Charges And Deposits To A Student Account

UW-Madison departments may need to post charges, payments or deposits to a student account in the Student Information System (SIS). 

These transactions may include credit by exam charges, special course fees, or enrollment deposits or forfeitures.

Posting Charges to a Student Account

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Special Course fees

Special Course fees are non-standard tuition and fees charges that are assessed to student tuition accounts. UW-Madison may assess special course fees to pay for certain instructional costs that are not covered by the regular instructional tuition and fees. Review the UW System policy for detailed descriptions of what can be considered a special course fee.

Special Course Fees must be approved by Dean’s Office and the Associate Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration. For more information regarding how to set up a Special Course Fee, contact Andrew Johnson in the Madison Budget Office.

View Special Course Fee Policy

Non-credit Summer Segregated Fees

Various departments offer non-credit summer programs to non-UW students. Participating departments are charged segregated fees for these students to allow them access to services on campus. These students will not have a SIS tuition account.

Departments complete and submit an Internal Work Order to the Bursar’s Office. The Bursar’s Office will then move the money from the department’s funding string into the various segregated fee funds.

Evening MBA Cohort Charges

The Evening MBA program will submit Cohort charges to the Bursar’s Office to be applied to the student’s tuition account.  

Use the Evening MBA Cohort charges form

Credit by Exam

Also known as “Credit by Department Examination”, this is one opportunity for undergraduate students to demonstrate mastery of material by taking an exam, instead of taking an entire course.  The material is equivalent to what would be learned in a specific UW-Madison course.

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Credit by Exam Policy

Credit by Exam is a process intended primarily for students that have acquired knowledge and competency in a specific subject in high school, through prerequisite courses, or for transfer students who did not get transfer credits for a specific course taken at another institution, and who desire to establish college credits for a course.

Refer to the UW Madison Credit by Exam Policy for additional information.


Students will have a low-cost option for earning credit for skills and knowledge they already possess. They will have the opportunity to quickly move on to more challenging and enriching courses.

The University will benefit by freeing up seats in courses that are in demand and by supporting a student’s timely progress to degree.

Approval Process

Before offering credit by examination for a specific course, a department must get approval to do so. The approval process will be handled through the existing course approval governance process. Credit by exam for a course will be proposed and approved by the subject owner (department) of the course and by any crosslisted subjects. The proposal would then be reviewed by the school or college followed by the University Curriculum Committee.

Once a course has been approved it will be listed on a master list of all courses available for credit by exam. This process will serve as the only avenue for awarding departmental credit other than by offering for-credit courses. Departments will be required to review and assess all credit by exam opportunities at least once every 3 years to determine whether the exam continues to match the content of the course. For courses that are not reviewed, approval will expire and they will be removed from the list of course available for credit by exam. Anytime the equivalent course is changed through the course change proposal process the examination must be evaluated to make sure it is still aligned with the learning outcomes of the course.


Student that take a credit by exam will get charged $135 to take the exam. This fee is non-refundable and will be posted to the student account and included on the student’s bill.

Submit Credit by Exam Charges

Posting Enrollment Deposits or Payments

Deposits or Payments may be collected by various programs or departments across campus. These deposits or payments must then be submitted to the Bursar’s Office for posting to the Student Information System (SIS).

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Enrollment Deposits

Enrollment Deposits are collected by various programs across campus (such as School of Business, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, and Law School).  These deposits are then submitted to the Bursar’s Office to credit to the student’s tuition account.  Upon enrollment, the deposit is applied towards payment of tuition and fees. 

Select the appropriate form:

Enrollment Deposit Forfeiture

If a student fails to enroll and their enrollment deposit is forfeited, the program must submit the form to remove the deposit from the student’s tuition account.

Select the appropriate form:


Education Outreach Partnerships payments

Education Outreach and Partnerships (EOP) offers both credit and non-credit courses. Education Outreach and Partnerships accepts credit and check payments directly from these students enrolled in these courses. For students taking courses for credit, the payment is applied to the student’s SIS account through the Bursar’s Office.

Use the EOP payment form

Freshman Enrollment Deposit (informational only)

  • Incoming freshman are required to submit a $100.00 deposit to confirm their intent to enroll at UW-Madison.
  • This deposit is collected by the  UW-Madison Admissions office.
  • The $100.00 payment remains on deposit on the student’s Tuition Account until the first term of enrollment.  Upon enrollment, the deposit is applied towards payment of tuition and fee charges.  The student’s first tuition bill will reflect a credit for the amount of the enrollment deposit.
  • If the student does not attend UW-Madison, the deposit is forfeited.

Key Deposits And Key Refunds

In some situations, departments give out building keys to students.  The keys require a deposit that is refunded upon return of the key.

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Getting and Returning a Key

To get a key:

  1. The Department must complete all three sections of a blue key card.
  2. Once completed the student will bring over the blue key card to Bursar’s Office, to pay the deposit.
  3. The student will return proof of payment to the Department, in order to receive their key.

Once the key is no longer needed:

  1. The student will return their key to the Department.
  2. The Department will then give the student “Section A” of their blue card.
  3. The student will need to return to the Bursar’s Office to get a refund.

Forfeiture of a Key Deposit

Departments may determine that a student has forfeited their key deposit.  In order to request a key deposit forfeiture the department must:

  1. Send “Section A” of their blue card to the Bursar’s Office.
  2. Email a list of students and key deposit amount to
  3. Include Funding String information where the forfeited funds should be deposited.
  4. The Bursar’s office will review the request and process a non-salary cost transfer.

Contact the Bursar’s Office at for questions on requesting a key deposit forfeiture.


Call the Bursar's Office

Phone: (608) 262-3611

Find the Bursar's Office

333 East Campus Mall #10501
Madison, WI 53715-1383