Adding & Dropping Courses

GW bills according to a student’s registration. Whenever a student adds a course, another tuition charge and student association fee will be added to the bill. Main campus undergraduates who add courses will see tuition added until they reach full time status (12 credit hours). At that time, the account will reflect their fixed-tuition rate. If a main campus undergraduate student adds courses and their registration is for more than 18 credit hours (as of Fall 2019), additional tuition is applied at the current undergraduate per credit hour rate.

If courses are added after the start of the semester, students should remit payment for those courses immediately.

Effective Spring 2021, courses dropped prior to the start of the semester (before the first day of classes) will have 100% of the tuition charges canceled. Courses dropped beginning the first day of classes are subject to the university refund schedule, which governs the prorated cancellation of semester tuition charges in cases of program adjustment or withdrawal. 

12-16 Week Term

 Week   Week 1   Week 2   Week 3   Week 4   Week 5   Week 6 
Percent Returned 100% 100% 60% 40% 20% 0%

 

8-11 Week Term

 Week   Week 1   Week 2   Week 3   Week 4 
Percent Returned 100% 70% 50% 0%

 

4-7 Week Term

 Calendar Days   Days 1-5   Days 6-10   Days 11-14   Days 15-49 
Percent Returned 100% 70% 50% 0%

Select programs are offered on a different schedule with different refund rates for dropped classes. Please visit the Law SchoolPublic Health Online, and SEAS Online & Off-Campus Doctoral and Masters Programs to view the Withdrawal and Refund Policies specific to those programs.

Regulations governing student withdrawals as they relate to residence halls and food service charges are contained in lease agreements and/or contracts and are not governed by the above tuition cancellation schedule.

In no case will tuition be reduced or refunded because of the student’s absence from classes. Authorization to withdraw and certification for work done will not be provided to a student whose account is not in good standing.

After the semester begins students who wish to add a course and drop a course as an even exchange may do so without penalty. The courses must be of equal number of credits and the transactions must be made during the same calendar week. A program adjustment may incur tuition charges and fees if the adjustment is not an even exchange. Additional charges may accrue based on associated course fees or curriculum changes.

Undergraduate students in the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Engineering & Applied Science, the Elliott School of International Affairs, and the Milken Institute School of Public Health should follow the Withdrawal Process.

All other degree-seeking students who wish to withdraw from ALL courses during a given semester or summer session must submit a Complete Withdrawal form. The deadline for complete withdrawal from all courses is the end of the 10th week of classes during the fall and spring semesters, and the end of the 4th week of classes for summer sessions. After the deadline, program changes are not possible unless the student presents a petition to their Advising Office and receives permission. 

 

Although a student may completely withdraw up until the end of the eighth week of classes, the student may not be eligible for a refund of their tuition based on the published refund schedule. The student will receive a percentage of their tuition refunded based on the date their complete withdrawal was processed. After the final refund period based on their term, students will not receive any refund of their tuition. Drop penalties are non-refundable.

Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients use refunds to repay financial aid received for that semester’s attendance. This policy applies to institutional aid as well.

If a recipient of federal financial aid withdraws from the University or reduces their workload, federal regulations require that the University reevaluate the student’s eligibility to determine the amount of aid the student is allowed to retain. If there is a credit balance on the student’s account after the federal funds have been adjusted, institutional funds will be recovered from that amount. For more information on the recalculation of Title IV funds, please review our Return of Title IV Funds Policy (PDF).

Dropped Courses
Prior to Spring 2021

Fall & Spring Semesters

On-campus courses dropped prior to the start of the semester (before the first day of classes) will have 100% of the tuition charges canceled. Courses dropped beginning the first day of classes are subject to the university refund schedule, which governs the prorated cancellation of semester tuition charges in cases of program adjustment or withdrawal:

Before the end of the 1st week of the semester (by 11:59pm Sunday) 90%
Before the end of the 2nd week of the semester (by 11:59pm Sunday) 60%
Before the end of the 3rd week of the semester (by 11:59pm Sunday) 40%
Before the end of the 4th week of the semester (by 11:59pm Sunday) 25%
After the 4th week of classes 0%

Summer Sessions

On-campus courses dropped prior to the start of the summer session will have 100% of the tuition charges canceled. Courses dropped during the first seven (7) calendar days of the session will have 85% of the tuition charges canceled. No tuition adjustments will be made for courses dropped thereafter.

During the first week of classes, students who wish to add a course(s) and drop a course(s) as an even exchange may do so without financial loss if these transaction requests are for an equal number of credit hours. Please be advised that individual program adjustments may incur tuition charges and/or fees if they are not even exchanges, or involve courses other than those at the Foggy Bottom or Mount Vernon campuses.

Note: University withdrawal and refund policies do not apply to Summer Abroad courses. Please check with the Office of Summer Sessions for specific policies associated with these programs.

Off-Campus and Online Classes

Off-Campus

From the day of the 1st class meeting until the day before the 3rd class meeting 90%
From the day of the 3rd class meeting until the day before the 5th class meeting 50%
On and after the day of the 5th class meeting 0%

Online

Please note that "distance learning" or "on-campus via distance" courses are considered main campus courses and are subject to the standard university refund schedule noted above under "Fall & Spring Semesters" or "Summer Sessions".

From the first day of the academic semester or session until the end of the second week of the academic semester or session 90%
From the first day of the third week of the academic semester or session until the end of the fourth week of the academic semester or session 50%
On and after the first day of the 5th week of the academic semester 0%