Tuition Refund Application

Students may apply for a refund of the cost of tuition and fees for a term in which circumstances beyond their control, such as the occurrence of an unanticipated significant personal event, prevented the student from completing the term or from dropping within the published tuition refund period.

Tuition refund applications will be reviewed by the Tuition Refund Appeals Committee (TRAC), chaired by the Bursar.  The committee consists of representatives from a variety of university offices, including:

  • Academic units
  • Student Financial Aid
  • Office of the Registrar
  • Student Affairs


  • Charges from terms that ended more than two years ago cannot be considered for any circumstance.
  • Refund applications will only be considered for courses from which the student has withdrawn. Students who wish to appeal for courses with grades other than W, WX, UW, or X must first withdraw from courses. Instructions for withdrawing from classes after the deadline are available on the Office of the Registrar website.
  • Housing, health insurance, and other non-tuition charges cannot be appealed through this process.

Tuition Refund Eligible Circumstances

All tuition refund requests must be properly documented. Applications and appeals without proper documentation will not be reviewed by the committee. For each circumstance listed below the application narrative should address not only that a circumstance ocurred that was out of the student's control, but why that circumstance required the student to withdraw from the term or course and prevented them from doing so by the published add/drop dates.

The following circumstances are eligible for consideration by the Tuition Refund Appeals Committee

  • Acute medical condition is an illness or injury that significantly impacted the student’s physical and/or mental health that required the student to withdraw the term or course.
    • Documentation: Students must submit a Medical Documentation Form and signed letterhead from the attending physician from your withdrawal term containing: 1) nature of illness/injury; 2) dates; 3) severity of illness; 4) your inability to attend school due to the condition; and 5) the date the physician recommended the student stop attending classes.
  • Chronic or recurring medical condition that worsened during the term is an ongoing illness or medical condition that significantly impacted the student’s physical and/or mental health and required the student to withdraw the term or course. The application and documentation should show how the student's condition worsened after the drop deadline to be considered under this basis.
    • Documentation: Students must submit a Medical Documentation Form and signed letterhead from the attending physician from your withdrawal term containing: 1) nature of illness/injury; 2) dates; 3) severity of illness; 4) your inability to attend school due to the condition; and 5) the date the physician recommended the student stop attending classes.
  • Immediate family emergency - Death, significant illness, or injury of an immediate family member that required the student to withdraw from the University. 
    • Documentation for death of a family member: a death certificate or obituary notice
    • Documentation of ill/injured family member: documentation from the attending physician or hospital containing the nature of your relative’s illness/injury, dates, and severity
  • Enrollment or attendance at another college or university - Student registered for classes at UC but then chose to transfer to another college before the term of enrollment at UC began. Students who attend UC but decide mid-term to transfer elsewhere are not eligible for a refund on this basis. 
    • Documentation: official enrollment verification or official transcript from another university containing dates and term attended
  • University error - Student unable to complete term or drop by deadline because of error by UC staff member.
    •  Documentation: letter of support from faculty/staff member detailing error and impact on term completion or other documentation that student was misadvised
  • Other circumstance -  Any other circumstance not listed above requiring the student to withdraw. 
    • Documentation: related documentation that substantiates the circumstance requiring withdrawal

Circumstances insufficient for a Refund

Circumstances not sufficient to support a refund include, but are not limited to:

  • Dropping courses to avoid low grades
  • Dissatisfaction with the instructor or course
  • Not being aware of add/drop deadlines
    • Complete refund information for students for every class can be found on the student’s Catalyst portal (My Academics tab, View My Schedule). General refund information is published on each term‘s academic calendar.
  • Nonattendance or lack of participation
  • Dissatisfaction with course mode of instruction

Tuition Refund Application Process

Filing a Refund Application

To complete the Tuition Refund request in Catalyst, click the "My Finances" tile and select "Tuition Refund Appeal" under the "Billing Information" folder and select the term for which you are requesting a refund. Only terms for which you have at least one grade evidencing non-completion will be available for a refund request.

Include an explanation of your situation/request in the space provided on the application form. After entering the explanation you will be taken to a second page to attach documentation for your application. Be sure to select the correct required document type listed in the instruction box on that page. If two documents are required, be sure to include them as separate documents. 

If your application is based on a medical condition, you must print out the TRA Medical Documentation form and have your health care provider complete and sign it. You must also include a letter from your health care provider that verifies that you have seen them for treatment and that includes their signature.  The signature on the TRA Medical documentation form and the physician's letterhead must match. These documents may be scanned and uploaded along with your TRA form in support of your application.

Tuition refund applications will typically be reviewed in the month following submission. TRAC normally meets twice a month to discuss cases. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received.

Once the Refund Application is Complete

It is important that you monitor your UC email account after submitting your application. Representatives from the Tuition Refund Appeals Committee may contact you via your UC email upon receipt of your application to discuss your request. As needed, they will:

  • Review any supporting documentation you submit with your TRA form, as well as advise you if additional documentation is necessary
  • Contact relevant faculty and university departments to ascertain if additional information is available
  • Refer the documentation & circumstances of your application to the Title IX or Student Conduct office as appropriate under University policy
  • Gather and evaluate the documentation submitted

When a Decision Has Been Reached

Once the TRA Committee has made a determination regarding the disposition of your application you will be notified by email to your UC email account.

A favorable decision for a tuition refund application does not necessarily relieve you of all financial obligations to the University of Cincinnati nor guarantee you a refund. Several factors will determine whether you have a remaining balance due to the University of Cincinnati or will receive a refund for payments you’ve made:

  • Refunds will only be issued for out of pocket payments, earned federal financial aid, and private aid sources
  • Federal financial aid you received in the term from which you withdrew will be subject to a return of Title IV funds calculation, which will determine how much of your federal aid you are eligible to keep
  • State aid is tuition restricted and not refundable to the student; if your tuition is waived state aid is returned to the state
  • Institutional aid will be removed prior to a refund being issued

A favorable decision will not clear your academic record of withdrawal grades. When you withdraw from courses after the drop period those courses will remain part of your academic record regardless of the determination of the Tuition Refund Appeals Committee.

If the Student Does Not Agree with the Committee Decision

The Tuition Refund Appeals Committee’s decision is final. However, in cases where the student does not agree with the TRA decision, you have 30 days to appeal to the TRA Committee for a second review. If your initial request is denied, you may submit the appeal by clicking "Request Appeal" on the denied application in Catalyst. A second review will only occur if you submit significant information or documentation related to your application that was not provided in  the original application. You cannot change the basis of your refund request during the appeals process.