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Hardship Withdrawals

Occasionally, students experience hardships which prevent them from continuing their academic courses and/or programs in the current semester. In these cases, students can apply for a hardship withdrawal.

Examples of hardship include, but are not limited to, medical or health emergencies, death or illness of a loved one and demonstrated financial loss that cannot be remedied by Financial Aid.

Hardship withdrawals are available to students who are withdrawing from ALL semester coursework. You can consult the academic calendar to determine if you can withdraw from select courses or if you are past the deadline, you can work with your academic college to file an academic petition.

When to file for a Hardship Withdrawal

Making the decision about withdrawing for the semester is a difficult one and is a last resort decision. You should first consider options that will make forward academic progress whenever possible. When making the decision about whether a hardship withdrawal is right for you, consider the following:

  • Have you worked with your faculty on taking an incomplete in the course? If you have participated in the course in a substantial way, your faculty may approve you taking an incomplete and give you more time to finish the course work.
  • Have you asked your faculty if you can convert your grading to “pass/fail”? Please speak with your academic advisor regarding that process to see if this would be a good option for you.
  • Have you considered taking a smaller credit load by dropping just one or two classes? If you are within the first 10 days of classes, you can withdraw yourself for the semester by logging on to VandalWeb and withdrawing from courses without any notation of that course on your transcript. You will also want to consult with Financial Aid to determine if that will affect any aid or scholarships based on your new credit load. More information on the general withdrawal process can be found here.

Depending on your situation, pursuing these options may be a better solution than taking a full semester withdrawal because you will continue to make forward academic progress.

Hardship Withdrawal Process

Before you start the hardship withdrawal process, please consider the following before you submit your application.

  • If you received Financial Aid for the semester you are petitioning to withdraw, contact the Financial Aid office at 208-885-6312 to learn more about potential impacts of the withdrawal.
  • If you received Veteran’s benefits for the semester you are petitioning to withdraw from contact the Veteran Assistance office at 208-885-7989 to learn more about potential impacts of the withdrawal.
  • If you are receiving an athletic (NCAA) scholarship, you need to contact Financial Aid at 208-885-6312 to determine potential impacts to your scholarship.
  • If you currently live in on-campus housing contact Housing and Residence Life at 208-885-6571 to discuss next steps for your housing contract obligations.
  • If you are an international student on an F-1 or J-1 visa contact the International Programs Office at 208-885-8984 to learn more about potential impacts of the withdrawal.
  • If you received accommodations for the semester contact the Center for Disability Access and Resources at 208-885-6307 to discuss next steps for your accommodations.

Hardship Withdrawal Deadline

The deadline to apply for a hardship withdrawal is 5 p.m. on the last day of classes prior to finals week. This is typically the Friday before final exams but you should consult the academic calendar to be sure.

If you are unable to meet this deadline, please contact your academic college to start the academic petitions process.

Hardship Withdrawal Application

To apply for a semester hardship withdrawal, you must submit a hardship withdrawal application with the following documentation uploaded into the form or, in the case of the personal statement, answered within the form:

  • A personal statement that addresses the following*:
    • Explain the hardship that occurred that prevented you from withdrawing by the academic withdrawal deadline. Provide specific dates when the events occurred and how the circumstances impacted your ability to meet your academic requirements.
    • Explain why you did not withdraw from the current semester before the deadline.
    • Describe the steps you took to address your extenuating circumstances as they began to affect your academics.
  • Documentation that supports and verifies the circumstances and dates provided in your personal statement. Documentation should be on business letterhead of the certifying person (e.g. doctor, lawyer, counselor, employer, etc.).  Hospital bills, legal writs, obituaries, and other related documentation of circumstances are also acceptable.
  • If the hardship is related to a medical issue, the care provider must have a legitimate, health-based reason to support the request for a semester withdrawal. If they have not been providing treatment to the student, or only have limited information, they may not have enough knowledge of your concerns to provide documentation. Documentation from a care provider must contain the following:
    • Care provider’s name/office letterhead
    • A brief statement identifying you as the patient or client
    • The date of onset of illness
    • Dates of medical care
    • General nature of your medical condition
    • How your medical condition prevented you from completing course work
    • The last date you were able to attend class
  • If the student doesn’t have a current care provider, Student Health Services may be consulted for medical issues and the Counseling and Mental Health Center may be consulted for mental health issues.  

*Note: If any section isn’t answered in full, your application will not be approved.

Financial Information

The University of Idaho does not generally issue refunds after the refund deadline. However, in instances of hardship withdrawals, U of I issues financial credits based on this schedule. Any financial credit will be based solely on the date of hardship withdrawal submission, not on the last date of attendance.

Next Steps

When the hardship withdrawal application is submitted, it will be reviewed and either approved or denied. If it denied, the student will receive an email indicating the denial.

If approved, the following will occur:

  • The Dean of Students staff notifies the Office of the Registrar, Student Accounts, Student Health Insurance, Housing & Residence Life and Financial Aid of your withdrawal on your behalf.
  • You will withdraw from your courses if you are within the academic deadline to do so. If it is after the deadline to withdraw, the Office of the Registrar will withdraw your enrollment. Your transcript will be notated with a WU grade for each class; WU grades do not affect GPA or academic standing and do not count toward your withdraw credits.
  • Student Accounts will audit your account and bill you for any outstanding fees. It takes 10 days to two weeks for the audit of a student account. If you have no balance or have a credit, a statement will be issued as well as a refund, if you are eligible. Be sure your current permanent address is on file in order to avoid financial holds on your registration or charges for late payments.
  • If you live in university housing, you should notify Housing & Residence Life to schedule a time to move out and return your keys.
  • If you are a dependent student, we do NOT notify your parents/guardians unless you have signed a waiver releasing us to do so. If you have done so, but have not communicated that you are withdrawing, you need to notify them. If they contact the university and there is a release on file, we will provide them the information we have.
  • Because a withdrawal impacts your education, financial aid and family financial planning, you need to talk openly with your family members so that they can support you and help you re-evaluate your academic and health plan.
  • If you are receiving veteran’s benefits, you must notify Veteran’s Services to avoid disruption to your aid.
  • If you are an international student on a visa, you must notify International Programs Office to determine next steps for visa compliance.
  • If you are receiving an athletic scholarship (NCAA), you must notify Athletics in order to avoid disruption to your status.

Hardship Withdrawals FAQ

All U of I students, including graduate and professional students, are eligible for hardship withdrawals as long as the request is for the term in which you are currently enrolled and if you are wishing to withdraw from all coursework. If you wish to drop to half-time, or withdraw from selected classes, you must contact your academic advisor or college office.

Academic regulations prohibit the Dean of Students office from selectively withdrawing students from individual classes. We are also unable to withdraw a student from any previously completed terms. Students wishing to withdraw from a summer session should understand that all sessions are considered part of a single term; if you only wish to withdraw from a single session, you must petition through your academic college.

Students who are receiving Pell Grants, Direct Student Loans, Parent PLUS loans and other financial support through the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office should contact the office PRIOR to withdrawing.

Generally, if you withdraw from a term, your aid will be suspended for the following year. However, you can contact the dean’s office of your academic college to assist you with petitioning to have your aid reinstated.

The registrar is notified at the time you withdraw that you have left for hardship reasons. Financial aid issues are handled separately and individually. You must contact your academic dean’s office directly if you plan to return to campus and request to have your aid reinstated.

The University of Idaho does not generally issue refunds after the refund deadline. However, in instances of hardship withdrawals, U of I issues financial credits based on this schedule.

If you are enrolled in the University of Idaho Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP), please email regarding your continued eligibility for coverage.  The email should be sent from your official Vandal email and include your name and Vandal number.

If you need to drop a single class you have been attending, you must follow the withdrawal process found here.

If you are approved for a hardship withdrawal, you will have “WU” as a code on your transcript indicating that you withdrew from the semester. The “WU” does not count toward total withdrawal credits or affect your GPA.

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