Frequently Asked Questions
About the Exception Process

Should I withdraw from my class?

Withdrawing from a course is at the sole discretion of the student and is a personal decision. The Registrar's Office cannot advise students on whether or not to withdraw from a class. Students may consult with their advisor, instructor, and/or the financial aid office as needed to help make this decision.

Can I use the Request for Exception Form to withdraw from a course?

A request for exception is not a formal request to withdraw from a course. Visit the withdrawal page for more information on how to properly withdraw from a course.

If I withdraw from my class after the first day, will I get my money back?

All students are subject to UMUC's Course Drop and Withdrawal Policy.  Students taking courses through UMUC are permitted to Drop a course within the timeframe specified herein. Students who Drop in accordance with the stated deadlines (See Section II(A)(1)) will be allotted a full tuition and non-application fee refund. Students will be responsible for all fees and all or a portion of the tuition if they Drop outside of the stated deadlines, as this would be considered a Withdrawal.

Do I qualify for an exception to the withdrawal or refund policy?

A student who wishes to file a request for an exception to UMUC withdrawal and/or refund policies must meet the criteria as described in UMUC Policy 170.72–Course Withdrawal. All requests for exceptions to the UMUC withdrawal policy must be submitted within 90 days from the last day of the term during which the circumstance occurred.

Is there an exception to the 90-day deadline to submit a Request for Exception Form?

Yes. A student's request for an exception may be reviewed after the 90-day deadline if the student offers a compelling reason why he or she was unable to submit the form in a timely manner.

How do I know whether my circumstances warrant an exception?

Circumstances are unique to each student, but generally, exceptions are granted for any circumstance where a student has suffered an unforeseen or unexpected event that impaired his or her ability to complete classes during a particular semester.

If the student experiences a death of a family member during a semester, an exception is generally granted only if the deceased was a member of the student's immediate family.

Generally, unexpected or increased workload may qualify as a special circumstance. We will require a letter from your employer corroborating that during the relevant timeframe, you were unexpectedly required to work more hours or your duties significantly changed.

It is the student's responsibility to manage such minor, unforeseen incidents such as being busy at work, volunteering for too many activities or minor illnesses. These do not qualify for an exception.

Who or what is an appropriate authority to document my situation leading to my request?

Generally, an appropriate authority will be an independent source who can corroborate and/or verify the circumstances that caused the student to file a request for an exception. Following are common examples.

Medical: A signed letter on your physician's letterhead providing dates of the condition, as well as the dates of treatment corroborating that your medical condition/treatment impaired your ability to complete your class. (Please do not submit your medical records, prescriptions or after-care instructions, as we are not able to interpret medical documents.)

Death: Copy of a death certificate and/or a copy of the obituary. The documentation must show the familial relationship. (An exception for this reason is generally granted only if the deceased was a member of the student's immediate family.)

Military: Copy of the orders that provide the date you were notified of your deployment and the date you were deployed. Or a letter from a commanding officer (an 05 or above in the chain of command) that addresses the issues that interfered with your ability to satisfactorily complete your class.

Job: A signed letter from your employer that provides dates and corroborates the issues that interfered with your ability to satisfactorily complete your class. Or a notice of termination, application for unemployment benefits or any other third-party documentation that verifies you suffered a job loss that interfered with your ability to satisfactorily complete your class.

If you have questions regarding documentation required to be submitted with your petition please email

Should I submit a personal statement with my request for exception?

Yes. We recommend that all students submit a detailed and persuasive type-written statement that fully explains the reasons for their request. This statement should not exceed one page in length.

What information do I need to provide if my request relates to UMUC error?

We will research the issue internally. If the student has documentation that supports his or her claims, this documentation must be submitted with the request for exception. This information should include but is not limited to e-mails or letters from UMUC, instructors, advisors and/or Help@UMUC Support tickets.

Can I file a request for an exception to dispute a grade or to request a grade change?

No. The request for an exception cannot  be used to dispute grades or request a change to an earned grade. Grade appeals must be directed to the appropriate academic school (The Undergraduate School or The Graduate School).

Can I file a request for an exception to complain about an instructor’s action or inaction?

No. Concerns about an instructor’s actions or inactions must be directed to the dean of the appropriate academic school (The Undergraduate School or The Graduate School).

Can I file a request for an exception to dispute financial aid decisions?

No. Students should direct concerns to the Office of Financial Aid. Questions concerning Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as outlined by financial aid regulations should also be addressed by the Office of Financial Aid.

How long does the process take?

A student can expect to receive a determination within four weeks from the date the request is received. However, the process may take longer if the student has not included a personal statement or documentation from an appropriate authority.

Why did I receive a request for additional information?

A student will receive a request for additional information if he or she failed to submit a personal statement and/or appropriate documentation. A student may also receive a request for more information if the provided documentation needs to be supplemented or further explained. Students are given 14 days to respond to request for additional information. Failure to respond will result in an automatic denial of request. Students may request additional time, if necessary.

Can I check on the status of my Request for Exception?

Yes. You can email our office at Please allow 30 days from the submittal of all documentation.

My account is in collections. Will my request for exception stop collection activities?

No. Collection activities will not cease during the review of your request.

I cannot register for classes because of an overdue balance. Will my request for exception release the block?

No. Please contact Student Accounts to make payment arrangements while the request is being reviewed.

If my request is granted, when can I expect my refund?

Please allow at least 15 business days for any changes to be made to your account, refunds to be processed or grades to be changed. Please allow at least 30 business days for any changes to be made on accounts at the State Central Collections Unit.

If my request is granted, how will my tuition be refunded?

Refunds are returned in the manner that payment was originally received.

If my request is granted, when can I expect my transcript to reflect the change in grade?

The Office of the Registrar is responsible for processing grade changes. Students should expect the grade change to be reflected on their transcripts shortly after they receive the approval letter.

Are there any consequences to my filing a request for an exception?

Withdrawing from a course(s) can cause financial aid consequences in some cases. According to the Return of Title IV Funds Policy, the student may be responsible for returning financial aid that has already been disbursed. In addition, in some cases, students who are receiving a Pell Grant may show a decrease or increase in the Pell amount rewarded.

If my request is denied, how do I appeal the decision?

The student must present a new personal statement explaining why the denial was made in error or proving new or additional information pertaining to the original request. Please refer to the denial letter for instructions on how to appeal the decision.

In my request for a second-level review, can I provide a new reason that I didn't include with my original request?

No. Students are not permitted to raise an issue on a second-level review that was not included in their original request for exception. A student may submit a new request if it is still within the 90-day time limitation.

Quick Links

Exceptions to Withdrawal and Refund Policies

Frequently Asked Questions

Course Withdrawal Policy

Refund Policies

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) Release Form

Request for Exception Form

Contact the Office of the Registrar

Mailing Address:
Office of the Registrar
Largo I Building
3501 University Blvd. East
Adelphi, MD 20783

Phone: 240-684-2224

Fax: 240-684-2001