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Undergraduate Withdrawals FAQ



What is a medical or administrative withdrawal?

An approved withdrawal request permits a student to be withdrawn from all courses in a semester after the date in which a student is eligible for withdrawal with a grade of "W". In cases where the withdrawal occurs late in the semester, it facilitates the process for students to receive a grade of "W" from their instructors.

Neither type of withdrawal guarantees the student a grade of "W". The grade is ultimately still assigned by the instructor. The withdrawal merely supports that the medical withdrawal request has merit for a grade of "W".

Neither type of withdrawal guarantees reversal of charges for tuition and fees for the courses of that semester. Reversal of charges is ultimately determined by whether or not the effective date of withdrawal or last attendance in the course falling within the semester's refund timetable.

What is the difference between a medical and administrative withdrawal?

Medical Withdrawal: a means by which a student may request to be withdrawn from all courses in a semester for documented and approved medical reasons that prevent the student from successfully completing the semester coursework.

Administrative Withdrawal: a means by which a student may request to be withdrawn from all courses in a semester because of documented and approved circumstances beyond the student's control that prevent the student from successfully completing the semester coursework (eg military service, legal issues, death of immediate family member).

What is the deadline to complete a request for medical or administrative withdrawal?

The request will be filed as soon as possible, no later than the end of the semester following the semester in which the coursework was taken. For example, if the medical withdrawal request is for courses taken in the fall semester, the signed request and all supporting documentation must be submitted for approval before the end of the immediate spring semester. Summer is counted as a semester.

As early as a student is aware that they will not be able to successfully complete a semester coursework, the student may consider dropping or withdrawing from courses before the Official Reporting Date (see the Academic Calendar for semester deadlines) and may then avoid the need to later request a withdrawal.

Semester in which courses taken Deadline for submission of completed request form with all supporting administrative/medical withdrawal documentation submitted
Summer 2008 Close of Fall 2008 (December 19, 2008)
Fall 2008 Close of Spring 2009 ( May 15, 2009)
Spring 2009 Close of Summer 2009 (August 10, 2009)
Summer 2009 Close of Fall 2009 (December 18, 2009)
Fall 2009 Close of Spring 2009 (May 14, 2010)

What are the criteria for approval of a withdrawal request?

Medical Withdrawal:

  1. The request form with all supporting documentation must be submitted before the deadline.
  2. Original signed medical withdrawal form
  3. Original signed physician's letter with any supporting documentation
  4. Instructor approval for assigning the grade change to a "W"
  5. All grade changes must have a grade of "W" approved by the instructors
  6. Student is not under an academic dishonesty sanction for a course taken in the semester of request

Administrative Withdrawal:

  1. The request form with all supporting documentation must be submitted before the deadline.
  2. Original signed administrative withdrawal form
  3. Original letter on official letterhead signed by the appropriate authority (eg medical professional) or appropriate official documentation (eg death certificate, military orders, court orders)
  4. Instructor approval for assigning the grade change to a "W"
  5. All grade changes must have a grade of "W" approved by the instructors
  6. Student is not under an academic dishonesty sanction for a course taken in the semester of request

How is the information submitted for medical withdrawal used? Should a student be concerned about the confidentiality about their medical condition or personal circumstances?

The medical/administrative withdrawal must be verified in writing by licensed physician or medical professional. The documentation verifies the circumstances of the request as well as last dates of attendance in order to determine effective dates of withdrawal. The original documentation is kept only in our office. The documentation is not distributed to the instructors or departments when the grade changes are requested. A circumstance where the documentation might be shared would occur if the student issued false documentation and was subsequently referred to the Dean of Students Office for disciplinary referral of the student.

May a student medically withdraw from just one or two courses?

Students may not use the withdrawal request for only one or two selected courses in a semester. If the student pursues a medical withdrawal request for a semester, the request for grade changes will be applied to all courses for that semester in which the student was enrolled.

However, effective Fall 2009 the undergraduate academic policy on dropping courses permits that a student my drop or be dropped from a course with a W, only for rare, urgent, substantiated, nonacademic reasons. Students must submit the request in writing with supporting documentation to the Office of Academic Program Management no later than 90 days after the posting of a grade. Read the full dropping courses policy

How will the medical/administrative withdrawal impact attempted hours? Will the Ws count against a student's limit of 6 Ws?

Courses with a grade of "W" are considered attempted hours and will count in the student's enrollment cap hours. Grades of "W" assigned in a semester in which a student has an approved medical/administrative withdrawal will not be counted in the 6 Ws.

Will a student be guaranteed a refund of tuition and fees?

No. An approved medical or administrative withdrawal is an academic policy intended to assist students with their semester course grades upon verification that an extraordinary circumstance or medical illness prevented the student from successfully completing the semester coursework.

If the effective date of withdrawal happens to occur after the eligible timeframe for refund has expired, the student will not be eligible for reversal of tuition and fee charges. The refund schedule for dropped or withdrawn courses is posted by Student Financial Services. Read more about the refund policy

If students received financial aid for the semester in which they seek withdrawal they are cautioned to not proceed with the request until verifying the impact on their financial aid with a financial aid advisor.

Will a medical/administrative withdrawal impact a student's financial aid?

Maybe. Students should speak with their financial aid advisor to determine if they may be required to pay funds back to the university for attempted coursework. The effective date of the approved medical/administrative withdrawal might result in a student having to pay back funds received in financial aid for coursework not attempted or completed.

How long does it take for the grade changes to be posted after the student submits the request?

Each course grade change must be approved by the instructor of each course. The grade changes do not get posted until ALL course grade changes for that semester are signed by each instructor and returned to our office. The process normally takes two to three weeks depending on the instructor's availability and if classes are in session. Some cases may take two to three months if the student verification is delayed. Students can help expedite the process by submitting the correct documentation with the withdrawal request form as early as possible and well before the deadline for consideration.

Will an enrollment stop be placed on the student's record upon request of a medical withdrawal? How does a student get their medical withdrawal stop lifted?

If the request is approved, a medical withdrawal enrollment "stop" is placed on the student's record. The stop may be lifted after the student contacts the office with documentation from the doctor or identified professional who originally supported the withdrawal verifying that the student is ready to return to school. The policy states: "Students who receive medical withdrawals and later seek to return to the university shall submit a written request, including a statement from a physician or psychologist, to the senior vice president for academic affairs (or designated representative) justifying their readiness to resume their studies."

What if a student faces, or is under, academic suspension?

The withdrawal request is not intended to serve as a substitute for poor grades. The policy is in place to help students who must withdraw from courses for legitimate medical or administrative reasons. If a student feels they may not be doing well in their coursework they should seek academic alternatives such as enrolling for appropriate courses for their degree plan, enrolling in a manageable number of semester credit hours, seeking tutoring assistance, and joining study groups. Students also have the option to withdraw from the course in question before the deadline to withdraw with a grade of W. The student has up to 6 Ws they may use for this purpose.

What if a student is penalized for an academic honesty violation?

Students may not receive medical or administrative withdrawals for courses in which they have been found guilty of a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy. If a medical or administrative withdrawal is completed prior to a guilty finding, the student will become liable for the Academic Honesty penalty, including F grades.

If a student is in the hospital or otherwise unable to contact your office, can someone else help them with the withdrawal paperwork?

Yes. A family member, friend, advisor etc may contact our office to request the necessary paperwork to initiate the withdrawal request. It is highly recommended that a student sign a release of information form with our office if it may be necessary to speak with a friend or family member about details regarding the withdrawal request.

Student's with chronic debilitating medical conditions are encouraged to select a primary caregiver who will assist them with university administrative details during periods of hospitalization.

Is there an appeal process?

If a student's medical/administrative withdrawal request is disapproved the student may submit a written appeal to the Assistant Director of Academic Program Management. Appeals must be in writing and contain any information or supporting documentation that justifies a request for exception to policy. Financial appeals will not be considered.

What are the common reasons for disapproving a medical or administrative withdrawal request?

Incomplete documentation
If there is no medical letter or no signed request form the request may not be approved. Both forms must be submitted before the deadline.
Incorrect or inconsistent dates
The last date of attendance in course, dates in supporting documentation and university records must all be consistent.
Deadline has expired
The request and all supporting documentation must be submitted and approved before the deadine.
False documentation
Students are referred for disciplinary action in such cases where false documentation is submitted.

What options does a student have if their withdrawal request is not approved?

Financial aid reinstatement appeal: You may speak with your financial aid advisor to see if you are eligible for a reinstatement of your financial aid.

Academic advisor: You may speak with your academic advisor about options to how to proceed with your academic coursework if the semester grades may prevent you from academic progression or place you on academic probation or suspension.

Will a medical or administrative withdrawal impact my eligibility to stay in on-campus housing?

Residential Life and Housing is notified once a student has received approval for a medical withdrawal. Refunds of housing fees are administered by that office. Students should contact Residential Life and Housing for concerns relating to refunds of housing fees or eligibility to remain in their housing contracts before initiating a withdrawal.

Will a medical or administrative withdrawal impact a student's International Student's visa status?

Maybe. Students are advised to speak with their advisor in the office of International Student and Scholar Services regarding their enrollment and status before initiating a withdrawal.

Will a withdrawal impact my eligibility for health insurance?

Students who rely on health insurance plans should check with their insurance providers and review policies before initiating a medical withdrawal request. Many programs require students to be enrolled in order to be eligible for coverage. The campus Health Center is notified once a student receives approval for medical withdrawal.