Appeal for a Hardship Withdrawal

This form may also be downloaded and filled out in paper form (Word document):
Appeal for Hardship Withdrawal form

Permission to withdraw from a Western Michigan University course after the student-initiated withdrawal period has passed may be granted only for hardship circumstances beyond your control that limited your ability to perform normally in the course. Hardship may include, but is not limited to: severe physical or mental illness, injury of student or close family member, death of a close family member, act of violence, and exigencies of military service where established procedures are not applicable. Examples of situations not considered a hardship include, but are not limited to: student dislikes course, teaching method or professor; student considers course too difficult; student has taken on more academic or other obligations than student can handle; change in major so course no longer needed; financial constraints; any situations of resolved or unresolved academic integrity charges.

A statement from you and documentation verifying the extenuating circumstances must accompany your appeal for a hardship withdrawal. When the appeal form, statement and documentation are received, a Hardship Assessment Panel will review your case and render a decision. Your appeal cannot be reviewed until all information—appeal form, typewritten statement and documentation—is received by the Office of the Ombudsman. International students are strongly urged to meet with International Admissions and Services for further direction.

If you are a financial aid recipient and withdraw from some or all of your classes, the outcomes may include loss of future financial aid eligibility, reduced aid awarded for the semester, or required return of refunded aid. Communication with Student Financial Aid and Scholarships is strongly recommended.

Except for documented and exceptional circumstances, hardship appeals will not be accepted more than one year after the end of the term or session for which the hardship was documented. All petitions filed after the one-year timeline must be granted an exception by the Office of the Provost prior to consideration by the Hardship Assessment Panel. The Office of the Ombudsman will facilitate the exception process.

The decision to grant a hardship withdrawal is made by the Grade Appeal and Program Dismissal Appeals Committee. Appeals are reviewed in the order received and results may take six to eight weeks. All decisions of the committee are final and not subject to appeal.


  1. Complete this form. If appealing for more than one semester, a separate form is required for each semester.
  2. Type a detailed, thorough statement explaining the circumstances you experienced. The statement may be included with this form; dropped off in person; or sent to the Office of the Ombudsman by email, fax or standard mail. Contact information is at the bottom of this form.
  3. Supporting documentation certifying your circumstances must accompany your appeal. Documents may be dropped off in person or sent to the Office of the Ombudsman by email, fax or standard mail. Contact information is at the bottom of this form.
  4. Results of the appeal will be sent to you via the email address you provide below.
WMU Identification Number
Detailed thorough typewritten statement indicating what happened, when it happened, how it affected you, and why you didn't withdraw before the end of the student initiated withdraw period. If you are doing a partial withdraw, please indicate why your hardship affected you in some but not all courses.
Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png txt doc docx.

Office of the Ombudsman
Western Michigan University

1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5295 USA
Phone: (269) 387-0718
Fax: (269) 387-0716

2420 Faunce Student Services Building, Mail Stop 5295