Withdrawal FAQs

What is a withdrawal?  

Students may withdraw from a course/courses (course withdrawal) or all courses in a term (term withdrawal). A "W" will appear next to the withdrawn course(s) on the student's transcript. 

To whom does this policy apply?  

The policy applies to all undergraduate students. This policy does not apply to graduate students. 

What is the difference between a drop and a withdrawal?  

A drop occurs when you remove yourself from a course before or during the course adjustment period which is the first five days in the fall/spring terms. There are no academic consequences from this action, but there may be financial aid repercussions for this drop if you no longer meet aid qualifications. 

A withdrawal from a course occurs when you remove yourself from a course after the course adjustment period has concluded. There will be financial repercussions for this withdrawal based on the refund schedule. The academic consequences from this action include receiving a "W" for the course, which will appear on any unofficial or official transcripts. A grade of "W" will not impact your GPA, but does not count as completed credit toward your degree which has implications for Satisfactory Academic Progress and Tuition Surcharge. 

How many times can I withdraw from a course or term? 

Course: Each incoming student (freshmen and transfer) receives a 16 semester hour allotment to use for course withdrawals. This allotment is for course withdrawals only and is a separate "bank" from a term withdrawal. 

Term: There is an unlimited times that a student may withdraw from a term.

Are dropped courses used during the Course Adjustment Period included within the 16 semester hour allotment?

No, courses that are dropped during the Course Adjustment Period are not considered withdrawals and are not covered by this rule. 

What is the total number of semester hours allowed for course withdrawals?  

The new limit is sixteen (16) semester hours. Prior to fall 2015, the course withdrawals was limited to four courses. All students will begin with the 16 semester hour bank regardless of how many course withdrawals were used prior to fall 2015.

I am a transfer student. Are my term withdrawals prorated?

All students, regardless of when they enter ECU, start with a 16 semester hour course withdrawal bank from which to draw.

What should I do if my professor recommends I withdraw from a course?

Talk with your instructor. Your instructor can inform you about your progress in the course based on the grading criteria stated in the syllabus and your participation and grades earned to date. Your instructor may also be able to explore opportunities that may allow you to successfully complete the course in accordance with University guidelines and policies.

Who should I contact FIRST if I am thinking of withdrawing?

If you are considering withdrawing from a course, discuss this first with your instructor and then contact your academic advisor. Your advisor can help you understand the consequences of withdrawing from a course and the impact on your graduation goal. The advisor can help you strategize the best options, which will likely include speaking with your instructor.  

How do I process a withdrawal? The process for withdrawing is based on timing. If you are withdrawing from a course or term: 

  1. Within the first 60% of the term, email to process the request. 
  2. After 60% of the term:Extenuating circumstances can warrant consideration for withdrawal beyond the withdrawal periods. Students may petition the Dean of Students for course withdrawals by exception. Petitions for withdrawals after the deadline will typically be granted only for unforeseen and uncontrollable medical, psychological, or personal reasons directly affecting the course(s). Poor performance in course work;missed deadlines;change of major;or a course grade's adverse effect on the student's grade point average, probationary standing, or other eligibility is not in of itself a sufficient basis for exception. The Dean of Students will not accept requests after the last regularly scheduled class meeting prior to the final examination for the course(s) in question except where earlier requests could not have been foreseen. Students whose petitions for withdrawals are denied by the Dean of Students may appeal the decision to the Student Academic Appellate Committee (SAAC). The decision of the Student Academic Appellate Committee is final. 

Do W's count toward tuition surcharge? 

Yes, Withdrawals count toward the total number of attempted credits according to the Tuition Surcharge Policy unless there is an extenuating circumstance. 

If I am readmitted under Readmission under Forgiveness policies, does my withdraw limit record continue from where I left off, or is it reset?  

If you are granted readmission to the University based on the forgiveness policies, your withdraw limit will be reset at 16 semester hours.

If I must discontinue a course, having surpassed the withdrawal limit, and receive a D or F in the course, can I apply for grade replacement?

The grade replacement policy will continue to apply as currently stated. 

If I withdraw from a course twice, does it count double towards the W-limit hours?

Yes, each time you withdraw from a course, the number of semester hours will be deducted from the 16 W-limit hours that you are allowed. 

What happens when I have reached my withdrawal limit, but need to withdraw anyway? 

Unless you have extenuating cause that prevents you from continuing in the course, you can expect to receive whatever grade is due in the course at the end of the semester. You will also be responsible to pay 100% of the assessed tuition and fee charges. Please consider the following two examples: 

  • A student has already received W grades for 14 semester hours and thus has only 2 W-limit hours left. The student may not withdraw from a 3 semester hour course, but could withdraw from a 1- or 2 semester hour course. 

Why is the policy on withdrawing from courses changing?

In January 2013, the University of North Carolina (UNC) General Administration transmitted a system-wide policy to all campuses within the UNC system;one aspect of the regulations relates specifically to a cap on withdrawals (W's) permitted to students.