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Engage - Opt-out Considerations and Guidelines

This document summarizes the UW-Madison Engage opt-out process. Instructions for opting out can be found in the last panel.

One of the primary goals of Engage is to reduce the costs of course materials for students while enhancing the student learning experience.

In order to substantially lower costs, and to make it as easy as possible for students to take advantage of the cost-savings and benefits of eTexts and digital learning tools (DLT, e.g., homework or lab software packages), Engage was designed to automatically opt-in all students who register for participating courses. This also means that the costs of the eTexts and DLTs appear on students’ tuition bills, making it easier to apply financial aid accordingly.

While we hope that all students choose to take advantage of eTexts (and DLTs, if applicable), we understand that some may wish to opt out. To help students understand the considerations for opting out, we have put together the following information and guidelines. It is also important to note that students seeking certain accessibility accommodations can contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center for assistance.

Conditions for opting out of Engage

In compliance with Title IV regulations, students may choose to opt out of using an eText (and DLT, if applicable) in any participating course in two main ways:

  1. Choose a different course section or course - In some cases, the easiest way to opt out is to simply select a different class section or course that is not using the Engage platform. If a student’s schedule or curriculum does not allow this, he/she should consult with his/her advisor as needed.
  2. Enroll in the course, but opt-out of using the eText -If selecting another class section or course is not an option, students may opt out of using the eText (and DLT, if applicable) if they are able to legally obtain identical course materials outside of Engage. Opt outs may only occur during the designated Student Choice Period (you can find the current Student Choice Period end date listed in the Order Tool). Note that this is not possible in cases where there is customized content. Some courses’ eTexts and DLTs (e.g., Cengage's MindTap titles and Pearson's MyLabs) have been created or customized specifically for UW-Madison only. In these cases, students should not opt-out if they wish to be able to follow along with the rest of their class.
    • It’s best to opt out as soon as you know, to ensure your opt-out falls within the 100% refund window. To opt out, please see the How to Opt Out section at the end of this document.
    • All eText refunds follow the standard 100% tuition refund date. Any refunds requested after the standard tuition refund date has passed can be requested if they meet the specific criteria outlined in Engage - About UW-Madison Engage fees and appeals.
    • If you have access to materials from a pervious course, you will still need to opt-out. The Order Tool (Student Choice) is not available for students for this semester. Please see the last section to opt out.
    • If you have purchased materials directly from the publisher - either the exact eText or an all-access plan (e.g., Cengage Unlimited) - you must opt-out to avoid being charged for the materials through the Engage program.

Not a student?

If your role in a course is something other than student, please refer to these notes before opting out:

  • If you are an instructor or teaching assistant (TA), you will have access to the eText at no extra cost to you. You do not need to opt out. If you do not have access, please submit a case to the DoIT Help Desk. If you would like a desk copy, please reach out to the publisher.
  • If you are a senior guest auditor, you must opt out to avoid being charged. This is done automatically on your behalf by the Division of Continuing Studies (DCS). If you do not wish to be opted out, please contact DCS with that request.
  • If you are an observer, you will have access to the eText at no extra cost to you. You do not need to opt out.

Things to consider

Before opting out, please consider the following:

  • Opting for “all or nothing” - In courses using an eText and a DLT, you may not opt out of one or the other. By opting out of the eText, you are automatically opted-out of the corresponding DLT. The same goes for courses using multiple eTexts - you may not opt out of one specific text.
  • Students are responsible for obtaining alternative versions - As mentioned above, you will be responsible for acquiring legally obtained, alternative versions of all required course materials. (**Note: This is not possible in some cases. See above for details.) Instructors are not responsible for providing you with alternative materials or waiving course requirements.
  • Risk of falling behind - You risk falling behind in the course if alternative versions of the same materials are not acquired prior to the first day of the course.
  • Switching sections or dropping the course - If you plan to drop the course, or switch into a different section not using Engage, you will be refunded automatically and do not need to opt out. Refunds for course drops will follow standard tuition refund rules.
  • Accessibility needs - Not all features are accessible. For more information regarding the accessibility and usability of Engage, please review this document. If you need specific accessibility accommodations, please contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center.

How to opt out

If, after careful consideration and a conversation with your instructor (recommended) you still choose to opt out, please submit your request by completing the Google form below. Please carefully note which semester you are opting out for and only fill out the Google form for that semester.

Also note that you must be logged in with your @wisc.edu Google account to access the form. If you need assistance switching between accounts in Google, see Determining which account is signed in.

  • If you are choosing to opt out because you already purchased the eText in a previous course, please make sure you still have access to the text before completing the form.
  • If you plan to drop the course, you will be refunded automatically and do not need to opt out. Refunds for course drops will follow standard tuition refund rules. For more information on UW-Madison dates and deadlines, please review the registrar's dates and deadlines website.
  • If you purchased the materials or an all-access plan (e.g., Cengage Unlimited) from the publisher directly, you must opt out to avoid being charged for the materials through the Engage program.
  • The opt-out form will be available until the deadline to drop a class and receive 100% tuition adjustment. After the 100% refund date has passed, you can contact the DoIT Help Desk for special opt-out consideration.

The Fall 2022 Opt-Out Form can be found here.