Late or Retroactive Withdrawals

Consistent with the University’s Withdrawal Policy, students may make a request to withdraw late from all courses during an academic term after the Last Day to Withdraw deadline as noted on the official Academic Calendar, or request a Retroactive Withdrawal after the completion of an academic term, for extenuating circumstances.

Extenuating Circumstances are defined as unforeseen, uncontrollable, and unavoidable events that have resulted in a student's inability to complete academic responsibilities within a given academic term and include:

  1. Health - Physical injury, illness, mental health concerns or substance use that has resulted in the student’s inability to complete academic responsibilities within a given academic term.

  2. Military Service - An Appalachian student who received orders for training or active duty within a given academic term.  

  3. Unforeseen Personal Hardship - An uncontrollable, unavoidable and unforeseen personal event that is over and above the course of everyday experiences that are considered beyond a student’s control, and  impairs a student’s ability to complete the given academic term. Includes but is not limited to the following examples:

    1. Death of an immediate family member. 
    2. Request to care for a seriously ill child or other immediate family member. 
    3. Flood and/or fire of a residence. 
    4. Homelessness

Extenuating Circumstances do not include requests made for:

  • Poor performance in coursework
  • Not wanting to use a career drop
  • Missed deadlines
  • Change of major
  • Jury duty
  • Dropping courses to avoid failing grades
  • Deciding that school/work/life responsibilities are overwhelming
  • Job responsibilities/opportunities
  • Probationary standing
  • Involved in a legal situation as a defendant

Process for Late or Retroactive Withdrawal Requests

Requests for Late or Retroactive Withdrawals may be made by completing the Late or Retroactive Withdrawal Request form. Upon completion, the form, along with substantiating documentation, should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the required deadlines. The completed form and any supporting documentation will be reviewed by a Committee. There is no guarantee that the withdrawal request will be approved. As a result, it is recommended that students continue to attend class, if at all possible, until they are informed of the Committee’s decision but that decision to attend or not is the responsibility of the student.

Requests received after the completion of an academic term will not be eligible for review as a Late Withdrawal. These requests will be considered a Retroactive Withdrawal and will follow that established timeline for review and a decision.

Extenuating Circumstance Guidelines for Documentation

Documentation to substantiate that the nature of the circumstance was uncontrollable, unavoidable and unforeseen, and resulted in the student's inability to complete academic responsibilities within the given term includes:

  1. Health: A student requesting a Late or Retroactive Withdrawal for Health circumstances must submit documentation from a Licensed Medical or Mental health professional on official letterhead which includes:
    1. Diagnosis and/or description of the problem
    2. Period of onset
    3. The degree of functional limitations
    4. Their recommendation regarding the appropriateness of a withdrawal for the student, noting the uncontrollable, unavoidable and uncontrollable disruption in the student's academic functioning (i.e., class attendance, ability to do homework, etc.) for the specified semester.
  2. Military: A student requesting a Late or Retroactive Withdrawal for Military Service Obligation must provide documentation such as Title 10 Active Military Orders with length of time away, Title 32 Training Orders (Two weeks training), or a letter from the Director of Student Veteran Services which validates orders.

  3. HardshipA student requesting a Late or Retroactive Withdrawal for Hardship Circumstances must provide documentation meeting requirements verifying that the personal hardship event was uncontrollable, unavoidable and unforeseen. For example: a recommendation on official letterhead from a professional organization, a Death certificate or Notice of Death.


Review Timelines: 

  • Requests and any supporting documentation submitted by the student are reviewed by a Committee comprised of Appalachian faculty and staff. The Committee will determine if the student meets the requirements for a withdrawal due to an extenuating circumstance(s). 

  • Late Withdrawals will be reviewed on a regular basis beginning after the Last Day to Withdraw Deadline, as noted on the official Academic Calendar, through the Last Day of Classes for the current term.
    • Students will be contacted via their App State email with a decision within fifteen (15) business days of their completed request. Because there is no guarantee that the withdrawal request will be approved, it is recommended that students continue to attend class, if at all possible, until they are informed of the Committee’s decision but that decision to attend or not is the responsibility of the student.
  • Retroactive Withdrawals are those requests made after the completion of an academic term. These will be reviewed three times per year. Reviews will be conducted after the last day of class for both Fall and Spring Semester and once during the summer. 
    • Students will be contacted via their App State email with a decision. In cases where a student no longer has an active App State email account, the decision will be sent to the email provided by the student on the request form. 

  • Students denied a late or retroactive withdrawal may appeal the decision to the Associate Vice Provost of Enrollment Management. Appeals must be received within ten (10) calendar days from the date Appalachian’s decision is provided to the student via their App State email account. In cases where a student no longer has an active App State email account, the decision will be sent to the email provided by the student on the request form. 
  • In cases where an appeal deadline falls on a weekend or University closure, the deadline for filing the appeal will be extended to the next University business day. Requests received after any appeal deadline will not be eligible for review.


Re-Enrollment Steps:

  • When a student decides to return to Appalachian, they will be required to submit a Return Request form and, if requested by the University, supporting documentation showing that the Extenuating Circumstance(s) has been mitigated and the student is able to continue their academic studies successfully. The documentation will be reviewed by the Committee before re-enrollment will be allowed.
  • Upon approval to re-enroll by the Committee, students must then complete the Readmission Process in accordance with applicable dates and deadlines. Failure to meet stated deadlines at any point in the process may prevent the student from re-enrolling for a given term.
  • Students denied re-enrollment may appeal the decision to the Associate Vice Provost of Enrollment Management. Appeals must be received within ten (10) calendar days from the date Appalachian’s decision is provided to the student via their App State email account. In cases where a student no longer has an active App State email account, the decision will be sent to the email provided by the student on the request form. 
  • In cases where an appeal deadline falls on a weekend or University closure, the deadline for filing the appeal will be extended to the next University business day. Requests received after any appeal deadline will not be eligible for review.