Student Experience Enhancements: Transcript and Drop/Add Changes

Leadership announces unlimited free electronic transcripts, other changes to improve the student experience.

December 09, 2020
Dear Students:

As we approach the end of the fall semester, we once again would like to recognize the extraordinary efforts of the GW student body and the entire GW community to persevere and excel through truly unprecedented times.  While we manage through a different paradigm, our focus to enhance the student experience remains a top priority.  We continue to work in collaboration with the Student Association and all students to identify opportunities to enhance the student experience by improving processes that promote student success. To that end, we are happy to announce the following changes:
  • In our continuing effort to eradicate what students have referred to as a “nickel-and-diming,” or transactional, culture, we are flipping the “script” on transcripts. With transcripts being a major enabler for our students’ longer-term professional success in industry, public service, and graduate school, we believe this process is ripe for improvement. Effective December 21, 2020, every student will be entitled to unlimited free electronic transcripts. This eco-friendly policy will also assist in minimizing the campus carbon footprint by reducing the use of paper, ink, and delivery services. In addition to the free electronic transcripts, the fee for most paper transcripts will be reduced to cover costs.  For these and other changes to the transcript process, please refer to the GW transcript webpage.
  • Another area deserving of attention is GW’s tuition refund policy.  Students have expressed challenges with the GW tuition refund policy during the drop/add period.  As such, we will make significant revisions to the tuition refund policy.  Moving forward, students will be afforded the peace of mind to make informed course registration decisions without concern for the financial implications. Effective spring 2021, students will receive a 100% refund for course load changes during the two-week drop/add period for spring, summer, and fall terms.  Additionally, the refund period will be extended from four to five weeks for the fall and spring semesters. For these and other changes to the refund policy, please refer to the GW withdrawal and refund webpage. (Note that there are several specialized programs with shorter terms that also follow a different refund schedule and/or drop/add rules than the main GW schedule. Students with questions can contact their schools directly for more information.)
These changes are another positive result of our continued commitment to collaborating with students.  In particular, current Student Association leadership, including in this case very informative conversations with Executive Vice President Brandon Hill, has collaborated on important efforts that build on the successes of previous Student Association leadership.  We look forward to more positive steps in the future that continue to improve the student experience, provide beneficial resources to the community, and fulfill our core academic mission.

We wish you a successful end of the semester.  Stay safe and well.

M. Brian Blake
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Mark Diaz
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Jay Goff
Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Success

Jared Abramson
Vice President for Financial Planning and Operations
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