Students who have been enrolled and paid full-time tuition for 12 quarters (students who began as freshmen) or 9 quarters (students who began after transferring from another institution) and are unable to complete their bachelor’s degree in that time due to circumstances beyond their control are eligible to apply for the University to pay the tuition for their final term, hence the term “free final quarter.”
The Undergraduate Catalog, the source of the description of the benefit (p. 17 in 14-15 edition), also specifies circumstances under which it is not available to students: for optional programs, additional coursework beyond requirements for the degree or if the student has graduated already. Students should refer to the Catalog and read the policy before proceeding with the appeal to be sure their situation is applicable: http://www.registrar.northwestern.edu/courses/undergrad_catalog.html Students should be aware the Committee will review their academic and financial records with the University as part of the appeal consideration.
Submitting the appeal:
- The student must submit a completed petition to graduate to the Office of the Registrar and wait for the evaluation. This provides an official evaluation of progress toward degree and documentation of the enrollment that is necessary to complete requirements, and the likelihood that the quarter in question will be the student’s last.
- It is typically expected that the student has also applied for financial aid for the quarter in question. Students may choose not to do so but risk that the Committee may be unable to conduct a thorough consideration of the appeal and therefore be forced to deny it.
- After the petition has been evaluated and the student is in his or her next-to-last quarter (so that the committee can verify that the student is on track to complete his or her last quarter of degree requirements) he or she must compose a substantive appeal statement requesting the Supplemental Enrollment Benefit.
- The student must address in detail why the circumstances that have led to the extended time to degree are beyond his or her control. This is a critical factor in whether the appeal has merit.
- The student should also address his or her financial history with the University and why they believe paying tuition for another quarter is unusually burdensome.
- The student must explicitly state his or her plans for meeting degree requirements, including when the last term of enrollment will be, what courses remain and how any outstanding incompletes will be finished.
- If the student is citing a health circumstance as a factor in the extended time to graduation, he or she should consider submitting a letter from a physician or treatment provider verifying the situation. No treatment details are necessary. If there are any additional materials that the student feels will support the appeal he or she should submit them. Students may choose not to do so but risk that the Committee may be unable to conduct a thorough consideration of the appeal and therefore be forced to deny it.
- The student submits the appeal to an advisor he or she is asking to write a letter to the committee supplementing the appeal.
- The advisor submits the student’s appeal, along with his or her own letter, to the senior assistant registrar overseeing degree auditing.
Undergraduate Registration Requirement Appeal
Occasionally students earn the appropriate number of credits to graduate and meet all other degree requirements without meeting one or both portions of the URR (terms of enrollment at NU or credits earned at NU). Such students may appeal for a waiver of that portion of the URR. All steps listed above should be followed.