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Academic Advising


Hardship Withdrawal

If a mental health, medical, or special circumstance prevented academic success during a past semester or the Withdrawal Fail (WF) period of a current semester, students may be interested in petitioning for a hardship withdrawal.

Announcements

Petition submission is now open for the April 2019 review period. The deadline for online applications is March 6, 2019. 

 

About Hardship Withdrawals

Under the University’s withdrawal policy, if a student is experiencing a significant personal hardship that has prevented academic success during a past semester or the Withdrawal Fail (WF) period of a current semester, the student may be eligible to withdraw from all courses for the semester of concern. A hardship is defined as a mental health, medical, or family emergency; acute episode of a prolonged illness; or other traumatic event. 

Before the Withdrawal Fail (WF) period of a current semester, there is no hardship withdrawal option -- since you can still drop your courses through Self Service Carolina without failing courses. Please visit the "Dropping Courses" or "Leaving USC" page of this website. Students have two years from the semester of concern to petition for that semester.

This process is for hardship only. If you are seeking an alternative (non-hardship) means to dropping courses after the Withdrawal Fail deadline of a semester; wish to remove or prevent unwanted grade, or hope to avoid or resolve academic, financial aid, or conduct-related consequences, please consider speaking with your academic advisor or professor/instructor about alternative grade options. 

Students are required to review all information on this page before submitting a petition. Petitions are only accepted from students, and there is no appeal process for denied or approved hardship withdrawal petitions.

Things to Consider Before You Submit a Petition

Petition Deadlines
Deadlines are listed below, but are subject to change. 
Application Submission Deadline Decision Notification
March 6, 2019 mid-April
February 13, 2019 end of March 2019
*review delayed due to Spring Break
January 8, 2019 mid-February 2019
Types of Hardship Withdrawals
Full Withdrawal

A full hardship withdrawal is defined as withdrawing from all courses for the semester of concern. If a hardship withdrawal is approved, W’s will appear as placeholders for the withdrawn courses on the student’s transcript. W’s do not affect a student’s GPA, but students are encouraged to speak with their academic advisor about degree progression before they submit a petition.

Students are also encouraged to review the Things to Consider Before You Submit a Petition section below for important details on leaving USC with the intent to return, plus financial aid and other obligations.

Partial Withdrawal

A partial withdrawal is defined as withdrawing from one or more classes, but not all courses for the semester of request. Partial withdrawals are only granted under exceptional circumstances – as the hardship must be specific to the classes for which the student is petitioning for withdrawal. Partial requests must be supported by the documentation submitted with the petition. If a partial hardship withdrawal is approved, W’s will appear as a placeholder for the withdrawn courses on the student’s transcript. W’s do not affect a student’s GPA, but students are encouraged to speak with their academic advisor about degree progression before they submit a petition.

Students are also encouraged to review the Things to Consider Before You Submit a Petition section below for important details on leaving USC with the intent to return, plus financial aid and other obligations.

Financial Obligations

Approved petitions may have financial aid or tuition and fee implications, including Satisfactory Academic Progress issues that may impact registration ability. The student submitting a petition agrees to contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to inquire about how an approved Hardship Withdrawal Petition may affect their current and future financial aid before they submit a petition.

The hardship withdrawal process only affects academic grades. Therefore, if a petition is approved, there is no automatic refund or pardon of fees. To request a refund, a student must submit a request and a petition to the Tuition Refund Appeal Committee at regapeal@mailbox.sc.edu. Refund requests must occur within the same academic year of the withdrawn semester. For more information on important payment and refund dates, visit the website for the Bursar's office

Degree Progression

Before you submit a petition, we encourage you to consult with your academic advisor about degree progression and readmission requirements, which may differ per major. At times, students are not able to progress in their chosen major as they wait for a petition decision.

Title IX Obligations

In accordance with the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and University policy, if sexual misconduct information is included in a student’s petition, the Office of the Dean of Students and/or the Hardship Withdrawal Committee is obligated to report the matter to USC’s Title IX coordinator.

International Students 

Semester withdrawals may affect immigration status. Before submitting a petition, contact International Student Services at 803-777-7461.

Readmission to USC after Withdrawal

A student must re-apply for admission to the University if there is no record of enrollment (e.g. a course grade, "W", etc.) for a major semester (Fall or Spring) directly preceeding the semester the student would like to return. For example, if a student's transcript shows they were not enrolled for courses during the Fall 2018 semester and they would like to take courses in Spring 2019, they must reapply. Readmission is not automatic and is based on the student's academic record. Students must meet major and/or transfer requirements to be readmitted. For additional information, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 803-777-7700.

How to Submit a Hardship Withdrawal Petition 

 

Step 1: Submit the Online Application

Students requesting a hardship withdrawal are required to first submit the online application. We encourage students to carefully complete all questions. Though students do not submit supporting documentation at this stage, please be mindful that supporting documentation is required to verify information provided in the application. Submit the online application below.

Step 2: Withdrawal Consultation

Once your online application is submitted, the Office of the Dean of Students will schedule a consultation with the student. Students will be contacted through USC email with an appointment time outside of class schedule. Please do not contact the Office of the Dean of Students before you receive this notification.

During the consultation, students will:

  • Explore the impact of a hardship withdrawal 
  • Ask questions about the process relevant to their submitted application
  • Explore alternatives to withdrawing – if the situation warrants. However, it is always the student’s choice on whether to submit a petition.

Before the meeting, students must have read the information on this page before attending the session. Information discussed during hardship withdrawal consultations do not guarantee petition approvals.

Step 3: Submit Supporting Materials

After the withdrawal consultation, students are asked to 1) complete the Hardship Withdrawal Documentation Form in the letter they receive after their withdrawal consultation, then 2) submit supporting documentation for their submitted petition application. All non-health care documentation must be uploaded to the form; all health care documentation must come directly from health care providers. Without the form or supporting documentation, petitions are incomplete. When uploading non-health care documentation or requesting health care providers submit documentation on your behalf, please adhere to the guidelines below. Please do not submit supporting materials without completing Steps 1 - 2 of the hardship withdrawal process.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify providers of the expectation(s) for both submitting their letter and the petition deadline. All documentation is subject to verification by the University of South Carolina, including but not limited to class attendance, class participation, or supporting documentation. If false documentation or misrepresented information is submitted, students will be referred for alleged violation of the USC Honor Code and the Hardship Withdrawal request will be denied.

Types of Supporting Documentation

Healthcare Documentation

Students may ask their health care providers to submit documentation on their behalf. See the guidelines for health care providers section below for more information on how to submit healthcare documentation. Health care notes must be faxed or emailed directly from providers. If you are requesting documentation be sent from Student Health Services (medical or mental health), your notes will be forwarded through a secure campus delivery service. Please do not forward full medical records. 

Please note: If a student’s hardship is connected to a parent’s hardship, documentation from their parent’s physician must indicate the necessity for their care of their parent.

On-Campus Health Care Provdiers

On letterhead, please include the following:

  • Student’s diagnosis (including date of original diagnosis)

  • Date the student’s medical or mental health hardship began

  • A note on whether the condition, illness, or injury was life-threatening

  • If applicable, please list the dates a student attended sessions.

  • Additional information the health care provider believes the Dean of Students and Hardship Withdrawal Committee should know.

Please consult with your Medical Records department for submission guidelines. 

Off-Campus Health Care Providers

On letterhead, please include the following:

  • Student’s diagnosis (including date of original diagnosis)

  • Date the student’s medical or mental health hardship began

  • A note on whether the condition, illness, or injury was life-threatening

  • If applicable, please list the dates a student attended sessions.

  • Additional information the health care provider believes the Dean of Students and Hardship Withdrawal Committee should know.

Please fax your patient's documentation to 803-576-6775 or email it to withdrawal@sc.edu 

 
Non-Health Care Documentation

Other appropriate verification for significant personal emergencies may include obituaries, police reports, legal paperwork, and faculty/instructor notes only.

Please do not submit supporting materials without completing Steps 1 - 2 of the process. Submit your non-health care supporting documentation here.

Letters of Support from Campus Partners

If a student already has a relationship with campus support services (such as Student Disability Resource Center or SAVIP), they may request letters of support from them. However, please first share your intent with your providers. 

Step 4: Petition Review

After all materials for a petition are received, students will be notified by USC email of petition receipt. Students should visit our website's "Petition Deadlines" section for decision deadlines. When reviewing petitions, hardship withdrawal staff may communicate with other campus entities about a student's total educational record.

Step 5: Petition Decision

Students will receive petition decisions by USC email. Students should allow up to seven days for transcript updates. The Office of the Dean of Students or Hardship Withdrawal Committee will determine the date of withdrawal if the petition is approved. There is no appeal process for denied or approved hardship withdrawal petitions.


Questions?

If you have questions about the hardship withdrawal process, please email us at withdrawal@sc.edu. Consultations may be limited without a submitted online application portion of the Hardship Withdrawal Petition. 


Ready to submit your application?

Submit your application here.