Original Issuance Date:         January 19, 2021

Effective Date:                          September 1, 2021

1.     Policy Purpose

This policy outlines provisions with respect to medical withdrawals and refunds beyond the 100% refund date.

2.     Responsible UW System Officers

Senior Associate Vice President for Finance and Associate Vice President for Student Success

3.     Scope and Institutional Responsibilities

This policy applies to the medical withdrawal process, including tuition refunds beyond the 100% refund date per UW System Administrative Policy 805, Tuition and Fee Policies for Credit Instruction.

Institutions shall develop their own procedures to operationalize this policy. Institutions may also develop guidance to support this policy and any institution-level procedures.

4.     Background

A medical withdrawal may be necessary in instances where a student is faced with a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition that completely precludes the student from being able to function as a student, and in which the regular university withdrawal process is not appropriate and or deadline has passed.

5.     Definitions

Student: Anyone who has ever been enrolled at a UW System institution.

Immediate Family Member: A parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, child or other member of the student’s household.

Tuition: Includes both academic student fees and nonresident tuition. In the State of Wisconsin statutes, the term “academic student fees” generally applies to resident instructional fees paid by all students, and the term “tuition” applies to the additional amount paid by nonresidents (see UW System Administrative Policy 805)

Medical Withdrawal: The process used after the 100% refund period to fully remove a student from the requested term where a student is faced with a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition that completely precludes the student from being able to function as a student.

6.     Policy Statement

A medical withdrawal is granted in instances where a student is faced with a serious or unexpected condition that completely precludes the student from being able to function as a student and in which the regular university withdrawal process is not appropriate. The medical withdrawal is to be used after the 100% refund period, as indicated in UW System Administrative Policy 805, Tuition and Fee Policies for Credit Instruction.

A request may be granted to students who experience a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition; who may need to provide care to an immediate family member who is experiencing a serious or unexpected physical or behavioral health condition; or who have experienced the death of an immediate family member. Approval will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

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.

Exceptions to any of the stated provisions in this policy can only be authorized by the chancellor or the chancellor’s designee. Any delegation of authority should be in writing and maintained in the designee’s offices. Documentation justifying exceptions should be maintained. Blanket exceptions are not authorized.

A. Policy Administration

The medical withdrawal policy shall be administered through a central office and/or limited offices on a larger campus and/or branch campus. It is important that the designated office can provide support for students seeking a medical withdrawal, helping them to understand their options and the implications of pursuing a medical withdrawal, and referring the student to necessary resources for additional support and information.

All medical withdrawal documents shall be housed on campus in a central and secure database system with restricted access due to the sensitive nature of the request and the accompanying documentation.

The medical withdrawal policy and procedures are to be made available to students as part of the overall Registrar’s policies and procedures for all students.

The medical withdrawal documents must include a supporting letter from a licensed healthcare provider or healthcare records that correlate with and substantiate the request for the term of medical withdrawal. In the case of death of an immediate family member, an obituary or other official record of death may be requested as documentation.

B. Policy Timeline

Whenever possible, requests for medical withdrawal should occur during the term in which the medical condition arose. Students may apply for a retroactive medical withdrawal up to one year after the end of the term in question. For applications submitted after the end of the term, transcript adjustments may be the only possible remedy; tuition adjustments may not be possible.

The last date of class attendance shall be considered the official withdrawal date to be used by the Registrar’s Office for recording academic record class drops and term withdrawals. Based on the date, dropped classes will either be removed entirely from student transcripts or they will continue to appear with an appropriate grade designation that will not impact GPA calculations for the student. This date will also be used by the Financial Aid Office to make award and/or repayment decisions.

C. Tuition and Fee Refund Schedule

If the central campus office overseeing medical withdrawals determines a refund of tuition and segregated fees is in order, UW institutions should follow the refund ranges listed in the tables below. Exceptions to the schedule may only be granted by the chancellor or designee.

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%

Refund or proration of other fees is subject to existing university policy.

D.    Integration with Related Campus Processes

Usually, consideration is for a complete withdrawal from all courses. If a campus allows the late drop of one or more courses for medical reasons under this policy while the student remains enrolled in others, the medical circumstances must be especially well-documented to explain the selective nature of the academic impact.

The institutional medical withdrawal procedures shall indicate necessary re-entry steps should the student be interested in returning in the future. This may include a letter from a healthcare provider indicating readiness to return and outlining aftercare recommendations–and meeting with a campus official who can review the documentation and help the student connect with resources to support continuity of care and a successful transition back to campus. The requirements for return must be consistent with all other institutional return processes.

UW Institutions may incorporate the medical withdrawal as a specific process within the overall late withdrawal process at each institution, as many extenuating circumstances are highly sensitive in nature and should be reviewed for tuition and segregated fee proration.

7.     Related Documents

UW System Administrative Policy 805, Tuition and Fee Policies for Credit Instruction

8.     Policy History

First approved: January 19, 2021

9.     Scheduled Review

January 2024