2017-2018 Catalog 
    May 28, 2024  
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are set by the board of trustees on an annual basis. Increases have occurred in recent academic years, and there is no guarantee that tuition will not increase in subsequent academic years.

The following tuition charges are applicable for the academic year 2017-2018:

Full-time students (12-17 hours) per semester: $26,846

-more than 17 hours: $1,988 per hour

Part-time students (fewer than 12 hours) per credit hour: $1,988

All students, regardless of degree status, must pay a general fee each semester. Full-time students pay $255; part-time students pay $186. During the summer session the general fee is $41. This fee supports activities and organizations. Students pay a Sports Center fee each semester. Full-time students pay $65; part-time students pay $30. There is no Sports Center fee for the summer session.  All students pay a technology fee in fall and spring of $120 for full-time students and $40 for part-time students.  Full-time students are assessed a fee of $130 for the Metro U-Pass card.

Special Fees

These fees are nonrefundable. The charges listed below are not included in tuition and general fees.


WCL parking vehicle registration fee

per fall/spring semester, upper-level, full-time students only $506 per semester; $1,012 full year
per fall/spring semester, part-time students only $240 per semester; $480 full year

per summer semester, all students $221 full summer; $112 seven weeks; $60 three weeks

Fall permits expire December 31st; while Spring, Summer, and Annual permits expire August 15th. Between semesters, students who purchased only a Fall semester permit are required to renew their parking permit stickers.

Health insurance fee

full year: $1,750

fall only $780

spring/summer $1,035

summer only: $460



Students must pay the balance due on or before the due date as indicated on the bill sent from the Office of Student Accounts. Bills can also be viewed through the secure portal at https://myau.american.edu/.

Late Payments and Financial Restrictions

A finance charge may be assessed against a student’s account for failure to meet the initial payment due date. The university will use a rate of .5 percent per month to compute the finance charge. The university figures the finance charge on the student’s account by applying the .5 percent per month to the adjusted balance of the student’s account.

In addition, failure to make payment when due will result in a financial “restriction/stop” being placed on the student’s account. The restriction will result in a “hold” being placed on the student’s academic records, including transcript and diploma, and may also result in denial of advance registration and use of the payment plan or other credit privileges.

If a student’s courses are dropped due to nonpayment, a financial restriction will be placed on his or her account. Restrictions may be removed following the reinstatement of all courses originally dropped. To reinstate courses, the student must make arrangements with the Collections Office and pay the account in full (including a $100 reinstatement fee and all associated finance charges). The university reserves the right to delay clearance until a personal check or e-check clears a financial institution.

A student who has once had a financial restriction placed against his or her account may be denied future advance registration and payment plan privileges even though the student has been reinstated upon payment of the reinstatement fee. Repeated failure to make payments when due may result in severance of the student’s relationship with the university.

Students who incur financial obligations in the housing and dining, parking and traffic, library, health center, or athletic department may be subject to late payment fees and financial restriction procedures. Students who fail to pay tuition or fees will be responsible for all costs of collection, including attorney’s fees in the amount of 15 percent of the balance due.

Refunds and Cancellation of Charges

Course Drops

Students who reduce their course load by dropping courses during the refund period of the semester will have the course tuition cancellation calculated as of the date of the course drop. The student’s account must show a credit balance before a refund will be processed. Discontinuing attendance in class or notifying an instructor does not constitute an official course drop.


Students who completely withdraw from the law school must submit the appropriate forms to the Law School’s Office of the Registrar. The amount of tuition to be canceled will be calculated as of the date which the withdrawal forms are received in that office and in accordance with the tuition cancellation schedule, below. If the withdrawal results in a refund, the request for refund should be made to Student Accounts. The student’s account must show a credit balance before a refund will be processed.

Discontinuing attendance in classes or notifying instructors does not constitute an official withdrawal. Students who do not officially withdraw during the cancellation period by submitting the appropriate forms to the Office of the Law School Registrar will be responsible for payment of the full amount of the applicable tuition and fees.

Tuition Cancellation Schedule

The cancellation percentage is based on the date of the course drop or withdrawal:

Drop/withdrawal through the second calendar week of classes 100%

Drop/withdrawal through the third calendar week of classes 50%

Drop/withdrawal through the fourth calendar week of classes 25%

Withdrawal after the fourth calendar week of classes None

Note: The calendar week for cancellation of tuition ends on Friday (adjustments are made for legal holidays that fall within the first four weeks of the semester). Students should check the academic calendar  for specific dates for each semester.

Based on University policy and federal financial aid regulations, the tuition cancellation policy is strictly enforced based on the date a student drops a course or withdraws from the law school (“change in registration”).  The effective date of the change in registration is the date on which the student provides all necessary information to the Office of the Registrar.  The Office of Student Accounts will use this information to assess a student’s financial obligation to the University.   If a student’s situation provides exigent circumstances, the student may appeal to WCL’s Tuition Refund Assessment Committee.  To initiate an appeal, the student must email Dean David Jaffe at djaffe@wcl.american.edu with a statement explaining the circumstances, which must be compelling and out of the control of the student, and the specific relief sought.  The statement should not exceed 1000 words and may include supporting documents.  All requests must be made in writing within thirty days of the change in registration or the assessment on the student account, whichever comes later.  The Committee will assess all appeals within thirty days of receipt.  Decisions made by the Committee are final and may not be further appealed.

Federal (Title IV) Financial Aid Recipients Return of Title IV Funds Policy

As federally mandated, federal (Title IV) aid recipients who withdraw from classes are subject to the following refund policy.

  • Complete withdrawal from all classes: University charges are prorated per the university tuition cancellation schedule, based on the date of the course drop. Students who withdraw from all of their classes before completing the first 60 percent of the semester will have a portion of their financial aid prorated, based on their length of attendance during the semester. Based on this proration, all or a portion of the student’s financial aid will be returned to the appropriate Title IV financial aid program.
  • Partial withdrawal from classes:
    Students who withdraw from some but not all of their classes, at any point during the semester, will have their financial aid recalculated based on the final number of credit hours enrolled. Students withdrawing before the end of the semester may also need to repay funds received for non-institutional costs (off-campus room, board, books, and personal expenses) under a Title IV program. In this case, the university determines whether or not the student received an overpayment. If the monies disbursed for non-institutional costs are more than the amount determined to be the actual non-institutional costs for the period of enrollment, the student received an overpayment and may be responsible for returning funds to American University.

Questions about how the refund and repayment regulations may affect a student’s financial aid should be referred to the student’s Financial Aid counselor prior to withdrawing from the university.

Medical Withdrawal Policy

No special waiver or refund of tuition and fees is made when a student discontinues attending classes due to medical reasons. However, when a student is hospitalized on an emergency basis and is therefore unable to formally withdraw from classes, the Office of the Registrar is authorized to process a retroactive withdrawal based on the last date that the student attended class. The student must present evidence of his or her hospitalization and the date of last attendance in class as verified by the instructor. Provided that the retroactive withdrawal date falls within the tuition cancellation period, the student’s account will be adjusted accordingly.

Tuition Refund Insurance

The Tuition Refund Plan can minimize financial loss incurred in a medical withdrawal from the university. This elective insurance plan provides coverage for tuition and housing charges. The plan extends and enhances the university’s published refund policy. To participate, applications and fees must be returned before the first day of fall semester classes. For specific benefits and limitations, premium, and other information, contact the student health insurance coordinator at 202-885-3298.