Dean's Withdrawals

Dean’s Withdrawals (full or partial)

The purpose of the Dean’s Withdrawal is to assist a student who is unable to complete the quarter or a class due to compelling circumstances beyond their control or due to a significant hardship (such as incapacitating illness or injury). 

Students may be eligible for a Dean’s Withdrawal when they: 

  • are unable to complete the quarter or a class due to compelling circumstances beyond their control; or experience a significant hardship (such as incapacitating illness or injury); AND 
  • have not been completed and/or the final exam has not been administered/taken; AND 
  • they have not taken a previous Dean’s Withdrawal (or Hardship Withdrawal) – students who have received a previous hardship withdrawal should contact the Office of Student Life.

Petitions cannot be granted if all of the work has been completed for the course(s), or if a grade has already been assigned for the course(s). A grade of ‘W’ is awarded to the class(es) in which the student received a Dean’s Withdrawal.


Petitions for partial withdrawal should be submitted no later than 5 pm on the Friday of the eighth week of the quarter in which the class (or classes) are being taken. Petitions for partial withdrawals that are submitted after the eighth week of the quarter will be given greater scrutiny when processed.  

Full Dean’s Withdrawals are considered through 5 pm on the last Friday of classes, week eleven, or prior to the deadline for final assignments if no final is given for the course.  

All submitted petitions are considered by OSL staff. However, petitions submitted after the deadline are rarely approved and receive a high level of scrutiny. Late petitions must demonstrate extraordinary circumstances (such as a coma or emergency detainment at the end of the quarter) that prevented the student from submitting prior to the deadline.  


Depending on the hardship or circumstance, verification may be required and students are encouraged to submit verification with your petition. Verification for compelling circumstances beyond one’s control may include, but are not limited to, obituaries, death notices, police reports, and/or documentation from an immediate family member’s medical provider. The Office of Student Life is available to assist with determining any appropriate verification during the petition process.  

If a withdrawal is due to illness, injury or mental health, verification may be shown by the Care Provider Verification form found below or through a letter from your Care Provider.

Tuition/Financial Aid

An approved petition may allow a more advantageous outcome but does not guarantee a refund for tuition or other charges. The Student Business Office (360-650-2865) is responsible for determining eligibility of refunds and disbursement, if your petition is successful. Refunds are calculated based on the last date of attendance.  

The Last Date of Attendance is the last known date when the student actively engaged or participated in learning activities, to include attending class, reading or responding to online materials or discussions, completing an exam or quiz, or discussion in-person or via email with the instructor regarding the class. 

Contact Financial Aid (if you receive financial aid) to inquire about how an approved Dean’s Withdrawal will affect your current and future financial aid. The impact on student financial aid may include the mandatory repayment of already disbursed funds.

A student will be notified by an email to their Western email account regarding the Dean’s Withdrawal petition; notification about any refund (if appropriate) is separate. Until a student has received notification that a petition has been approved, they are responsible for all financial and other obligations – including financial aid – associated with their enrollment as a WWU student. Unsuccessful petitions are reviewed by multiple staff members prior to a denial; therefore there is no appeal process for denied petitions.  

Full- and half-refund deadlines are published by the Registrar’s Office each term. A copy of “Important Dates and Deadlines” is available on the Registrar’s Office website. In partial withdrawals, tuition will not be refunded for students whose credit load remains between 10-18 credit hours before and after course withdrawal(s). 


Questions about the effect a hardship withdrawal will have on a scholarship should be directed to the Scholarship Center (360-650-3471). 


Other forms of verification may be submitted to OR a Care Provider Verification page for injury or illness petitions (have your Care Provider fill out and then submit).


To fill out and submit this petition please do one of the following:

A. Print the petition pages, fill out by hand, then submit either a scanned copy or clear photos of the petition to; OR

B. Download and fill out this petition electronically in Adobe Acrobat. Please follow the directions* below for each page you need to fill out:

  1. Download/Save the PDF page onto your device
  2. Open the PDF page in Adobe Acrobat Reader
  3. Click Tools
  4. Click Fill & Sign
  5. If Adobe asks “Who needs to fill and sign?” choose “you”

You will now be able to scroll over the PDF petition and type in your responses.

Once the page is complete save a copy onto your device and submit the completed petition as attachments to

*Please note that older versions of Adobe Acrobat may require slightly different steps to fill in the petition than those listed above.