Withdrawal Hardship

In the event a student faces circumstances of extreme duress beyond his/her control, the student may request a hardship withdrawal from the university. Hardship withdrawals are not meant to be used for appealing academic matters (e.g. grades), but should be used when a student seeks to withdraw from all classes and leave the university for the remainder of that semester.  Students must apply for a Hardship Withdrawal with the Dean of Student's Office prior to the last day of classes for the term they have experienced the hardship.

Hardship withdrawals should fall into one of three categories: medical, personal, or financial. Students will be required to justify their withdrawal with documentation. In instances where a student's circumstances warrant only a partial withdrawal, documentation will be required to substantiate why this student is able to continue with some coursework but not all coursework. If the hardship withdrawal is granted, the student will receive "WH" grades for courses that he/she enrolled in during the semester.

Hardship Withdrawal Documentation

Personal Statement of Hardship: The written personal statement of hardship should explain how and/or why the non-academic emergency impacted studies. It is essential that the student provide accurate details about the circumstances surrounding the hardship, date(s) of the hardship event(s), and an account of how the event(s) specifically prevented the completion of coursework. In addition, the student will provide official documentation supporting his/her hardship. This documentation should be consistent with the student's personal statement, and all documentation will be verified prior to the rendering of any decision regarding the student's hardship withdrawal.

Categories of Hardship and Documentation Requirements

  • Medical (e.g. physical or psychological emergencies): Students may petition for a hardship withdrawal from the University when significant physical or psychological impairments beyond the student's control interfere with the ability to meet academic requirements.
    • The student will supply a physician's report on office letterhead. This document will include the physician's name, address, phone number, nature of patient's illness or accident, dates of treatment, prognosis, and the reason they feel that the student can no longer complete his/her coursework. This document must be signed and dated.
    • Medical withdrawals are exempt from the Policy Limiting Individual Course Withdrawals.
  • Personal (e.g. severe medical illness within family, death in the family, arrests, etc.): The student will supply appropriate documentation that builds a case for hardship withdrawal due to personal issues. These documents may include but are not limited to death certificates, obituaries, police reports, or physician's letters. The student should obtain documents that contain contact information, are dated, and, if possible, are notarized.
    • Students seeking withdrawal for personal reasons must apply with the Dean of Student's Office prior to the last day of classes for the semester they have experienced the personal hardship. 
    • Personal withdrawals are exempt from the Policy of Limiting Individual Course Withdrawals.
  • Financial (e.g. loss of sole-supporting job, mandatory job changes): The student will supply documentation from an employer or supervisor that clearly states the mandatory change and the date that these changes took place or will take place. This document should contain contact information for an organizational representative that can verify these changes, preferably a human resource professional.
    • A student's inability to have financial aid in place at the start of a semester is NOT grounds for hardship withdrawal due to financial issues.
    • Financial withdrawals are exempt from the Policy Limiting Individual Course Withdrawals. 
    • Students that wish to apply for a Hardship Withdrawal for financial reasons must apply with the Dean of Student's Office prior to the last day of classes for the semester that they have experienced the financial issue. 

SPECIAL NOTE: Application for a Hardship Withdrawal does not guarantee the student a grade of WH.

Financial Aid Implications 

All students seeking either a partial or full hardship withdrawal from the University are strongly recommended to make an appointment with a financial aid counselor. This is of utmost importance if the student has received financial aid (e.g. scholarships, grants, loans. etc.). The granting of a hardship withdrawal may affect the student's ability to receive future financial aid and may greatly affect the student's ability to meet the Federally mandated Standards of Academic Progress. Students should be advised that the granting of a hardship withdrawal does not negate the requirements of meeting the Standards of Academic Progress or the policies regarding mandatory Return of Title IV funds.