students taking 14 credits, and dropping a 3-credit course, credits will change to 11 for the term. The tuition rate changes because the range is no longer 12-18; this is no long considered a full-time student status. This can have impacts on many things including any financial aid. Students should talk to their academic advisor (and, if applicable, the Office of Student Financial Aid) when considering dropping a class that would affect full-time status.

When dropping classes affects tuition refunds

Tuition adjustment refunds depend on whether classes are dropped during a particular times of the term.  When a student drops a course by the drop deadline, the tuition is automatically adjusted and a tuition refund will be issued.  

Students can find the drop deadlines for their enrolled classes in MyUW Student Center. In the Manage Classes section, select the appropriate term. In the list showing enrolled classes, select the calendar icon next to a specific class to access “Deadlines”.  This will display the add date, drop date, and tuition adjustment date(s) for that class.

Tuition adjustment dates for modular sessions are listed on the Office of the Registrar’s Dates & Deadlines page.

Students who are granted a Medical Withdrawal may also receive a tuition refund. Please visit the Registrar’s Office for more information.

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Regular 15-week Fall and Spring terms:

  • Classes dropped in the first or second week of the term may qualify for an adjustment of 100% of the difference between old and new rates; and
  • Classes dropped in the third or fourth week may qualify for an adjustment of 50% of the difference between old and new rates.

Summer term and Modular Sessions

Modular sessions have a different number of length and start date than the regular terms.

  • There may be 100%, 50%, and 25% deadlines, depending on how the session is designed; and
  • Some sessions may not have all, or any, tuition adjustment deadlines.


Call the Bursar's Office

Phone: (608) 262-3611

Fax the Bursar's Office

Fax: (608) 265-3201

Bursar's Office hours

Monday – Friday
Virtual Services available 8 AM – 4 PM

Find the Bursar's Office

333 East Campus Mall #10501
Madison, WI 53715-1383