Tuition and Fee Waiver Appeal Policy


Responsible Administrative Unit: Administration & Operations

Policy Contact: Controller, Noelle Sanchez (nsanchez@mines.edu)


The Colorado School of Mines (Mines) recognizes a student may need to withdraw from Mines, or reduce the number of class credits being taken, after the semester begins. When this occurs, the Mines’ refund policy will determine if the student is eligible for a refund of tuition and fees paid for that semester.

Mines also recognizes the need for a student to have a process to appeal the Mines’ refund policy when unexpected and serious extenuating circumstances exist related to a student’s need to withdraw from Mines or reduce the number of credit hours. A student may also process to appeal the Mines’ refund policy when unexpected, anomalous circumstances transpire which present financial hardship or burden for a student.

Potential Title IX tuition and fee waivers are outside of this scope of this policy and are managed by the Title IX and Equity Compliance Office.


Mines’ published annual Academic Catalog outlines the tuition and fee refund policy. In the event of an unexpected and serious, or anomalous circumstance(s), a student may petition a waiver from the tuition and fee refund policy.

In such an event, graduate students should approach the Graduate Dean (or representative) and undergraduate students should contact the Associate Dean of Students (or representative) and request leniency from the tuition and fee refund policy.

After reviewing the matter in detail and/or meeting with the student making the waiver petition, the Graduate Dean and Associate Dean of Students are permitted to take one of the following actions:

  1. Decline the request in circumstances deemed unmerited (which may include circumstances which are not unexpected and not serious, or not anomalous),
  2. Offer a 20% or 40% tuition waiver.

Decisions made by Graduate Dean and Associate Dean of Students may be shared preliminarily with the student but are pending until approved by the Financial Hardship and Leniency Committee. Deans also have the authority to present tuition waivers to the University Executive Team related to egregious circumstances. Deans will present pending decisions as a first-order of business in Committee meetings. The Committee may approve or decline pending decisions.


If a student wishes to appeal the decision of the Graduate Dean or Associate Dean of Students, they may do so via the Financial Hardship and Leniency Committee (the Committee).

In such instances, appeals should be submitted according to process outlined by Graduate Dean (or representative) for graduate students, or by Associate Dean of Students (or representative) for undergraduate students. A completed appeal will include, but not be limited to:

  • grounds for appeal (unexpected, serious extenuating circumstance or anomalous circumstance);
  • a student-written letter to the Committee clearly outlining the grounds for their appeal;
  • requested percentage leniency/adjustment/refund;
  • and, when appropriate: verifying, additive, or collaborative documentation.

The Committee will review the appeal and determine if a waiver to the refund policy is appropriate, given the circumstances provided by the student, and will approve the amount of the tuition and/or fee refund. Applicable student fees will not be waived if Mines has incurred actual costs associated with those fees, such as the intermodal transportation fee or student health insurance fee. The mandatory student technology fee and academic building construction fee will not be waived.


Students will be presented to the Committee with reasonable anonymity. Only those with a need to know, which would not include students or faculty, may know the identity of the student. Deans will refrain, to best of ability, from inadvertently disclosing personally identifiable information.

Only waiver requests for the current and immediately preceding semester, will be accepted, unless medical documentation clearly argues a student was medically and physically unable to appeal earlier.

Approval of a waiver may or may not impact financial aid received during the semester or future semesters. If the student is a financial aid recipient and the tuition appeal is approved, credit balances may be refunded to the appropriate financial aid program. Furthermore, the return of financial aid funds may result in a balance due on the student account.

The student is responsible for prompt payment of all charges applied to the student account, including charges for which a waiver has been submitted. If a waiver is approved, the student’s account will be adjusted and refunds, as appropriate, will be issued.

A student may only appeal on the same grounds/reasoning, once. A student is eligible to receive a maximum of two tuition and fee waiver approvals during their entire academic career, undergraduate and graduate, at Mines.

All decisions by the Committee are final and no further appeal process is available to the student, and it is possible that the Committee decision is less than what was originally offered by the Graduate Dean or Associate Dean of Students.


  • Unexpected and Serious Circumstance: is presented as unexpected and serious must meet both criteria, and reasonably align with the following definitions: Unexpected defined as unpredictable or not foreseeable; and serious defined as significant enough to reasonably appreciate how any student with such presenting considerations is significantly impacted and/or unable to proceed in school despite best efforts.
  • Anomalous Circumstance: In such an instance, the details of the circumstance are truly unique, atypical, and aberrant to policy and procedure.
  • Egregious Circumstance: is presented as details that are extremely horrific that need to be decided in an immediate fashion.

The Executive Vice President for Administration and Operations delegates the authority to develop, administer, and maintain appropriate procedures and resources to implement this policy to the Committee.


The policy will be reviewed at least every 2 years, or as needed by the University Controller.

Issued: October 1, 2017.
Revised: March 27, 2019.
Revised: February 6, 2020


The Committee consists of the following representatives:

  • Graduate Dean (or Representative) (non-voting on Graduate Appeals);
  • Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students (or Representative) (non-voting on Undergraduate Appeals);
  • University Controller (voting);
  • Bursar (voting);
  • Director of Financial Aid (voting);
  • One faculty appointed by the Faculty Senate (voting);
  • One student each appointed by graduate and undergraduate student governing bodies (UGC & GSG) (voting).
  • Tuition and Fee Waiver Appeal procedures;
  • Annual Academic Catalog;