Financial Aid

COVID-19 Questions and Answers

Q1. If I want to drop a class, multiple classes, or withdraw from the semester entirely, what potential financial aid implications should I be aware of?

A1. Before withdrawing from a class or classes, you need to make sure that you have participated in the course in some tangible way. Completing an assignment, quiz or some other academic activity that can be tracked in Canvas is highly recommended. If you attended the class in person before the transition to alternate delivery, that also counts as course participation.

If you began participation in the course, and then withdraw from a course or all courses, there will be no financial aid adjustments for Spring Semester 2020. (Effective March 13, 2020.)


Q2. Should I check in with a financial aid counselor before making a decision about withdrawing from a class or the semester?

A2. If you will be withdrawing from all courses, or if your remaining credit hours after withdrawing will be less than 6 credit hours (4 hours for a graduate student) then you should contact the Financial Aid counselor to be made aware of loan repayment obligations. We are monitoring phones remotely, so you can call 715-425-3141 during normal office hours or email your questions to


Q3. Now that converting to a pass/fail grading option is possible, are there any potential financial aid implications for me if I receive approval to do this with some or all of my classes?

A3. If you are receiving certain Veteran’s Education benefits, you may be at risk of repaying the veteran benefit payment received for a course if you change to pass/fail then subsequently fail the course. You should contact the Military and Veteran Student Services office before changing over to the pass/fail grading option (Phone: 715-425-3529;

If you are currently on financial aid probation and expected to earn a minimum semester grade point average, you will need to pass all your classes to remain on probation status if you convert all classes to the pass/fail option. If you convert some classes to pass/fail and leave the remainder on a graded basis, you will still need to earn the minimum term GPA for your probation status in the remaining graded classes, as well as meeting the minimum percentage of earned credit hours stated in your financial aid appeal approval notice.

If you aren’t on financial aid probation, there is no effect on financial aid for changing to a pass/fail option for some or all courses.


Q4. If I am unable to complete my classes due to being unable to do well in courses that are offered in alternative delivery format, can I withdraw and receive a full refund?

A4. You would not be eligible for any refund of tuition and fees at this point if you are unable to complete the courses due to the changeover to alternate delivery.

However, if you need to withdraw from classes due to a medical emergency, there is an appeal process to be considered for a partial tuition refund. See the medical emergency website.


Q5. My instructor is offering me the opportunity to take an incomplete in the course instead of withdrawing. Are there any financial aid issues with my taking an incomplete for a course?

A5. For financial aid purposes, a grade of “I” (Incomplete) or “S” (or Satisfactory Progress) is counted as a course attempted but not successfully completed. I and SP grades will not affect the financial aid you have received for this current Spring semester.

However, there are certain cases where a grade of “I” or “SP” can affect your financial aid eligibility for a future semester:

a. If you are currently on financial aid probation, and are required as a condition of your probation status to successfully complete 100% of attempted credit hours, a grade of “I” will not count as successful completion. (A grade of SP, however, will count as successful completion, but is usually reserved for courses that exceed one semester in length.)

b. If you were notified at the end of Fall semester 2019 that you were on Financial Aid Warning status, you may be at risk of being suspended from further financial aid eligibility if you receive an “I” in a course. You could be suspended from financial aid eligibility if overall you have not successfully completed at least 2/3 of the credit hours you have attempted at UWRF.


Q6. I have a full-time Pell Grant which requires I enroll in 12 credit hours a semester. What happens to my grant if I drop a class now?

A6. Provided that you have participated in the course prior to dropping the course, you may drop or withdraw from the course without any reduction in your Pell Grant.


Q7. I am currently on financial aid probation and must achieve a set minimum GPA this semester. What happens if I change all my classes to the Pass/Fail option?

A7. If you change all of your classes to the Pass/Fail option, you must pass and successfully complete all of the classes for which you were enrolled on the six day of Spring semester. If you pass all of your classes and have no drops or withdrawals, we will consider you to have met the terms of your probation status for Spring Semester.

If you convert only some of your classes to the Pass/Fail option, you will still need to achieve the minimum GPA set for you in your financial aid appeal letter.


Q8. I have received a Lawton Grant for 2019-20, but due to the disruption of classes this semester I won’t earn 24 credit hours this year. Is there any waiver for this requirement given the circumstances?

A8. Yes. The UW System has issued a temporary waiver of the requirement that Lawton Grant recipients earn a minimum of 24 credits in a year.


Q9. I have received a Wisconsin Scholars scholarship from the Fund For Wisconsin Scholars (a private scholarship foundation.) What happens if I drop or cannot complete the required minimum of 12 credit hours Spring Semester?

A9. Completing 12 credit hours is a requirement for renewal of your Wisconsin Scholars scholarship. There will be no change in the amount you received for Spring Semester. However, there is currently no waiver of the 12-credit hour minimum from the Fund For Wisconsin Scholars. You will need to appeal directly to the Fund to request that your scholarship be renewed for next year. Approval of appeals is at the discretion of the Fund managers.


Q10. I am an instructor and some students in my course have not participated since the change to alternative delivery. How should I determine these students’ last dates of course participation?

A 10. You will be asked to report a last date of course participation only for those students who fail your course. Course participation is when the student engages in an academic activity for the purpose of learning the subject matter. Canvas is a good source of this information, as it tracks student activities such as page views, assignments submitted and discussions. However, other documentation is acceptable as well. For example, if you engaged in an email or chat discussion with the student about an aspect of the subject of the course, this would also be considered course participation. A student who logs into a Webex lecture would also be considered to have participated in the course. In summary, you can document the student’s last date of course participation from a variety of sources.

Contact Us

Financial Aid Office
P: 715-425-3141
F: 715-425-0708
Monday - Friday
7:45am - 4:30pm
133 Rodli Hall