Special Circumstance Late Drop/Withdrawal
For extenuating circumstances occurring within 12 months of the application review.
What is a Special Circumstance Request?
A student may request to drop a course, multiple courses, or withdraw after the date to do so through the special circumstance process. A student may also include a request to receive a refund for tuition and fees associated with the identified course(s). Requests may be made up to a year following the completion of the impacted semester.
Special circumstance requests must be based on a verifiable significant unforeseen circumstance during the semester in question. Each request is reviewed individually. The specific set of circumstances of each request is considered prior to a decision being made. Example reasons a student may consider requesting a special circumstance may include:
- The death of a spouse, child, parent, or other dependent.
- A significant injury or medical condition to the student or a dependent, requiring ongoing care that prevents or significantly interferes with the individual’s ability to be a student.
- The student entering intensive or inpatient treatment for a current and/or chronic medical condition.
Special Circumstance Application
When to Refer Someone for a Special Circumstance Request
Students may consider submitting a request when they have experienced a significant event, such as major mental or physical illness, significant incapacity, or other life-changing event during the semester in question.
Students should exhaust all other options prior to submitting a special circumstance request. Other options typically include talking with the instructor regarding the student’s situation, requesting an incomplete, dropping the course(s), withdrawing from the semester, and/or submitting an administrative procedures petition.
If a student is still in the timeframe to drop or withdraw on their own, the student needs to drop the class(es) via Campus Connection or complete the withdrawal form found in the eForms tab in their Campus Connection home page. Students should only complete a Special Circumstance request prior to the last day to drop or withdraw if it is for a refund only.
Process for Filling a Special Circumstance Late Drop/Withdrawal
Students must submit a special circumstance application, provide a personal statement, and provide a professional letter of support.
The professional letter of support should:
- Be provided by a professional (doctor, therapist, lawyer, etc.) with knowledge of the student’s situation,
- Be on letterhead, contain a signature block, and have a personal signature,
- Include dates of service(s) and provide an overview of the service(s) provided, and
- Should address why the student should be granted a special circumstance request and the impact the circumstance had on the student’s ability to attend class and/or meet academic obligations.
Students will have 30 days to complete their application once they file initial paperwork with the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities. Incomplete applications will be considered inactive after 30 days.
All documentation provided is private and will only be shared with the appropriate members of UND; so as to make a decision regarding the application.
Refunds will be considered for life-changing circumstances occurring within twelve months of the application review. Applications detailing extenuating circumstances to this guideline may be considered at the discretion of the Dean of Students
Students are responsible for checking with faculty members to determine if another course of action can be taken to address the situation.
- Can the student take an incomplete; so as to complete the course?
- Are there other options that could be arranged in consultation with faculty members?
- Can the student take the course again in an attempt (at own cost or expense) to get a better grade?
Students are responsible for checking with One-Stop to see how a drop/withdrawal will impact present and future financial aid as well as loan repayment. It is suggested that students meet with a One-Stop advisor prior to completing this application.
Students are responsible for checking with the appropriate office to see how a drop/withdrawal impacts their student status, (i.e. Immigration Office, Veteran & Military Services Office, ROTC, Athletic compliance, etc.).
Review of Special Circumstance Requests
All completed special circumstance requests are reviewed by the dean of students. Reviews are typically done the first week of the month following a submitted request.
Requests are reviewed, in part, based on the following:
- Does the reason for the request represent a significant event? Was it unforeseen?
- How was the student performing academically prior to the event? Was the student utilizing campus services?
- Did the student exhaust other options available to them? Could have they dropped the course(s) or withdrawn?
- Was the student, or should have the student been, aware of their academic performance prior to the end of the semester?
- Does the professional support documentation align with the stated reason for the request?
- Is the request for a semester that concluded within the past 12 months? If not, why not?
- Has the student previously requested a special circumstance? If so, was it for a similar reason?
Upon reviewing a request, the dean of students may approve the request, deny the request, or request additional information.
Requests are reviewed with the student’s academic college prior to final approval.
There is no appeal process for special circumstance requests. However, students may submit additional information and documentation regarding their requests. If additional information is provided it will be rereviewed.
Questions Regarding the Process
Information regarding the special circumstance process is available online and questions may also be directed to any of the OSRR staff.