Definition: If a student decides after the drop period has ended that they are unable to finish all of their courses, they have the option of withdrawing from all courses. This is defined as a “university withdrawal” regardless of whether the student plans to return to BSU in the semester immediately following or not.
There are a number of ways in which a student may withdraw from the university, including voluntary withdrawal, voluntary medical withdrawal and voluntary late withdrawal, as well as interim involuntary withdrawal and involuntary withdrawal. Depending on the manner in which a student withdraws, the student will be required to follow certain steps to be reinstated to the university.
Accommodations for Students with Documented Disabilities in the Withdrawal Process
At any point in the withdrawal process, a student may seek input or discuss with Disability Resource Office, the availability of a reasonable accommodation. A student with a disability who desires an accommodation must request an accommodation by following the procedure for requesting an accommodation through the Disability Resource Office. The Disability Resource Office will make a determination regarding the request and notify the appropriate parties. A student will not be considered to have a disability unless and until the student registers with the Disability Resources Office. The Disability Resources Office can be contacted via phone at (508.531.2194) or by email at Disability_Resources@bridgew.edu for further information.
Reasonable accommodations depend upon the nature and degree of severity of the individual’s documented disability and the setting for which the accommodations are requested. The university is not required to grant a requested accommodation that is unreasonable, ineffective, an undue burden or substantially alters a university program, service, or practice. Reasonable accommodations will be provided as required by law.
Deadline to Withdraw
It is recommended that a student apply for a withdrawal as soon as possible, and in accordance with the deadlines published on the Registrar’s website. The last date to withdraw is when 70 percent of the semester is complete. However, in extraordinary circumstances, students may apply for a medical or late withdrawal. Please know that medical or late withdrawals must be made within one academic year after the term of a student’s last term of enrollment.
While this Policy identifies certain university officers, employees and others who have particular roles and duties, each such party and/or the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management or the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, may designate other officers or employees to perform such roles or duties set forth herein.
Withdrawals When Disciplinary Matters are Pending
Please note that if a student withdraws with pending disciplinary charges of any kind, the student will be subject to the provisions of the applicable university policy, procedure or The Student Code of Conduct. The university reserves the right to initiate these procedures at any time, including after the student has chosen to withdraw and/or before the student is allowed to return to university. Additionally, if a student is subsequently separated or expelled from the university, or a grade change is warranted, the student’s academic record will be updated to reflect that suspension, expulsion, or any grade that might be assigned.
I. Voluntary Withdrawal from the University
Any undergraduate student considering a withdrawal from the university (for reasons other than a medical need or late withdrawal because of an emergency) must meet with a professional advisor in the Academic Achievement Center to: discuss any alternatives to withdrawal; identify the possible implications of withdrawing; review the process for returning; and prepare the necessary paperwork to withdraw. This important consultation will include careful consideration of the many possible implications of withdrawing such as completion of current coursework and graduation requirements, financial aid, account balances, student employment, on-campus housing, health insurance, pending disciplinary matters, immigration status, participation in extracurricular activities, etc. As a result of this discussion, the student will be prepared to follow-up with any of the other offices that might need to be notified of or consulted about the student’s withdrawal. Withdrawals from the university requested before the published deadline are generally approved.
Once the semester is 70 percent complete, withdrawals will no longer be accepted and courses will be graded accordingly. This is after the 10th week for full semester courses. Appeals for late university withdrawal must be submitted to the Academic Affairs Designee within one academic year from date of the last term of enrollment.
If a student leaves the university without processing an official withdrawal, failing grades may be recorded in all courses. Additionally, no refunds will be considered unless the above outlined procedure is followed.
Any student who chooses to withdraw from a course or courses, must follow the procedure identified below. Please be aware a student may not withdraw from a course (versus withdrawal from university enrollment) for medical or emergency reasons after 70% of the semester has been completed, unless an injury prevents a student from completing a course(s).
The following links may provide additional helpful information:
- Student Accounts
- Financial Aid Refund Policy
- Tuition and Fees Policy
- Course withdrawal process
- Reinstatement and Readmission Policy
- Graduate Withdrawal Policy
Process to Reinstatement/Readmission Following a Withdrawal
Please refer to the university catalogue for the Undergraduate Reinstatement and Readmission Policy
II. Medical Withdrawal and Late Withdrawal
The university understands that students may experience physical or psychiatric situations that may significantly impair their ability to function successfully or safely in their role as students. In those situations, students may request a medical withdrawal. The goal of a medical withdrawal is to ensure that students return to the university with an increased opportunity for success.
The university uses a flexible and individualized process to allow students to request a medical withdrawal to receive treatment to address their medical difficulties so they can later return to the university and successfully achieve their academic goals. Because every situation is different, the conditions of the medical withdrawal will be determined individually based upon the student’s personal situation and in consultation with the student. Any conditions of the medical withdrawal will be incorporated into a written agreement with the student and a hold may be placed on the student’s account.
Similarly, when extraordinary circumstances arise after the published withdrawal date that prevent a student from continuing enrollment, a student may request for a late withdrawal. Such examples might include, but are not limited to, death of immediate family member, extreme personal financial hardship, military deployment, or training.
Advantages of Taking a Medical Withdrawal or Late Withdrawal
Students who take a medical or late withdrawal may be eligible for the following advantages that may not be afforded by other types of withdrawals:
- Withdrawal from enrollment later in the semester or session than is normally permitted with the approval of Academic Affairs. Please note that no withdrawal request will be considered unless it is received within one academic year after the term of the student’s last term of enrollment.
- Grades will not be recorded for the term. The university will reflect an approved medical withdrawal or late withdrawal on the student’s transcript as a “W” or, with respect to a medical withdrawal, as an “ME” upon written request by the student.
- Prioritized consideration for on campus housing upon reinstatement.
- In extraordinary circumstances, the university may, in its sole discretion, provide a refund. However, it is important to note that a medical withdrawal or late withdrawal does not dismiss the student from the student’s entire financial obligation to the university and does not guarantee a refund. The student may still be responsible for outstanding fees or fines. Additionally, the student may be responsible for repayment of financial aid if mandated by the federal government. If a student who has received financial aid withdraws before completing 60% of the semester (for extraordinary reasons or not), the U.S. Department of Education requires the university to perform a Return of Title IV calculation to determine what financial aid must be returned to the federal government.
- Additional possible benefits of medical withdrawals:
- Students who are currently enrolled in the BSU Health Insurance Plan, it is possible to seek permission to stay on that plan until the end of that premium period.
- For students who have purchased tuition reimbursement insurance, a medical withdrawal generally qualifies a student for benefits under tuition insurance plans they may carry. However, please refer to your policy for clarification.
- For international students, a medical withdrawal may provide a way to remain in the United States in compliance with applicable immigration regulations. Additionally, international students who are currently enrolled in the BSU Health Insurance Plan may request that the university allow them to stay on the plan until the end of the premium period. For further information, please consult with International Student and Scholar Services, (508.531.6195), firstname.lastname@example.org. For immigration regulations. Please consult with International Student and Scholar Services, (508.531.6195), email@example.com.
Process for Medical or Late Withdrawal*
The request for a medical withdrawal or late withdrawal must be submitted to the Academic Affairs Designee by the student (or family) in writing. If preferred, the student/family can work with the Academic Affairs Designee to share resources in person. This office can be reached at (508.531.1214).
Once this information is obtained, the Academic Affairs Designee will evaluate the request and any re-enrollment plans in consultation with other appropriate university personnel. Depending on the circumstances, an individualized risk assessment may be conducted as part of the consultative process.
The Academic Affairs Designee will make a determination regarding whether or not the request qualifies for a medical or late withdrawal, and if applicable, for subsequent reinstatement subject to certain conditions and notify the student in writing of the decision.
If a student’s request for a medical or a late withdrawal is denied, the student will be advised of the decision in writing. If the request is denied, the student may appeal that decision in writing to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or designee and the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or designee regarding granting of an appeal.
*Please note the following:
- Withdrawals within the deadline – Students must complete withdrawal form and meet with an advisor from the Academic Achievement Center (AAC) (508.531.1214). Student submits withdrawal form to Registrar for processing.
- Medical Withdrawals within the deadline – Students must complete withdrawal form, meet with an advisor from the AAC, and prepare request for medical withdrawal with supporting medical information. The Director of the AAC will inform the student in writing regarding the request for a medical withdrawal, including steps for readmission.
- Late Withdrawals – Students must complete withdrawal form, meet with an advisor from the AAC, and prepare request for late withdrawal. Assistant Administrative Dean of Academic Affairs will inform student in writing regarding request for late withdrawal. Students can appeal the decision in writing to a committee comprised of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or designee and the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or designee.
- Late Medical Withdrawals– Students must complete withdrawal form, meet with an advisor from the AAC, and prepare request for late withdrawal with supporting medical documentation. The Assistant Administrative Dean of Academic Affairs will inform student in writing regarding request for late medical withdrawal. Students can appeal the decision in writing to a committee comprised of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or designee and the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or designee.
III. Interim Involuntary Withdrawal and Involuntary Withdrawal
In situations in which a student presents a significant risk of harm to the safety, health, or well-being of any person or the campus community or where the ability of the university to carry out its essential operations is seriously threatened or impaired (collectively referred to as a “Serious Risk of Harm”), the university may require the student to withdraw in accordance with the following procedures.
This policy does not take the place of disciplinary action and sanctions associated with a student’s behavior that is in violation of any law or university rule, code, or policy, including, but not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct or the policies set forth in the Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan, or the Academic Integrity Policy. Such processes may run concurrently.
An Involuntary Withdrawal is meant to be used in cases where students experience needs that exceed the university’s services or resources. In such circumstances, the student will be advised to consider a voluntary withdrawal. If the student declines to voluntarily withdraw from the university, the university may involuntarily withdraw the student in situations where: (1) the student is unable or unwilling to carry out substantial self-care obligations; (2) the student has health needs requiring a level of care that exceeds what the university can appropriately provide; (3) the student presents a substantial risk of seriously affecting the health or well-being of any student or other member of the university community; (4) the student causes a substantial disruption to the university community.
Upon learning of credible evidence, including observed or recorded behavior, that a student may pose a Serious Risk of Harm, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or designee may initiate the following procedures:
- Interim Involuntary Withdrawal. In circumstances where a student’s behavior may pose an imminent Serious Risk of Harm, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or designee may immediately implement an interim involuntary withdrawal or other measures. Under such circumstances, the student will receive notice of the interim involuntary withdrawal and will have an initial opportunity to respond to the evidence; however, the student’s right to more fully respond to the evidence and provide additional information will be delayed until it has been determined that there is no imminent Serious Risk of Harm, in accordance with the process outlined below.
- Involuntary Withdrawal Process. In instances where an Interim Involuntary Withdrawal was not initiated, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or designee will notify the student that an involuntary withdrawal is under consideration and provide the student with a copy of this policy and a description of the reasons involuntary withdrawal is under consideration and the implications of an involuntary withdrawal. Whenever appropriate, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or designee will discuss with the student the opportunity to take a voluntary withdrawal from the university or agree to other measures that could mitigate the Serious Risk of Harm.
- The Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or designee will consult as appropriate and feasible in the circumstances with appropriate university personnel and others regarding whether the student poses a Serious Risk of Harm.
- The Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or designee may require an evaluation of the student’s behavior and any relevant physical/mental conditions by an appropriate provider designated by the university if the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students believes that an evaluation will facilitate an informed decision. A student who fails or refuses to undertake a requested evaluation may not be permitted to return to the university as determined at the discretion of the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or designee.
- The student will be offered a reasonable opportunity to address the evidence and to provide additional information relevant to the university’s evaluation, including information from student’s treatment provider(s) if applicable.
- Following a review of the best available relevant information, including available current medical information, and these consultations, the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students or designee will determine whether to impose an involuntary withdrawal.
- If an involuntary withdrawal is imposed, the university will give the student written notice of the decision, including the beginning date and notification of any conditions that must be satisfied in order to return to the university. The student must leave campus (or the applicable university program or activity) within the time frame established in the written notice. In accordance with applicable law, the university may notify a parent, guardian or other person, if notification is deemed appropriate. During the duration of the involuntary withdrawal, the student may visit the university’s owned or leased property only with the prior written authorization from the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students. Conditions for return following an involuntary withdrawal will be determined by the university on an individualized basis and will be documented in the involuntary withdrawal notification. For examples of the types of conditions that may be imposed, please refer to “Return from Involuntary Withdrawal” below.
- If an Involuntary Withdrawal is not imposed, the university will provide written notice of that decision.
IV. Governing Principles for Medical, Late, and/or Involuntary Withdrawal:
Medical, Late, and Involuntary Withdrawals are governed by the following principles:
Determination / Assessment Principles
- Any withdrawal determinations should be based on an assessment of current, available medical documentation or advice about the student, and/or observable conduct that affects the health, safety, or welfare of the campus community
- Any assessments of risks should be individualized and conducted in a team environment
- In the absence of an emergency or direct threat, voluntary withdrawal or restrictions shall be encouraged prior to any determination of involuntary withdrawal
- Any imposed conditions, including re-enrollment conditions (if any), will be reasonable and individualized for a particular student’s situation
- Any conduct code or other policies relevant to a withdrawal shall be applied equally to all similarly-situated students, i.e., without regard to known or perceived medical or mental health conditions
Procedural / Timing Principles
- Students shall be provided notice of any withdrawal determinations and shall be afforded the opportunity to appeal such determinations
- Withdrawal determinations should proceed as quickly as possible to allow a student experiencing difficulties to receive the support they need
- The date of withdrawal for tuition refund purposes is the last date of class attendance. Charges for other services provided by the university including but not limited to housing, dining and parking, are incurred as they are used or as otherwise required by contract or policy.
- The Academic Affairs Designee will maintain all medical documentation related to withdrawal determinations but may share such documentation with others within the University with whom the office consults, on a need-to-know basis and consistent with applicable privacy laws
V. Reinstatement and Readmission Following a Medical, Late, and/or Involuntary Withdrawal
Students wishing to be reinstated or readmitted following a medical, late, or an involuntary withdrawal, must satisfy the re enrollment conditions established at the time of the withdrawal. If medical documentation was established as a condition for re enrollment, the university will give significant weight to the opinion of the student’s treatment providers regarding the student’s readiness to return to the academic environment at the university, with or without accommodations. In extraordinary circumstances, the university may require the student to undergo an additional individualized assessment to make a determination regarding the student’s readiness for return. The university may also impose conditions on the student as part of their return, based on the particular student’s situation.
Additionally, in reviewing requests for return from a medical, late or involuntary withdrawal, the university looks for evidence that the issues that led to the request to withdraw have been addressed. Specifically, that the student has maintained stability and demonstrated follow through with treatment for a sufficient period of time to enable the student to be successful. Additionally, evidence of productive functioning (i.e. employment, volunteerism, etc.) is looked upon favorably.
A student may appeal any decision concerning reinstatement to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee and the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management or designee.
If a student is permitted to re enroll following a withdrawal, the student is responsible for coordinating the return to the university community with the appropriate university offices. A student must also resolve any outstanding Code of Conduct issues with the Office of Community Standards and/or the Equal Opportunity Office prior to their return.
Reviewed and Revised 8/2020 by Peter Wiernicki, Community Standards and Mary Ellis, Academic Affairs