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Academic Advising


Hardship Withdrawal

If a medical, mental health, or special circumstance prevented academic success during a current or past semester, students may be interested in petitioning for a hardship withdrawal for that semester.

About Hardship Withdrawals

Under the University’s revised withdrawal policy, if a student is experiencing a significant personal hardship (e.g., medical or family emergency, prolonged illness, other medical or traumatic event) that has prevented academic success during a current or past semester, the student may be eligible to withdraw from all courses for the semester of request. Hardship Withdrawals are only available during the Withdrawal Fail (WF) period of a current semester or for a past semester within two years of the requested semester.

Please be mindful that the hardship withdrawal process is not: 

  • an alternative means to dropping courses after the Withdrawal Fail deadline of a semester
  • to remove or prevent unwanted grades
  • to avoid or resolve academic, financial aid, or conduct-related consequences

Types of Hardship Withdrawals

Full Withdrawal

A full hardship withdrawal is defined as withdrawing from all courses for the requested semester. If a hardship withdrawal is approved, W’s will appear as placeholders for the withdrawn courses on the student’s transcript.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 highly 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 If a partial hardship withdrawal is approved, W’s will appear as a placeholder for the withdrawn courses on the student’s transcript.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.


Petition Deadline & Decision Dates

 
Retroactive Petitions 
Petition Submission Deadline Decision Received Via Email
October 1, 2018 October 30, 2018
Current Semester Petitions (Fall 2018 only)*
Petition Review Begins  Petition Review Ends
October 16, 2018 December 7, 2018

*Decisions are sent to student’s USC email address within two weeks after petition submission – if there are no errors in petitions. Students will be contacted by USC email to correct errors, and corrections must be made by the last day of classes for the semester. The two-week timeline will begin after corrected petition is received. Students are encourage to be vigilant in checking email after submitting a petition.

Completed petitions – including all supporting documentation – must be received by the submission deadline to be accepted for an upcoming review.  Petitions are only accepted from students. Students will be notified of the petition decision through USC student email. 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.


Things to Consider Before You Submit a Petition

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.

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

Title IX Obligations

Information submitted in petitions is private and not shared with instructors, departments, or colleges/schools outside of the Hardship Withdrawal Committee. However, 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

If a student misses a major semester (Fall or Spring), the student must re-apply for admission to the University through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. 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 Petition

 
Petition Requirements

Hardship Withdrawal petitions are only accepted online. Each completed petition must include a personal statement and supporting documentation. All petition items, except health care documentation, is accepted (typed or uploaded) through the online petition. Petitions must be complete by the posted deadline. A complete petition includes: a personal statement, all supporting documentation (including health care documentation sent from providers – which must be in by the posted deadline), and accurate online petition details. See instructions below for health care documentation submission. 

Preparing for the Petition

Students should prepare their personal statements and secure supporting documentation following the requirements below before they access the online form. Personal statements and supporting documentation take the longest time to complete. The online petition itself takes less than ten minutes to complete – with proper preparation.

Personal Statement 

All students requesting a hardship withdrawal are required to write a one-page personal statement to clarify the medical, mental health or other significant personal emergency you have experienced.  Remember: the supporting documents (medical, etc.) supports the personal statement.

Statements must include:

  1. Name and USC ID # (which begins with a letter) on the uploaded page
  2. A brief description of the hardship, and the circumstances surrounding it
  3. An account of how the situation(s) specifically prevented the student from completing coursework
  4. What steps have been taken to work through your hardship.
  5. If applicable, include dates the student was unable to attend class due to hardship.
  6. If seeking partial hardship withdrawal, speak to how the hardship specifically affects/affected the class(es) you are appealing.
Supporting Documentation

Without 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. 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 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.

  • When submitting your petition, there is a section which asks you to list the health care providers you’ve already asked to forward documentation for you. If we have not received documentation from the providers you listed, we will notify you after the posted deadline on our website. At that time you will be asked whether you’d like to proceed with your petition without the documentation or resubmit your petition for a future date.

  • Please do not forward full medical records. 

Other Types of Documentation

Other appropriate verification for significant personal emergencies may include obituaries, police reports, legal paperwork, etc.

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.

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.

For Healthcare Providers

Guidelines for On-Campus Medical or Mental Health 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

  • A statement of support of (or concern for) student’s hardship petition (If a statement of support cannot be provided, please list the dates a student attended sessions).

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

Please consult with your Medical Records department for submission guidelines. 

Guidelines for Off-Campus 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

  • A statement of support of (or concern for) student’s hardship petition (If a statement of support cannot be provided, please list the dates a student attended sessions).

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

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

What to Expect After Submitting a Petition

When a student submits an online petition, they receive two automated petition receipts: 1) a web landing screen notifying them they have submitted a petition, and 2) a confirmation email sent to their USC email account.

If a student has submitted a petition online by the posted deadline, they will be notified by the University’s withdrawal coordinator if there are edits needed for their petitions. All communication regarding petitions will be from withdrawal@sc.edu or notify@ngwebsolutions.com. If a student does not complete the requested edits by the deadline stated in the email, petitions may not be reviewed by the committee at the upcoming review date, and students may have to resubmit their petitions at a future review date.

Students should expect to receive a petition decision by the date in the table above.


Submitting a Hardship Withdrawal Petition

By submitting a petition, you agree that you have read and understood the information on this page. Since petitions must be completed in one sitting, with the guidelines above, please prepare your personal statement and secure supporting documentation before you access the online form. All notifications regarding your petition will be sent from withdrawal@sc.edu or notify@ngwebsolutions.com – and are deadline sensitive.

 

Submit Your Petition