For most students*, your tuition and segregated fees rate (simplified on this page to just “tuition”) is based in part on the number of credits of the courses you’re taking in a semester.
If adding and/or dropping a course changes your number of credits, your tuition will be reassessed at that new rate. When this reassessment happens after you’ve been billed for tuition, you will either be billed by the Bursar’s Office for the increase in your tuition (when adding credits) or refunded the decrease in your tuition (when dropping credits, although the amount of the refund depends on when you drop the course).
There are many important conditions and exceptions, so please read on for a full explanation.
[* Some programs, like Evening MBA and fourth-year Pharmacy students, have a single tuition rate not based on credits.]
The Office of the Registrar highly encourages you to talk with your academic advisor before dropping a course, to understand all the impacts on your degree progress, ability to enroll in other courses, financial aid, and more. Find your academic advisor’s contact information in Student Center, listed under the “My Academics” tab.
Understanding tuition-per-credit and full-time student status
Credits above a certain level
Some academic programs are designed so credits above a certain number are assessed at a single rate. For example, students in the Graduate School who take 8 credits are assessed the same tuition rate as those taking 11 credits. Changes in the number of credits 8 or above wouldn’t change a tuition assessment.
Credits within a range
Some academic programs have range of credits that equals full-time student status, and a single tuition rate (called a “plateau”) is assessed if a student is taking a number of credits in that range. For undergraduates that range is 12 to 18 credits in the Fall or Spring terms, and 6 to 9 credits in Summer term.
If you are an undergraduate student taking 17 credits, and you drop a 3-credit course, you’ll change to 14 credits for the term. You’ll still be in that 12- to 18-credit range, and still assessed that same full-time tuition rate. So, no change in your tuition means no adjustment.
If you are an undergraduate student taking 14 credits, and you drop a 3-credit course, you’ll change to 11 credits for the term. This changes your tuition rate, since you are no longer in that 12- to 18-credit range. You will no longer be considered a full-time student, which can have impacts on many things including any financial aid. Please talk with your academic advisor (and, if applicable, the Office of Student Financial Aid) if you are considering dropping a course that would affect your full-time status.
When you drop affects your refund
The refund adjustment depends on if you drop the course during particular times of the term.
For the regular 15-week Fall and Spring terms:
- courses dropped in Week 1 or Week 2 could qualify for an adjustment of 100% of the difference between your old and new rates; and
- courses dropped in Week 3 or Week 4 could qualify for an adjustment of 50% of the difference between your old and new rates.
For Summer term, and for courses with a different number of weeks than the regular 15-week term (called “modular sessions”):
- there could be 100%, 50%, and 25% deadlines, depending on how the session is designed; and
- some sessions may not have all, or any, tuition-adjustment deadlines.
Tuition-adjustment dates for modular sessions are listed in these PDFs, which are also linked from the Dates & Deadlines page: Fall | Spring | Summer