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302.8 - Undergraduate Withdrawals

University Group Policy #302.8

I.  Policy Statement

Students may find it necessary to withdraw from courses or the university after the university’s change of registration period (Registration/Add/Drop) each semester. A student may terminate enrollment in a course but continue enrollment in other courses within the timeframes outlined in the University Calendar.

II.    Guidelines

Course Withdrawal

Students are expected to complete all the courses for which they are registered at the close of the Change in Registration period (10th university class day in regular term or 3rd day of a 5-week summer session). These courses must be recorded on a student’s official transcript and receive a grade that is used in the calculation of a GPA, count as attempted hours, and conform to all financial aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress rules unless withdrawal is permitted under conditions described below.

Course withdrawal with extenuating circumstances

Withdrawal for extenuating circumstances requires that:

  1. a “WE” be recorded on the transcript
  2. the course(s) count as attempted hours
  3. the course(s) not count in GPA calculation
  4. the course(s) is(are) subject to all financial aid and SAP rules and calculations.

A student may petition the appropriate dean in writing (including appropriate supporting documentation) for a “WE” (Withdrawal with Extenuating Circumstances) if there are extenuating circumstances which prevent the student from continuing enrollment (health, medical, legal or administrative reasons).

The “WE” grade will be assigned for courses if the following conditions are met:

  1. The dean approves of the petition because it is for extenuating circumstances, and
  2. The student is deemed to be passing at the time of the withdrawal by the course instructor and thus is not using the petition to avoid a failing grade.

The dean must notify the student within 10 business days of the decision. Student can appeal a decision of the dean by appealing to the provost in writing within 10 business days of receiving a response from the dean. The provost must respond within 10 business days. The decision of the provost is final. All correspondence will be sent to the student’s permanent address that is on file with the Registrar.

Course withdrawals without extenuating circumstances
  1. After the initial change of registration period students may withdraw from one or more courses without meeting the standards for extenuating circumstances up to 45 course days into the semester. A student
    may withdraw from a maximum of sixteen (16) credit hours without extenuating circumstances over the course of a student’s undergraduate degree or degrees. No student may withdraw after the official withdrawal period unless there are extenuating circumstances. Once the withdrawal period is passed, students will be given the earned grade for the course.
  2. Withdrawal without extenuating circumstances requires that:
    • the Registar’s Office record a “W” on the transcript.
    • the course(s) count as attempted hours
    • the courses are subject to all financial aid and satisfactory academic progress (SAP) rules and calculations.
    • the credit hours for the courses from which the student withdraws count towards the maximum of sixteen (16) credit hours of permitted course withdrawals without extenuating circumstances over the student’s undergraduate degree or degrees.

Students should also understand that:

  • Withdrawal from classes may affect full-time status and thus financial aid and certain privileges.
  • The withdrawal (“W”) grade does not affect the Grade Point Average but will remain on the transcript as an indication of students’ academic behavior. All courses that students attempt are counted as attempted hours and affect calculations of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Academic Standing and Financial Aid.
  • Students who stop attending class and do not complete the withdrawal process will be held accountable for all course work and will receive the earned grade at the end of the semester. Thus, a student who stops attending class but who fails to withdraw may earn a grade of “F”.
  • Students are responsible for addressing all financial obligations incurred during their enrollment, whether owed to the university, the federal government, or a lender.
  • A student should talk with the academic advisor or chairperson before initiating a withdrawal action to make sure that they understand the consequences.

University Withdrawal

A student may officially withdraw from the university without academic penalty until the end of the ninth week of 45th day class of a fall or spring semester; the 12th day of a summer school session; or the 21st day of an eight-week block (see Academic Calendar for specific date each term). The student will receive a grade of “W” for each course in which they were enrolled. Students who find they need to withdraw from the university must submit a signed request to the Registrar.
The withdrawal becomes effective on the date that the Registrar receives the request to withdraw. A student enrolled in only one course must withdraw officially from the university to withdraw from the course.
Unless the university withdrawal was approved for extenuating circumstances the courses in which the student was enrolled at the time of the withdrawal will count towards the sixteen (16) credit hours of course withdrawals without extenuating circumstances permitted over the course of a student’s undergraduate degree or degrees. Once a withdrawal has been processed, it may not be rescinded.

III.     Applicability

This policy is applicable to undergraduate students at Winston-Salem State University.

Responsible Division: Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Authority: Board of Trustees


  • Adopted June 19, 2009
  • Amended December 6, 2013
  • Amended September 16, 2022

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