May 20, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-18 
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-18 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Tuition and Fees


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For the current tuition and fee rates, go to These rates are subject to change without notice by action of the Board of Trustees.

Residency Policy of Western Michigan University

The governing board at each university in Michigan has the authority to establish a residency policy for admissions and/or tuition and fee purposes. Therefore, residency policies will vary between institutions and are independent of those used by the State to determine residency for purposes such as income and property tax liability, driving and voting.

Any Western Michigan University undergraduate student who has been admitted as a degree seeking student and began enrollment as of the Spring 2017 semester or earlier, may apply for in-state resident status for any semester/session in which they are enrolled in on-campus courses by completing a residency application in accordance with University procedure.  Graduate students may apply for in-state resident status for any semester/session in which they are enrolled in on-campus courses by completing a residency application in accordance with university procedure.

Any Western Michigan University undergraduate student who has been admitted as a degree seeking student and began enrollment effective with the Summer 1 2017 semester or later, will have their residency status determined at the time of admission and it will remain the same throughout the student’s enrollment at Western Michigan University.

Since a student normally comes to Western Michigan University for the primary purpose of attending the University rather than to establish a domicile in Michigan, one who enrolls in the University as a non-resident shall continue to be deemed a non-resident, unless and until the student demonstrates that his/her previous domicile has been abandoned and a Michigan domicile established.

Domicile is defined as the place where an individual’s true, fixed and permanent home and principle establishment is and to which the individual returns whenever absent from the University. Twelve consecutive months of physical presence immediately preceding the first day of classes is a strong indicator of domicile.

A. Residence of Student

A student may be considered domiciled in Michigan if the student is in continuous physical presence in this state for one year (12 consecutive months) immediately preceding the first day of classes of the term for which resident status is sought and intends to make Michigan his/her permanent home and has no domicile elsewhere. The year of continuous presence is never the only criterion used for determining in-state residency status and, by itself, will not qualify a student for residency status for tuition paying purposes at Western.

B. Residence of Parents

The domicile of a dependent student is presumed to be the same as that of the student’s parents. Regardless of whether the parent is the student’s custodial parent, a dependent student with one or both parents domiciled in Michigan, according to Western’s Residency Policy, is presumed to be eligible for resident status as long as the student has not taken steps to establish a domicile outside of Michigan or any other action inconsistent with maintaining a domicile in Michigan.

The domicile of a dependent student’s legal guardian(s) has the same evidentiary effect as that of a dependent student’s parent(s), and references to parents in this policy shall include legal guardians, only when the student is the dependent of the legal guardian, and such guardianship has been established due to complete incapacity or death of the student’s natural parent(s). A parent’s inability to provide funds necessary to support a college education does not qualify as complete incapacity.

A dependent student who is living in Michigan and who is, according to Western’s Residency Policy, permanently domiciled in Michigan would maintain resident status if the parents leave Michigan provided: (1) the student has completed at least the junior year of high school prior to the parent’s departure; (2) the student remains in Michigan, enrolled as a full-time student in high school or an institution of higher education and (3) the student has not taken steps to establish a domicile outside of Michigan or any other action inconsistent with maintaining a domicile in Michigan.

C. Residence of Spouse

The residence of a student who otherwise would be classified as a non-resident will follow that of his/her spouse if the spouse qualifies as a resident for tuition-paying purposes.

D. Michigan High School Enrollment and Graduation

A Michigan high school graduate who completes his/her senior year at a Michigan high school, remains physically present in Michigan immediately following high school graduation to the first day of classes of the term in which the student is enrolled in on-campus courses, and provides the required State of Michigan tax documents of parent(s) or guardian(s) (for dependent student) or student (if independent) qualifies as a resident student for tuition and fee purposes at Western.

E. In-state Tuition for Military and Dependents

Western Michigan University will grant in-state tuition to all individuals who are eligible for VA educational benefits.

Western Michigan University will also grant in-state tuition to all individuals who are not eligible for VA educational benefits but have honorably served or are serving in the Reserve or Active Components of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Western Michigan University will additionally grant in-state tuition to dependents of those individuals who have honorable served or are serving in the Reserve or Active Components of the U.S. Armed Forces, but would otherwise not be eligible for VA educational benefits. For this purpose, a child is a dependent as defined by IRS income tax regulations. This term also includes a spouse, widow or widower of a service member or veteran who has honorably served.

F. Individuals Holding Visas

International students attending on a student visa of F1, J1, or M1 and H (work) visas are in Michigan on a temporary basis. By definition, these students are not able to establish a permanent domicile in Michigan and should not apply for Michigan resident tuition unless they qualify for residency under another provision of this policy such as residence of spouse.

Persons entitled to reside permanently in the United States may be eligible to obtain resident status. These individuals must still prove that they have established a Michigan domicile as defined in this policy. Currently, individuals will qualify under this classification only if they hold and can provide one of the following: 1) a fully processed Permanent Resident Alien Card or passport stamp verifying final approval by the filing deadline established for the applicable term 2) an I-94 card with “Refugee” designation; or 3) an A, E (primary), G or I visa.

G. Migrant Worker (Seasonal/Agricultural Employment)

If an independent student, or the parent of a dependent student, has been employed as a migrant worker in Michigan for a minimum of two (2) months each year for three (3) of the five (5) years prior to the date of the proposed in-state classification or for a minimum of three (3) months each year for two (2) of the five (5) years prior to the date of the proposed in-state classification, the student shall be classified as resident. Proof and verification of employment is required. A migrant worker in Michigan is defined as one who travels to Michigan to pursue agricultural or related industry employment.

H. In-State Tuition Rates Required by Law

Western Michigan University will comply with all state and federal laws that require a student to be classified as a Michigan resident for the purpose of tuition and fees.

I. Misrepresentation and Falsification of Information

Students who provide false or misleading information or who intentionally omit relevant information on their admissions application or the residency application or any other document relevant to residency eligibility may be subject to disciplinary and/or legal measures. Decisions made based upon misrepresented or falsified information may be revoked.

J. Appeal Process

Any student may appeal the decision on their residency application by following the prescribed appeal process. Failure to comply with the procedure shall constitute a waiver of all claims to reclassification or rebates for the applicable semester/session. The student will receive a written response on the appeal request. The decision on the residency appeal shall be the final recourse within the University.

K. Required Documentation

A student must provide the following documentation when applying for residency.

  • A copy of their valid Michigan driver’s license and a copy of the Michigan driver’s license of the person(s) upon whom the applicant is basing the claim to resident eligibility.
  • Verification of U.S. citizenship or of visa status if the applicant was born outside of the United States. This verification may be based upon information already provided by the student to the University through the admission process.
  • Any other documentation requested by the University that is deemed necessary to support the applicant’s claim to residency eligibility.

When applicable, applicants claiming in-state residency will be asked to provide documentation verifying the 12-month consecutive domicile requirement of Western’s policy. Types of documentation that may be requested include proof of employment, proof of Michigan personal income taxes being withheld, copies of recent Michigan and federal tax returns and W2 or 1099 forms, and enrollment verification at a Michigan school, if applicable. Additional documentation may also be requested. The application procedure for residency specifies additional detail on the nature of documentation that is required. In addition, the documentation provided must apply to the person(s) upon whom the applicant is basing the claim to resident eligibility.

L. Initial Residency Classification

A student enrolling at Western for the first time shall be classified as a resident or non-resident for tuition paying purposes. The student is responsible for reading the Residency Policy and to register under the proper residency classification. Admissions reviews the residency classification at the time of application. If an application does not denote residency status, a status of non-resident will be assigned. If an applicant indicates Michigan residency on the admissions application and Admissions questions this status then the applicant will be classified as a non-resident. Additionally, if an applicant previously attended Western as a non-resident and reapplies for admission, he/she will be classified as a non-resident at the time of readmission. Questions raised regarding a student’s Michigan residency do not necessarily mean that the student will be ineligible for in-state residency. It simply means that the student’s circumstances must be documented by completing an application for a change in residency status.

M. Establishing a Michigan Domicile

The circumstances and activities described in sections A through H above may demonstrate Michigan domicile, though not conclusive or exhaustive, they may lend support to a claim of eligibility for resident status.

The following circumstances, standing alone, shall not constitute sufficient evidence of domicile to effect classification of a student as a resident under these regulations; however, they do provide some supporting evidence.

  • A Michigan’s driver license
  • Enrollment in a Michigan educational institution
  • Michigan employment
  • Payment of Michigan income or property taxes
  • Ownership of property in Michigan
  • 12-month lease in Michigan
  • Presence of relative(s) in Michigan (other than parent(s) for dependent student)

N. Administration of the Policy

The Office of the Vice President for Business and Finance will administer this policy and is authorized to establish procedures to effectuate and interpret the Residency Policy. The Vice President and Associate Vice President for business and Finance may grant residency status based upon the use of professional judgment in applying this policy.

Residency Application Submission Dates

You must be registered for on-campus classes for the semester/session that you are applying for a change in residency status.  Your application must include your WESTERN IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (WIN). Applications for residency reclassification for tuition-paying purposes must be received in the Accounts Receivable Office, Western Michigan University, 1903 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5210 according to the schedule below. 

Application for: Earliest Date to Turn in Application: Deadline Date to Turn in Application:
Spring Semester December 1 First Day of Classes
Summer I Session April 1 First Day of Classes
Summer II Session June 1 First Day of Classes
Fall Semester August 1 First Day of Classes

Applications are generally processed within a three week time period. Incomplete information and/or lack of required documents could result in immediate denial and/or delay the processing of your application. All official actions concerning the review of your residency application for tuition-paying purposes will be sent to you at your WMU email address.

The application form and additional information are online at Click on “For Students” and then select “Residency Policy” under students. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the residency policy are at the same web site. To access, click on “Frequently Asked Questions” and then select “Residency” on the bottom of the list.

(Policy as approved 4/22/2015)

Auditing Courses, Tuition for


Students who audit courses (who register for classes but do not desire credit) are governed by the same regulations and tuition and fees as students desiring credit.

Drop, Withdraw and Tuition Refund Policy

Students who reduce their number of credit hours or withdraw from Western Michigan University may be eligible for a refund.  The date for refund purposes will be determined based on the date when a course was dropped or withdrawn in GoWMU or the date the Registrar’s Offices received a request.

Students dropping a class before census are eligible to receive a 100% refund.  There is a 24-hour grace period provided to students who drop a class that meets for the first time on, or after, census.  Students who withdraw from all their classes after census may qualify for a 90%, 50% or 25% refund. The percentage is based on dates published in the Academic Calendar.

During fall and spring semesters, student who withdraw from some, but not all, of their classes may qualify for a 50% refund based on the dates published in the Academic Calendar.  No refunds are available for partial withdraws after census during summer sessions.

Students who drop or withdraw from any or all classes and are eligible for a refund will receive the refund within 30 days of the drop or withdraw date. Withdrawing from classes may affect current and future financial aid, veteran benefits and academic standing. Please consult your academic advisor, Financial Aid counselor or your VA certifying official before reducing credit hours or withdrawing.

Complete Withdrawal from All Courses, Effect on Tuition


The Registrar’s website should be consulted for the refund policy that pertains to complete withdrawal, for a particular semester or session.

Students completely withdrawing from all classes must enter this information into GoWMU or by going to the Registrar’s office during the official drop/add days in order to process their withdrawal and assure a refund. The withdrawal date for refund purposes will normally be determined by the date that the Registrar receives a withdraw request.

Students who are unable to access the registration system due to a hold on their account can withdraw in the Registrar’s Office. If the student is not on campus, they can contact the Registrar’s Office at (269) 387-4300 for assistance.

Student Fees Other Than Tuition

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Admission Application Fee

A non-refundable fee of $40 must accompany each application for admission.

Admission Validation Deposit

Entering Students: A $100 deposit applicable to fall student fees is required for all admitted beginner and transfer students. The deposit must be paid by May 1 for those admitted before that date, and upon admission for those admitted after that date. The deposit is not refundable after May 1. Detailed information is provided on the Certificate of Admission from the Office of Admissions and Orientation.

Class Fees

Some courses have class-specific fees for which the student will be responsible. These fees will be viewable in the course section on the Course Offerings page.

Collection Fees

In addition to the tuition and fees, in the event the account is referred to a collection agency, the student will be responsible for any collection fees, which may be based on a percentage at a maximum of 39% of the debt, and all costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney fees, that WMU incurs in such collection efforts.

Enrollment Fee

For all students registered in on-campus courses, the enrollment fee incorporates all required fees with the exception of the student organizations’ assessment fee and the sustainability fee into a single per capita assessment. The enrollment fee for students registered in on-campus classes can be found on

Extended University Programs Fees (effective fall 2013)


Regional Location Courses
A $20 per course technology fee will be assessed for courses taken at regional sites.

Online Education Courses
A $60 per credit hour support fee will be charged for all undergraduate students. Graduate students will be charged a $20 per course technology fee.

Students enrolled in a combination of courses on the main campus and online, who fall in the flat rate credit hour range, may see an adjustment on their account to reflect the flat rate (less the online support fee of $60/credit hour). The $20 per course EUP technology fee will not be charged for the undergraduate online courses.

Flight Instruction Fee

Fees for flight instruction courses in the College of Aviation range broadly. For specific course fee information, consult the College of Aviation.

Refund of flight instruction fees will be made in accordance with the policy established by the College of Aviation. For specific course fee information, consult the College of Aviation.

International Student Fee


International students will be charged a $25.00 fee each semester or $12.50 fee each session.

Late Add Fee

Students who are not registered for at least one class the day after census will be charged a late fee of $100 per course. For the specific dates that this fee begins see

Lee Honors College Program Fee

Lee Honors College students are assessed a program fee of $100.00 per semester during the fall and spring semesters.  This fee enables the Lee Honors College to offer additional honors-style courses, reduce the number of large classroom courses, and to attract the highest quality instructors.

Liability Insurance Fee

Students enrolled in courses requiring participation off-campus for field experience or practicums will be charged a liability insurance fee. This fee will be assessed each semester/session. Students registered in classes that require more than one type of liability insurance will be charged for each type one time.

Records Initiation Fee


A one-time fee of $300.00 is assessed for each entering (undergraduate, graduate, or transfer) student who is degree-seeking. This fee helps to subsidize the establishment of each student’s official academic record at the University, and supports related activities such as integrated web course registration, online grade and program reviews, degree progress tracking, student accounts receivables, and the provision of an individual electronic portfolio that reflects the learning, educational growth, and personal accomplishments for each student.

Student Assessment Fee

A student assessment fee (SAF) of $42.00 per semester (Fall and Spring) and $21.00 per session (Summer I and Summer II) will be collected from all undergraduate and graduate students at the time of registration. This assessment is for the support of student organizations and agencies. The student organizations and agencies use this money to enhance the out of classroom experience on campus.

Sustainability Fee

In 2010 the Western Student Association (WSA) voted in favor of introducing a sustainability fund fee of $8.00 per semester and $4.00 per summer session. The funds are to be used to enrich course offerings, create student green jobs, support a Sustainability Office, support student-driven initiatives, and provide research grants, fellowships, scholarships, and awards for students. A student-majority committee will work in consultation with the President’s University-wide Sustainability Office and the Vice President for Student Affairs to determine the appropriate allocation process.


Complete information on how to obtain a Western Michigan University transcript and transcript fees can be found at

Residence Hall and Dining Fees

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For current rates go to

These fees and rates are subject to change without notice by action of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees reviews annually the room and dining rates and may increase the rates if, in its opinion, such an increase is necessary.

Newly admitted undergraduate students are automatically sent information about residence hall offerings for the semester they anticipate coming to the University. Individuals returning to the University as re-entries, and newly admitted graduate students, will receive information by return mail upon requesting details from the Manager of Residence Hall Facilities, Student Services Building. Residence hall accommodations are not automatically made as a result of admission to the University.


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