Standard Withdrawal

When a student initiates a withdrawal from the university prior to the end of Period Two (the 10th week of classes during a standard 16 week semester) at a minimum the following steps are required:

Minimum steps required to withdraw

 Contact/meet with the primary academic advisor to discuss withdrawal.
 Complete a Request for Withdrawal Form.
 International Students must also meet with an advisor in the International Students and Scholars Office prior to submitting the Request for Withdrawal form to the college office.
 Submit completed Request for Withdrawal form signed by the student and the advisor to the college student services office for student’s primary major.
 If the withdrawal request is approved the student is eligible to return to the university for a future term with the same academic status that the student held at the beginning of the withdrawal term.
 Late-term Withdrawal (Period Three) the student must provide documentation establishing an “extenuating circumstance” that prevents the student from fulfilling their academic responsibilities.


Standard Withdrawal is defined as dropping all classes for the current term after the semester/session has begun. Students who are considering withdrawal from the university should immediately consult their academic advisor to discuss reasons for the withdrawal and alternatives. The withdrawal procedures established by the Office of the Registrar must be followed otherwise course instructors will assign grades or marks they consider appropriate. Since these grades may be F’s, students are advised that failure to follow the prescribed withdrawal procedures may adversely affect their academic record.

Standard withdrawals occur in three periods during the typical 16 week fall and spring terms.

  • Period One – First 5 days of fall or spring semester, week 1.
  • Period Two – Weeks 2 – 10.
  • Period Three – Weeks 11 – 15.

Period Three withdrawals are granted only for circumstances beyond the student’s control that impact the ability to remain enrolled and complete academic responsibilities. (Examples include, but are not limited to, personal trauma, family emergencies, legal difficulties, etc.) Period Three withdrawals require a petition to the college of the student’s primary major requesting permission to withdraw. Undergraduate students on probation who withdraw during Period Three will be subject to academic dismissal at the end of the term.

Finals Week - Students should not expect to withdraw during Finals Week

Additional Considerations for Standard Withdrawal
Before withdrawing from the university, a student should carefully consider all the potential effects of such a withdrawal. Considerations should include, but are not limited to:

  • The student is withdrawn from all courses based on the withdrawal date on the form, and tuition and fees are adjusted, if appropriate, according to established policies approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. See Questions about tuition assessments should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Students utilizing Financial Aid who withdraw should consult with the Office of Student Financial Aid before completing the withdrawal process to discuss the impact that withdrawal will have on the student’s financial aid obligations. Federal regulations and university policy may require the repayment of a portion of the financial aid funds the student received.
  • Graduate students’ tuition, assistantship and fellowship support may be impacted by a withdrawal.
  • Students who receive Veterans Benefits, may be required to repay all or a portion of the tuition benefits they received for the term.
  • Students living in on-campus housing or who have a campus meal plan, may be responsible for prorated housing and dining charges based on the date of their withdrawal.
  • Students who withdraw are also responsible for charges assessed for any products and services associated with their enrollment, such as text books, health insurance, athletic tickets, etc. Students should consult with Accounts Receivable to determine the amount owed to the university at the time of withdrawal.
  • Students who develop a pattern of withdrawing (for example, a student submitting a Period Three withdrawal request for two consecutive semesters, or withdrawing repeatedly each Spring semester) may have a Dean of Students Office Hold (R) placed on their record by the college at the time of withdrawal. This is part of the university’s commitment to the student’s academic success. Working with the Dean of Students Office is designed to guide students to more sustainable and productive academic and personal success strategies, and reduce the likelihood of a continued pattern of academic difficulty.
  • Iowa State University will review a request for tuition and fee refund provided you meet the requirements of the Tuition and Fee Appeal policy.


Withdrawal Policy

Withdrawal Form

Withdrawal Terminology

Roles and Responsibilities

Tuition Appeal