UW-Madison Policy for Enrolled Students Called to Active U.S. Military Service

This policy replaces the UW-Madison Military Service Policy (approved Dec. 4, 2001; re-published Jan. 27, 2003) and applies to all enrolled UW-Madison students who are called to active U.S. military service, as well as enrolled students already on U.S. active duty and must relocate due to a reassignment. In both cases, the students should provide a copy of their military orders to the Certifying Official in the Registrar’s Office. The Certifying Official will provide copies of the orders to other campus offices, as necessary, with social security number redacted.



The student may request a Withdrawal from the semester, or Drop some courses while arranging for the completion of other courses, on a case-by-case basis, in coordination with the respective faculty member. There should be a written agreement (email suffices) between the faculty member and the student for any course completion away from campus. If a satisfactory amount of the course work has been completed, as determined by the faculty member, the faculty member may elect to determine and enter a final grade for the student, thus considering the course complete. The student will notify his/her academic advisor of their intentions regarding courses, and also provide an anticipated return date to the university. Academic Advisors are encouraged to document student intentions in the Advisor Notes System.

Registrar’s Office

The student’s account will be held open during the period of active duty, plus the following two semesters. This will allow the student to continue to use their wisc email account and register for classes prior to their return to campus. After the two semester period following active duty, the student shall be required to apply for re-entry in accordance with normal procedures. Students already serving on active duty that are reassigned and don’t expect to return to campus will have their accounts closed.

Tuition, Fees and Housing

  1. Tuition: Students who request a Withdrawal shall receive a full refund of tuition and fees. Students will be refunded tuition for courses Dropped, provided they drop below full-time.
  2. University Residence Halls: Unused housing fee payments on a prorated basis are refunded based on the checkout from the residence halls; all deposits submitted for the contract term would be refunded.
  3. Leaseholders in University Apartments (Eagle Heights, University Houses or Harvey Street Apartments) may request termination of their lease if either the eligible leaseholder or their spouse/partner is ordered to active duty. The leaseholder’s rent obligation shall be ended as of the requested lease termination date, or the actual date the apartment is vacated, whichever is later. If the eligible leaseholder is ordered to active duty, his/her family could remain in the apartment through the length of the deployment.

Financial Aid

When a student withdraws from classes, a Federal Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation must be performed. The calculation determines the prorated amount of all Title IV funds (PELL, FSEOG, Direct Loans) which must be returned to the federal government. The R2T4 calculation does not change for Veteran students activated for military service. If, after a student withdraws, the institution changes the amount of institutional charges, i.e. refunds 100% of the tuition charges to a student as an institutional refund policy, those changes do not affect the charges nor aid earned in the calculation. Any tuition refund generated by this action must be used to first repay federal and state aid programs in accordance with the Return of Title IV policy.

Dean of Students Office

Works with the student to ensure all university offices adhere to the policy, and the student fulfills all obligations. Stays in contact with student during active duty commitment and assists with the transition back to the university after completion of duty.


The student is expected to immediately notify the Dean of Students Office and the Certifying Official (Registrar Office) upon notification of active duty mobilization, or reassignment for those already on active duty. The student is expected notify faculty, and to consult with his or her academic advisor in a timely fashion to determine the best academic course of action. Once on active duty, the student is expected update the Dean of Students Office on expected return to school date. The student is also required to notify any campus agency from which he/she receives services, such as the McBurney Center or academic tutoring.

Academic Standing

The student’s academic standing at the time of re-entry to the University shall remain as it was prior to serving on active duty. Academic Departments, particularly those with sequential curriculum such as Nursing or Law, should make every effort to place the student into a new cohort with which he/she may then advance through the program. Students shall not have to re-apply to enter a particular program provided they departed for active duty in good academic standing. At the discretion of the Dean of a College/School, newly admitted students who are called to active duty before they’re able to enroll in classes shall not have to re-apply, and may enroll in classes upon the completion of active duty.

This policy was co-authored by John Bechtol, Assistant Dean of Students and Joe Rasmussen, Certifying Official.