Major Change in Withdrawal Process

Beginning Summer I, 2011, students wishing to withdrawal from a course will have only two withdrawal options:

Student-Initiated Withdrawal:

A student may withdraw from one or more courses without academic penalty online through GoWMU from the end of open registration until the last date for student-initiated withdrawal. No documentation is required, but the student is encouraged to consult with the instructor, their academic adviser, and financial aid (if applicable).

Hardship Panel-Approve Withdrawal (previously known as Appeal for a Late Withdrawal):

Withdrawal from a course at any time after the end of the student–initiated withdrawal period will only be permitted through the Hardship Panel withdrawal process of the Grade Appeal and Program Dismissal Committee (GAPDAC). GAPDAC is under the purview of the Professional Concerns Committee of the Faculty Senate. The Hardship Panel will determine if a hardship exists and whether a withdrawal is warranted, and documentation of said hardship is required. The decision of the Hardship Panel is final and not subject to further appeals. Except for documented and exceptional circumstances, hardship petitions will NOT be accepted more than one year after the end of the term or session for which the hardship was documented. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the University Ombudsman before initiating a hardship-based withdrawal appeal.

Hardships may include (but not be limited to): severe physical or mental illness; injury of student or close family member; death of a close family member; act of violence; and exigencies of military service (where established procedures are not applicable). Examples of situations NOT considered a “hardship” include (but are not limited to): student dislikes course, teaching method or professor; student considers course too difficult; student has taken on more academic or other obligations than student can handle; change in major so course no longer needed; financial constraints; any situations of resolved or unresolved academic integrity charges.

Students will no longer be able to approach faculty with a Request to Late Drop a course between the end of the Student-Initiated Withdrawal period and the end of the semester. Withdrawing from a course after the Student-Initiated Withdrawal period has ended must be done through the Hardship-Panel Approved Withdrawal process and documentation of the hardship is required. International student are strongly urged to meet with the Office of International Admissions and Services for further direction.

Please contact the Office of the Ombudsman at 269-387-0718 or email or with any questions!


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