Academic fees and tuition rates are determined in accordance with State of Wisconsin statutes, the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, and factors specific to courses, programs and students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as explained in this policy.
All students enrolled in courses for credit at UW-Madison.
Academic student fees and tuition for credit instruction are set by the UW System Board of Regents. The authority to approve special service-based pricing from some programs is delegated by the Board of to the UW System president. UW System institutions are authorized to establish pricing for distance education and certain other programs on a cost-recovery basis as described below. Separate per-credit fee levels are established by student level and resident status and, in some cases, by program.
All students enrolled in course(s) at UW System institutions are required to pay tuition unless exempt through fee remission or the Senior Guest Audit program. Tuition is to be assessed at the regent-approved rates in all cases, except where the Board of Regents has delegated tuition setting authority to the UW System president or to the chancellors of the UW System campuses.
Exceptions to any of the stated provisions due to extraordinary circumstances can be made only by the chancellor or the chancellor’s designee(s). Any delegation of authority and justification for exceptions must be in writing and must be maintained in the designees’ offices. Blanket exceptions are not authorized.
In accordance with Regent Policy Document 4-10, Class Audit Policy the academic fee for individuals who enroll in only noncredit, audit-type attendance of credit classes is as follows:
Audit fees are not to be charged to any disabled Wisconsin resident who is receiving disability insurance benefits under either the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program or the federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. However, all auditors, including disabled Wisconsin residents and those aged 60 or older, are to be assessed any special cost-based course fees that are separately itemized (i.e., not included in academic student fees) and charged to other course participants.
Reduced rates for auditing a class do not apply to degree-seeking students. Students pursuing a degree are assessed the usual and customary rate of tuition for audited classes which are included, along with degree credits, in the credit plateau for tuition. When the combination of degree and audit credits exceeds the full-time tuition credit plateau, additional fees are to be assessed.
Credit Plateau for Tuition/Fall and Spring Semesters
Students enrolled during a fall or spring semester in programs that use the following tuition assessment structure are assessed tuition on a per credit basis except when their enrollment falls within the following credit range.
|Business Masters||8 or more credits|
|Doctor of Nursing Practice||8 or more credits|
|Doctor of Veterinary Medicine||14 or more credits|
|Health Professional Programs||8 or more credits|
|Law||12 or more credits|
|Doctor of Medicine||15 or more credits|
|Doctor of Pharmacy (Year 1-3)||12 or more credits|
|Graduate||8 or more credits|
|Undergraduate and Special Students||12-18 credits|
|Undergraduate Business||12-18 credits|
|Undergraduate Engineering||12-18 credits|
Credit Plateau for Tuition/ Summer Term
Note: The credit plateau for summer term may have both upper and lower limits.
|Business Masters||4-7 credits|
|Doctor of Nursing Practice||4-7 credits|
|Doctor of Veterinary Medicine||12 or more credits|
|Health Professional Programs||4-7 credits|
|Doctor of Medicine||15 or more credits|
|Doctor of Pharmacy (Year 1-3)||12 or more credits|
|Graduate||4-7 or more credits|
|Undergraduate and Special Students||6-9 credits|
|Undergraduate Business||6-9 credits|
|Undergraduate Engineering||6-9 credits|
The Board of Regents must approve any differential tuition rates, whether on an institution-wide or a program specific basis. Differential tuitions that have been approved by the Board of Regents are incorporated in the regent-approved tuition schedule that is adopted with each annual budget.
Program-specific differential tuitions are usually charged for programs that have high operating costs such as health sciences and engineering. A differential tuition may be set at a dollar amount or as a percentage of base tuition. Additional revenues generated by differential tuition are retained by the campus or program where they are generated.
Development of program differential proposals, or modifications to existing program differentials, must be approved by the Provost prior to the start of the student consultation process.
Per Regent Policy Document 32-7, students shall be advised and consulted, directly or through their student government organizations, of all planned differential tuition initiatives before proposals are submitted to the Board of Regents.
Ph.D. candidates who have completed the requirements of Dissertator Status must maintain continuous academic year enrollment by paying a three-credit dissertator fee each fall, spring, and summer term. If a doctoral candidate does not maintain continuous enrollment (three graduate credits per term), the candidate is assessed a completion fee equal to twelve times the current per-credit dissertator rate. This fee is assessed at the time of dissertation submission. The completion fee is based on the resident and nonresident status that the candidate had at the last term of enrollment. If the candidate breaks enrollment and then reenters, enrolling for less than four continuous terms (12 credits) before completion, the candidate must pay the fee minus all continuous credits paid since the time of reentry. If enrollment is broken, but the candidate reenters and enrolls for at least four continuous semesters (three graduate credits per fall or spring semester), a completion fee is not assessed.
Under Wis. Stat. §39.47, the Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) negotiates a reciprocity agreement with the state of Minnesota. Minnesota students attending a UW System institution are charged the higher of the UW institution resident tuition rate or the University of Minnesota equivalent institution resident tuition rate. The comparable institution is determined by the reciprocity agreement negotiated by HEAB.
Minnesota reciprocity students shall pay the Minnesota Reciprocity fee when the Minnesota Reciprocity fee exceeds the resident rate including the special fee. If the resident tuition including the special fee exceeds the Minnesota Reciprocity fee, then the per-credit instructional fees shall be assessed to Minnesota Residents in a manner that results in the Minnesota student paying the same total fee as Wisconsin Residents.
Multiple Campus Enrollments
Students may enroll at more than one UW System institution or campus during the same session. The student’s degree-granting institution is considered the first institution while other UW System institutions are considered the second institution(s).
Undergraduate students, including Minnesota reciprocity students, who enroll for more than 18 credits in fall or spring semester or more than 9 credits in summer term are to be assessed the per-credit fee for all credits beyond the maximum excluding any differential rates the institution may have. Credits taken by students enrolled at more than one UW System institution are to be combined to determine their tuition assessment. It is the student’s responsibility to present evidence of certification of enrollment, including fees assessed and credits taken.
If the undergraduate tuition credit plateau is achieved at the first institution, no additional tuition will be assessed by the second institution unless the total credits exceed the maximum. When the credit plateau is not achieved at the first institution, the second will charge the per-credit rate until the tuition credit plateau is reached. At no time will the credit plateau assessment be less than the lowest nor more than the highest credit plateau rate of the institutions involved.
An appropriate segregated fee is to be assessed by each institution. Refunds are to be calculated in consultation with each institution. Refunds may not exceed amounts paid.
Credits taken by graduate students enrolled at more than one UW System institution may be combined to determine their full-time status, tuition, and segregated fee assessment. It is the student’s responsibility to present evidence of certification of enrollment, including fees assessed and credits taken. If full-time status is achieved at the first institution, no additional fees are to be assessed by the second institution. When full-time status is not achieved at the first institution, the second will charge the per-credit rate until the full-time tuition plateau is reached. At no time will the full-time rate be less than the lowest nor more than the highest full-time rate of the institutions involved.
An appropriate segregated fee is to be assessed by each campus. Refunds are to be calculated in consultation with each institution. Refunds may not exceed amounts paid.
Post-Secondary Enrollment Options
In accordance with Wis. Stat. §118.55, high school students enrolled in an Early College Credit Program (ECCP) course at UW System institutions for high school credit, college credit, or both shall have their costs shared among the UW System institution, the school district or private school, and the state. In the event the student is solely taking courses for college credit, the student’s family may also be charged.
A UW System institution may charge a third of the per credit amount of resident undergraduate tuition and UW branch institutions may charge half the per credit amount of resident undergraduate tuition to students of ECCP.
The Board of Regents has delegated authority to the president of the UW System to approve service-based pricing for graduate or non-traditional programs that are designed primarily for adults, provided specified criteria are met. See UW System 130 Appendix B: Service-Based Pricing Guidelines and Procedures and UW-1033 Tuition/Service-Based Pricing Programs.
UW Extended Campus Programs
Credit for courses taken through any campus and sponsored by UW Extended Campus, which have been approved as part of the student’s degree program, are to be combined with the credits at the student’s degree-granting institution when determining tuition and segregated fee assessments. The tuition and fee schedule to be used when assessing UW Extended Campus fees for degree credit instruction is to be the same as those applicable to the student’s degree-granting campus. UW Extended Campus fees are to be prorated based upon the number of credits taken.
Student Segregated Fees
Segregated fees are waived for students enrolled exclusively in off campus programs. See UW System Administrative Policy 820, Segregated University Fees, for other policy provisions related to segregated university fees.
Zero Credit Courses
Non-remedial courses offered for zero credits are to be assessed for fee purposes as if they carry one credit. Exceptions to this provision may be made by the chancellor. This excludes noncredit workshops and seminars.
All students attending University of Wisconsin System institutions are required to pay tuition unless exempt through a fee remission program. This policy places no restrictions on fee waivers granted where the tuition payment is made by a third party rather than by the student directly.
Per Wis. Stat. §36.27(3)(g), both resident and nonresident tuition remissions are to be granted, in whole or part, to graduate students who are fellows or who are employed within the UW System as faculty, instructional academic staff, or assistants with an appointment equal to at least 33% of a full-time equivalent position. Per Regent Policy Document 32-6, Delegation of Authority to Establish Graduate Resident Tuition Remissions the Board of Regents delegates authority to establish remissions for graduate assistants with an appointment equal to at least 33% of a full time equivalent to chancellors.
Graduate students enrolled in a service-based pricing program are not eligible for tuition remission.
Under a program initially established by the Board of Regents in June 1973, resident tuition may be waived for up to ten new music students each year at UW-Madison.
Nonresident Veterans and Family Members
In alignment with the federal Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Pub. L. No. 113-146).27(3r), nonresident U.S. veterans and other eligible nonresident benefit recipients are charged the same tuition as Wisconsin residents pursuing the same course or program. The Act covers veterans and active-duty service members using VA education benefits and living in the state who enroll within three years of discharge from a period of active-duty service of 90 days or more. The Act also covers spouses and children living in the state who are using VA benefits transferred from a veteran or active-duty service members and who enroll within three years of the veteran’s discharge from a period of active duty of 90 days or more.
The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System is empowered to establish special course fees under the provisions of Wis. Stat. §36.27(1).
Institutions may assess special course fees to pay for certain instructional costs that are not covered by the institution’s regular instructional budget. Special course fees may be used for a variety of purposes, as deemed necessary by the institution, for the delivery of a credit course. Some examples of purposes for which institutions may charge special course fees include the cost of transportation and admission on field trips; materials for projects that result in tangible products retained by students; and private lessons provided to non-music majors.
Special course fees shall be used solely for approved purposes and in support of the courses for which the fees were assessed. Institutions must strive to provide all students in a course who are charged a special course fee with a reasonable opportunity to benefit equally from the fee.
Institutions may not use special course fees as a substitute for obtaining adequate regular budget support for a course. Institutions are prohibited from charging special course fees for costs that should reasonably be covered by the institution’s regular instructional budget.
University students sometimes incur personal expenses by directly purchasing required, recommended, and optional instructional materials in support of their educational experience. These personal or incidental expenses do not typically require approval as a special course fee unless the institution collects fees from students to facilitate payment for goods and services needed for a course. Some examples of personal expenses include textbooks and course supplies purchased from the university bookstore; food, lodging, and incidentals on field trips; and transportation to sites for student teaching and clinical assignments.
Tuition assessment for all students enrolled in for-credit courses is based on elements of the governance approved academic structure. The tuition structure, and tuition rate where applicable, for academic programs (plans and subplans) are maintained in Lumen Programs.
Within a tuition structure, there may be different charges based on residency, visa status, or dissertator status. This is described in the tuition schedule. The Madison Budget Office maintains the university tuition schedule.