Adding & Dropping Courses

GW bills according to a student’s registration. Whenever a student adds a course, additional tuition and/or fees could 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 which point they will be charged 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.

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 tuition refund policy, which governs the prorated cancellation of semester tuition charges in cases of program adjustment or withdrawal. For refunds calculated by week, the period is considered to be Monday to Sunday.

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 student 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).