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Term Withdrawal FAQ's

Students wishing to withdraw from all in progress courses in the semester need to complete a term withdrawal with the Office of Student Retention. Term withdrawals are completed after the add/drop date and before the semester withdrawal deadline. By completing a term withdrawal, the student will receive W grades for all in progress courses which do not count towards the state-mandated withdrawal limits. Although W grades do not impact a student's GPA, a W will impact the completion rate. A student must have above a 67% completion rate in order to remain in Good Academic Standing.

What do I need to know before I withdraw?

If any of the below situations apply to you, we recommend you contact the appropriate office before completing your term withdrawal.

Students should talk to Financial Aid before making the decision to withdraw. Your Financial Aid may be impacted, and some students may owe money back to the university after a term withdrawal.

  • A student-athlete can complete a term withdrawal, but they will want to talk to their athletic academic advisor first. Athletes can withdraw to play at another institution, but they are generally not able to start playing with a new institution mid-semester.
  • Once a student athlete completes a term withdrawal, they are not permitted to participate in any sport/team activities.
  • Student athletes are not automatically eligible to play a sport if and when they decide to return to the university. Students will need an NCAA waiver prior to being eligible to participate in their sport. In order to request that waiver the student will need to get in touch with the athletic compliance office.

Please talk to Military Student Services prior to completing a term withdrawal. If you are withdrawing due to military orders, you may qualify for a military withdrawal. Your VA benefits or tuition assistance may be impacted by a term withdrawal. Most students will owe money as a result of the term withdrawal.

Individuals on a student visa should contact the Office of Global Engagement prior to completing a term withdrawal to learn the impacts on their visa status.

Important FAQ's

Here are answers to frequently asked questions in regards to term withdrawals.

  • Term withdrawals can be completed for any reason up until the withdrawal deadline for your courses during the semester.
  • Please view the Academic Calendar for the withdrawal deadline and other important dates.
  • Exceptions to the withdrawal deadline are made if students are approved for an extenuating circumstances withdrawal (see below).

For undergraduate students:

You can continue your enrollment in the next semester providing that your academic standing permits registration. If you don't enroll after the withdrawal, you will be a resuming or returning student depending on the length of time that you have been away from WCU. If you resume your studies within one calendar year, you can contact the Advising Center for more information to register.  If you need to reapply, you should learn more about the returning student policy. The term in which you complete a term withdrawal counts as a term of enrollment for resuming students.


For graduate students:

We recommend talking with your program director to plan your return. The academic program may require you to return during a specific semester or may allow you to resume your studies the semester following your withdrawal. 

Extenuating circumstances are defined as unavoidable circumstances outside of the student's control that occurred during the term and that severely limit the student's ability to participate and perform in academic courses.

A term withdrawal after the withdrawal deadline will only be considered due to extenuating circumstances. Students should contact the Office of Student Retention for further instructions to request an extenuating circumstances term withdrawal. Students should continue to attend classes while their request is considered because if the request is denied, the student will remain in the course and earn a grade.

If approved, the student must call the Office of Student Retention (or come to the office) to complete the withdrawal with a staff member. 

Students with extenuating circumstances may request a retroactive term withdrawal. These requests will not be considered if one passing grade was achieved or if the next term has ended (e.g., a request for a term withdrawal in fall will not be considered once the following spring term has ended). A retroactive withdrawal approved for extenuating circumstances will not change the students academic standing.

Completing a term withdrawal will affect your semester and cumulative completion rates. Therefore, a term withdrawal may negatively impact your academic standing at the end of the term. Withdrawing will not affect your GPA. To review your academic standing and the impacts of a term withdrawal, contact the Office of Student Retention.

No, withdrawals as part of a term withdrawal will not count towards the withdrawal limit. However, a term withdrawal will impact your plan to Finish in Four. Contact your advisor to revise your plan and determine your estimated time to degree completion.

No, you can drop your schedule during the add/drop time frame for any reason. A term withdrawal is not necessary during this time. To complete schedule changes during add/drop, view the "Registration-Drop a Class" Guide. If you are dropping your schedule for your first semester at WCU, contact Undergraduate Admissions to withdrawal your application.

Students completing a term withdrawal may receive a tuition and fee reduction according to the schedule published on the tuition and fee reduction website. A tuition and fee reduction does not guarantee that the student will receive a refund. If financial aid is reduced, the student's account may have a balance due.

After completing the term withdrawal, you will no longer be able to access campus resources that are exclusively available for enrolled students. This includes living in the residence halls, university clubs, student organizations, intramural sports, recreation center access, library services, etc. 

What is next?

Once you have completed the term withdrawal, please remember to complete the following items:

  • Check your student account to ensure that you do not have an outstanding balance: updates to your account can take several weeks
  • Request a refund on CatCash
  • Return rented textbooks to the WCU Bookstore
  • Return library materials to avoid fees
  • Turn in mail key (if applicable)
  • Check out of your residence hall (if applicable)
  • Confirm with your advisor (undergraduate students) or program director (graduate students) registration dates to return to WCU

Taking a break from WCU?

If so, please complete the change of academic plan survey.

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