Tuition Charge Appeal

Western Michigan University students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with university academic policies as outlined in the University Catalog as well as the academic calendar. The University does recognize that there are times when a student experiences an extenuating or unexpected emergency or hardship that interferes with the student’s ability to attend and/or successfully complete classes that may warrant an exception or appeal.

The Accounts Receivable Office facilitates the processing of tuition charge appeals through the Tuition Charge Appeal Committee.  Tuition charge appeals may be filed when a student has never attended, participated, or contributed to a given course or courses in any way, experiences an extenuating or unexpected emergency or hardship that interferes with the student’s ability to attend and/or successfully complete classes or when an administrative error at the University has created the tuition charge. 

In order to pursue a Tuition Charge Appeal the course(es) must first be recorded as a withdrawal on your transcript. If it is beyond the last date to withdraw from a course that you wish to seek a tuition charge appeal, please contact the Office of the Ombudsman to discuss a Hardship Withdrawal or a Non-Attendance Appeal.

Please note that appeals specifically for non-attendance withdrawals approved by the Office of the Ombudsman are automatically considered for tuition refunds and a tuition charge appeal for this specific situation is not required. 

Additional information on these appeal processes can be found at https://wmich.edu/ombudsman.

IMPORTANT ITEMS TO CONSIDER BEFORE FILING A TUITION CHARGE APPEAL

Students are strongly advised to seek advice from their academic advisors and Bronco Express BEFORE withdrawing to ensure they have a complete understanding of how the partial or complete withdrawal will affect their academic progress and any financial aid eligibility. 

Students who are financial aid recipients and who withdraw from some or all of their courses may experience loss of future financial aid eligibility, reduced financial aid awards, or a return of any financial aid disbursed to the student.  These adjustments in financial aid may result in the Student owing a balance for any financial aid that was already refunded to the Student.  Balances owed as a result of a refund provided to the student and then a subsequent financial aid adjustment, are not appealable. 

Please note, that the outcome of a tuition charge appeal has no bearing on your eligibility for financial aid funds or the financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal. If you have questions regarding your eligibility for financial aid funds, please contact Bronco Express at 269-387-6000 or email finaid-info@wmich.edu

Students who are currently charged flat-rate tuition may not receive any tuition charge adjustments if the appeal does not adjust the total credit hours for the term outside of the flat tuition rate. 

TUITION CHARGE APPEAL GUIDELINES

Tuition charge appeals will be considered by the Tuition Charge Appeal Committee in the following instances provided they occur within the semester of the withdrawal:

  • Physical or mental illness of the student (including hospitalization) documented by a signed and dated physician’s statement that details a serious medical condition that prevents the student from successfully completing the course(s) for the given term.  To constitute a serious medical condition, a student must have been or will be unable to perform academic duties (attend class, study course content, take tests, write papers) for three weeks during the fall and spring semesters and one and a half weeks for the summer I and II semesters.  Please do NOT include medical records.

  • Physical or mental illness of the student’s immediate family member (including hospitalization) who is dependent upon the student for support documented by a signed and dated physician’s statement or other medical support on official letterhead that details the serious medical condition of the student's immediate family member. To constitute a serious medical condition, a student must have been or will be unable to perform academic duties (attend class, study course content, take tests, write papers) for three weeks during the fall and spring semesters and one and a half weeks for the summer I and II semestersPlease do NOT include medical records.

  • Death of a student’s immediate family member (parent, spouse, children, sibling, grandparent) with a copy of the death certificate or a link to an obituary. 

  • The verifiable error of the University with a detailed account of the problem and relevant documents from the University Office involved or advisor indicating that incorrect information was given by a University representative. 

  • Non-attendance if the student never attended, participated, or contributed to a given course or courses in any way.

Please note that a tuition charge appeal in future semesters based on the same circumstances as a previous appeal may not be approved. 

 

The Tuition Charge Appeal Committee will not consider appeals in the following instances (this list is not inclusive of all of the reasons that an appeal may be denied):

  • Personal errors in judgment or irresponsibility involving transportation, availability of finances, academic ability, or time management.
  • Non-qualification, late application, or loss of eligibility for financial aid or scholarships.
  •  Misinterpretation or lack of knowledge of university policies or procedures as published in the university catalog or other university publications.
  • The student’s failure to withdraw before the published withdrawal/refund period.
  • Not needing a specific course to fulfill a degree or transfer requirement.
  • Dissatisfaction with academic progress in the course.
  • Inadequate investigation of course requirements before registration and attendance.
  • Changes to work schedule or other activities impacting the ability to attend class.
  •  Minimal attendance in a class.
  • Chronic medical issues that the student knew or reasonably could have known would impact their ability to complete the semester.
Students are limited to a total of two (2) non-attendance appeals during their academic career at WMU.  All decisions of the Tuition Charge Appeal Committee are final and not subject to further appeal.  

TUITION CHARGE APPEAL SUBMISSION DEADLINES

Tuition charge appeals must be submitted within 6 months of the last date of the semester as outlined below:

Semester

Tuition Charge Appeal Must be Submitted By

Spring 2023

4/29/2024

Summer I 2023

6/28/2024

Summer II 2023

8/18/2024

Fall 2023

12/16/2024

Spring 2024

10/27/2024

Summer I 2024

12/26/2024

Summer II 2024

2/16/2025

Tuition charge appeals submitted outside of these deadlines will be denied.

TUITION CHARGE APPEAL STEPS

STEP 1

Students must withdraw from the course(s) in question before filing a tuition charge appeal.  If the student has a hold on their account and is attempting to withdraw from the course before the last date to withdraw as outlined in the academic calendar, the student will need to contact the Registrar’s Office (269) 387-4300 or via your WMU email at registrar-info@wmich.edu to request withdrawal from the course(s).  If it is after the date to withdraw for the semester, the student will need to file either a hardship appeal or a non-attendance appeal with the University Ombudsman.  The forms to complete this appeal process can be found on the University Ombudsman’s website at https://wmich.edu/ombudsman.

STEP 2

Fill out the online form completely ensuring you indicate the specific semester and course(s) for which the appeal is being requested, the reason for the appeal, and a personal statement addressed to the Tuition Appeal Committee that describes the specific circumstances that warrant a tuition charge appeal.  Please see the Frequently Asked Questions below for information on important items to include in the personal statement.  

STEP 3

Upload the third-party documentation that supports your appeal.  No appeal will be considered without written support or documentation.  Please see the Frequently Asked Questions below for additional information on the appropriate third-party documentation to submit.  

STEP 4

You will be notified via email of the decision of the Committee and your resulting account balance.  All decisions of the Tuition Charge Appeal Committee are final and are not subject to appeal.  

TUITION CHARGE APPEAL ONLINE FORM

Tuition Charge Appeal Form | Accounts Receivable | Western Michigan University (wmich.edu)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kind of supporting documentation should I submit?

  • Medical - Dated and signed letter on letterhead by a medical professional explaining your illness, limits to class participation, and the date range the student was unable to perform academic duties.  Please do NOT include medical records.  Excuse slips, copies of invoices, appointment confirmations, statements of insurance payments, etc. are not acceptable documentation. 
  • Death in the Family - A death certificate or obituary must be provided.  Death must be in your immediate family (parent, spouse, children, sibling, grandparent).
  • University Error - Memo on university letterhead from the appropriate administrator stating the error.
  • Non-Attendance - Memo on university letterhead from the appropriate professor with your attendance information.  If you are unable to obtain this documentation, the Tuition Charge Appeal Committee will obtain your e-learning access history. 

What should I include in my personal statement?

You will need to provide detailed, specific, and oftentimes, personal information regarding your specific circumstances that warrant a tuition charge appeal. This should include information on what steps you have taken to ensure that future appeals will not be necessary.

What happens if my tuition charge appeal is approved?

Appeals are reviewed by the Tuition Charge Appeal Committee as quickly as possible.  If your appeal is approved, information will be routed to the Student Financial Aid office to determine if any necessary adjustments to your financial aid need to occur as a result of the approved appeal.  Once Student Financial Aid makes the necessary adjustments, the tuition charges on your account will be adjusted and you will receive an email from acnr-tuitionappeals@wmich.edu.  If the appeal results in a zero balance on your account, any holds will be released at that time.  If the appeal results in a balance on the student account, the student will need to address that balance before any holds will be released. 

What happens if my tuition charge appeal is not approved?

If your appeal is denied, you will receive an email from acnr-tuitionappeals@wmich.edu with the reason for the denial.  All decisions of the Tuition Charge Appeal Committee are final and are not subject to appeal. 

I have a credit balance on my account after my tuition charge appeal was granted.  How will this be refunded? 

Any credit balances will be refunded to the student per University policies after all account adjustments are made. Western Michigan University processes all refunds regularly.  

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS

Please contact the Accounts Receivable Office at (269) 387-4141 or via email at acnr-tuitionappeals@wmich.edu