Student Affairs at the Gwinnett Campus Course & University Withdrawals
Withdrawal Policies and Guidelines
Students should make the withdrawal decisions in conjunction with their advisors and instructors. In a few circumstances, the Director of Student Affairs collects and verifies information regarding student hardship circumstances that will aid professors in deciding which grade to assign. In each of the options listed below, the ultimate authority for assigning the final grade always lies with the professor and academic department.
Withdrawing From a Course
Prior to the Midpoint
Students withdrawing from some or all of their classes before the midpoint of the semester do so through OASIS. It is not necessary for a student to demonstrate a hardship situation to withdraw before the midpoint. However, due to recent changes in the withdrawal policy, students who are withdrawing before the midpoint due to a personal hardship should discuss their situations with their advisors and/or professors. Because faculty members are required to assign a grade of WP or WF for students who withdraw, they may benefit from information from the Department of Student Affairs verifying the student’s personal hardship circumstances. If that is the case, the student should contact the Department of Student Affairs to discuss how to complete the hardship documentation process. See below for additional details, including the definition of “hardship” and examples.
After the Midpoint and Prior to the End of the Semester
Board of Regents Policy (USG: Academic Affairs Handbook: 2.05) states that students who withdraw from any or all of their classes after the midpoint of the semester must receive a WF unless they have experienced a hardship. A hardship situation is defined as all of the following:
- beyond the student's ability to control (e.g., illness, physical injury, family difficulties, etc.); AND
- directly affects the student's ability to perform or continue in the classes; AND
- can be verified by a credible third party (e.g., doctor, attorney, therapist or counselor, minister, etc.).
Examples of situations that warrant a hardship withdrawal include, but are not limited to:
- Severe illnesses or injuries of an acute emergency nature that incapacitate the student.
- Severe psychological conditions requiring hospitalization or intensive outpatient care for an extended period of time during the semester for which the request is being made.
- A traumatic event (e.g. death of family member, acts of violence, etc.) that clearly impeded a student's ability to perform in the usual manner.
Hardship withdrawals must be complete before 5 pm on the last day of class. Students cannot withdraw once finals have begun. While the Department of Student Affairs makes every attempt to accommodate students and others, the documentation process typically takes several days, so students should plan accordingly.
It is expected that a request for a hardship be for a complete university withdrawal. Any requests for less than a complete withdrawal must include specific documentation that documents why the hardship did not affect all courses.
Further, students who withdraw from any or all of their classes should be aware that a reduction in course load may affect the following:
- Student financial aid
- Health insurance (contact your personal health care insurance provider)
- Departmental academic and graduation requirements and timelines
Requests to withdraw after the midpoint follow this process:
- Student makes an appointment to see the Director of Student Affairs, who explains the hardship verification process and answers questions.
- Student submits requested documentation from a credible third party and the Director of Student Affairs verifies it.
- The DSA notes in OASIS that a hardship situation does or does not exist.
- This notation generates an automatic email to the instructor of each class from which the student is withdrawing.
- Each instructor decides whether to assign a WP or a WF, taking into consideration whether a hardship existed and the student's performance before the onset of the hardship.
The DSA verifies the circumstances of a hardship situation, but does not assign grades. Faculty members always retain the prerogative of assigning a WP or WF depending on the student's class performance before the hardship occurred.
The decision to award an Incomplete is at the discretion of each individual faculty member and her/his academic department. Students who wish to receive an Incomplete should begin by communicating with their instructor(s). At the request of the professor or department, the DSA will verify a hardship situation for the purpose of informing the decision-making process.
Retroactive Grade Changes
After the Semester Ends
Students sometimes petition their professors and academic departments for retroactive grade changes. If the student claims that a hardship, as defined above, is the basis for his/her appeal, the appropriate professor or academic administrator may ask the Director of Student Affairs to verify that hardship as part of the decision-making process. The decision to alter a grade, however, always lies with the instructor and departmental administrators.
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