Policy on Withdrawal and Resignation

Withdrawal refers to the situation where a student drops a class or classes, but remains enrolled in at least one class (at least one credit hour) at the university that term. Resignation refers to the student dropping all classes (0 credit hours) and no longer being enrolled that term.

Withdrawal from a Course. Students may withdraw from a course via the web up through the last business day prior to the opening of registration for the following term in spring and fall semester and the posted date in the summer. Students who withdraw from a course before the posted term census date (15th class day in spring and fall and 5th class day in summer) will have no grade assignment and no record of having attempted the course on the transcript. Students who withdraw after census and on or before the withdrawal deadline will have a grade of W for the course recorded on the transcript. Grades of W are not used in calculating the term or cumulative GPA at Auburn University.

A course may be dropped after the withdrawal deadline only under unusual conditions and with special permission. Requests for medical withdrawals (serious physical and/or psychological illness of the student) must be verified and approved by the Office of Accessibility. A medical withdrawal is appropriate when, by recommendation of a licensed health care provider, a student cannot continue enrollment in one or more of his/her courses because of a serious physical and/or psychological condition. Because serious health conditions usually impact all courses, most requests for a medical withdrawal result in a medical resignation (see Resignation from all courses.)   All other requests for withdrawals after the withdrawal deadline, based on extraordinary personal circumstances, must be approved by the student’s associate dean and subsequently by the designated representative from the Office of the Provost. When approval for dropping the course under such circumstances is granted by the Office of Accessibility or the Office of the Provost, a W may be assigned only when the instructor indicates that the student was clearly passing the course on the date of withdrawal. Otherwise, a grade of WF (Withdrawn Failing) is assigned. Grades of WF are used in calculating the term and cumulative GPA and have the same impact as a grade of F. In extraordinary situations, where it can be clearly demonstrated that a failing grade in the class at the time of withdrawal is directly related to the medical or personal situation leading to the withdrawal, a student may request a withdrawal without grade penalty.   The request for withdrawal without grade penalty must be approved by the Office of Accessibility in the case of a medical withdrawal or the student’s associate dean in the case of a personal withdrawal, and finally by the designated representative from the Office of the Provost.  The Office of Accessibility or the student's Associate Dean will notify the student’s professors and ask for any additional information about the student’s progress in the class/ classes—and to determine the student’s grade.

Resignation from all courses. Students are encouraged to contact their advisors and their academic deans before resigning. Resignations can impact financial aid, veteran’s benefits, international student standing, eligibility for varsity athletics, and on-campus housing.

Students may resign without grade penalty if they resign no later than mid-semester (mid-term in the summer). As with course withdrawal, a student may resign after mid-semester (mid-term in the summer) only under unusual circumstances, such as serious illness of the student, serious illness or death of a member of the student’s immediate family, or being called to active military service. A medical resignation is appropriate when, by recommendation of a licensed health care provider, a student cannot continue enrollment in his/her courses because of a serious physical and/or psychological illness. All requests for medical resignations (serious physical and/or psychological illness of the student) must be verified and approved by the Office of Accessibility. All other requests for resignations after mid-term, based on extraordinary personal circumstances, must be approved by the student’s associate dean and subsequently by the designated representative from the Office of the Provost. The Office of Accessibility or associate dean will obtain from the student’s instructors the records of the student’s scholastic standing at the time of resignation. In the case of personal resignations after mid-semester, the associate deans will send the information to the designee from the Office of the Provost who will review the request and decide on final approval.

If on the effective date of the resignation after mid-semester (or mid-term in the summer) the student is failing in over half of the total course hours (where total course hours exclude any grades of W previously recorded for the term), the number of hours reported as failing will be assigned grades of WF and will be used in calculation of the student’s term and cumulative GPA. The hours reported as passing will be assigned grades of W and will not be counted in the term or cumulative GPA at Auburn University. If the student is passing half or more of the total course hours (excluding any grades of W previously recorded for the term), the student will receive grades of W on all course hours and these grades will not enter into the calculation of the student’s Auburn GPA.

When a student is forced to resign after mid-semester, either for medical reasons or for compelling personal reasons, and when the medical condition or extraordinary personal situation can be determined to be the main factor causing scholastic deficiencies, discretionary power in waiving the scholastic penalty will rest with the Office of Accessibility in the case of medical resignations or with the Office of the Provost in the case of personal resignations. All such decisions must include input from the student’s instructors.

In all cases of resignation, if a student has been placed on academic suspension at the end of the last term in residence before the term of resignation, the student’s dean will review the grades at the time of resignation and determine whether the student will be placed on further academic suspension.

Enrollment in Terms Following a Medical Resignation. Students who plan to enroll in subsequent semesters or summer terms following a medical resignation will be required to submit medical documentation from a licensed health care provider which indicates readiness to return to an academic environment. Additionally, academic units reserve the right to request further documentation and/or other requirements specific to the student’s individual program of study. All documentation will be submitted to the Office of Accessibility and is kept confidential. A hold will be placed on the student’s registration until this documentation is submitted. If the student has already registered for the following semester, the schedule will be dropped if documentation is not submitted by a specified date and/or the student has not contacted the Office of Accessibility.

Retroactive Dating of Withdrawals and Resignations. Retroactive dating refers to establishing an effective date for withdrawal or resignation before the date that one is filling out the form, often, prior to midterm. For retroactive dating to be allowed, there must be a compelling reason that the forms were unable to be filed at the requested effective date.

Retroactive withdrawals/ resignations are most frequently initiated when a student has documentation from a health professional (doctor/ psychologist, etc.) verifying a medical condition, which is confirmed by the Office of Accessibility, and the medical condition prevented the student from withdrawing or resigning on the effective date.

When a student initiates any retroactive withdrawal/ resignation, the student’s associate dean must determine if the retroactive withdrawal/ resignation is based on a medical or non-medical justification/ explanation. If the retroactive withdrawal/ resignation is based upon a medical justification/ explanation, the associate dean will direct the student to the Office of Accessibility. The medical documentation must identify why the student was so impaired that he/she was unable to withdraw/ resign in a timely manner.

If the retroactive withdrawal/ resignation is based upon a non-medical justification/ explanation, the associate dean follows the procedures for all other (non-medical) withdrawals/ resignations, gathering information from the instructors and submitting the documentation to the designee from the Office of the Provost. The Provost’s designee will determine why the student was unable to resign in a timely manner and if an earlier effective date is warranted.

If one or more of the student’s instructors has left Auburn University, the instructor(s) should be contacted by email, by the individual recommending the retroactive withdrawal/ resignation, for information. If the faculty member does not respond, the department head/chair should respond on behalf of the faculty member.

Retroactive withdrawals/ resignations should not be undertaken if more than two calendar years have passed since the course(s) was/were taken, without the direct review and approval of the Provost.