Appeal for a Hardship Withdrawal

(Effective Summer I, 2011 and beyond)

After Student-initiated withdrawal period has ended

During the student-initiated withdrawal period, students must withdraw themselves through the GoWMU portal. If they have a hold on their account that prevents them from withdrawing on their own, they should send an email to from their student account to request a withdrawal. Students without internet access must go to the Registrar’s office in person to complete paperwork for the withdrawal. Please go to to determine the last day of the student-initiated withdrawal period for any given semester.

After the student-initiated withdrawal period has passed, the only way to withdraw from a course is to meet the definition of hardship:

What may constitute a hardship?

  • Severe physical illness of student or close family member
  • Severe mental illness of student or close family member
  • Traumatic event (death of close family member, act of violence)
  • Exigencies of military service where established procedures are not applicable
  • Student never attended the course (or in the case of an online class, student never participated in the course)

What may not constitute a hardship?

  • Student dislikes the course, teaching method or professor
  • Student believes the course is too difficult or believes instructor is not teaching effectively
  • Student has taken on more academic or other obligations than he or she can handle
  • Financial or employment constraints that were not beyond the students control
  • Situations in which any resolved or unresolved academic integrity charges through the Office of Student conduct exist.

Students have 12 months from the time grades post to engage in the Appeal for a Hardship Withdrawal process. Beyond 12 months, students must seek an exception from the Provost through the Office of the Ombudsman, but must still meet the above hardship criteria in order to seek an exception. In order to seek an exception to the 12 month deadline, students must demonstrate that extenuating circumstances beyond their control prevented them from pursuing a hardship withdrawal within the 12 month time line.


Office of the Ombudsman
2420 Faunce Student Services
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5295 USA
(269) 387-0718 | (269) 387-0716 Fax