Registration Status

Related Page: Federal Financial Aid Unofficial Withrawal Policy

Withdrawal from a Course

The last day to withdraw from a course shall not be later than 4 weeks prior to the end of the semester, including the final examination period, as indicated in item 1 of the Guidelines for Calendar Development for All Schools and Colleges.

A student may withdraw from a course up to 8 weeks after the first day of instruction and receive a grade of “W” (withdrawal) that has no grade point value. Withdrawals processed by the deadline date for course ADDS are treated as course DROPS- i.e., such student’s academic program. Withdrawals AFTER the Change of Program deadline are processed with the “W” grade. Change of Program Forms may be obtained from the Office of the Academic Dean of each school/college.

NOTE: Mere absence from class does not constitute withdrawal. A properly executed Change of Program Form must be used to effectuate all drops, withdrawals, adds, section changes, or course enrollment status changes. Students will receive a failing grade for courses in which they discontinue attendance without receiving formal permission for withdrawal.

WARNING ON DROPPING COURSES: Students who drop all courses for which they have registered (even though they may be taking only one course) must effect Total Withdrawal when officially dropping all courses currently being carried. (In this instance, the drop/add procedure should not be used.)

Absence from the University

Failure to attend classes or abandonment of a residence hall space to which one has been assigned, or one’s not returning for classes for an upcoming semester (for which one is already academically and financially registered) does not constitute official discontinuance or withdrawal. In all instances, the student should effect total withdrawal in person or request that it be done in his/her behalf if he or she is away from the campus and does not wish or is unable to return to the campus.

Students who select academic programs and pay their tuition and fees (for the upcoming semester) or who have sufficient financial aid to “trigger” their registration, must effect total withdrawal promptly when, for whatever reason, they do not return to the University. In this way, such charges can be removed from their individual student account and their financial aid can be canceled (and returned to source or origin) and/or personal monies refunded.

NOTE: Under ordinary circumstances, in these types of cases, Student Financial Services will not make refunds or other adjustments to a student’s account after the end of the current academic year of the student’s enrollment. Exception to this deadline will be considered by the University only in instances in which, for extraordinary reasons beyond the control of a student, he/she is unable to effect total withdrawal in a timely manner from the University for a semester or summer term for which he/she has officially registered. In short students are obligated to transact business with the University in a timely and businesslike manner.

All individuals who need assistance in this regard should either telephone, write, or confer with the Dean for Special Student Services Room 725, Howard Center, Howard University, Washington, DC 20059 (202) 238-2420.

Total Withdrawal Procedure

Students who find it necessary to withdraw from all of their classes for the current semester or for a subsequent semester for which they have already registered must complete a Total Withdrawal Request Form. This form must be submitted by the end of the 12 th week of classes for the semester in which they wish to withdraw. The withdrawal form and instructions are available from the dean or advisory center of each school or college. Students who are physically unable to complete the withdrawal in person and students who are administratively withdrawn should contact their dean or advisor for assistance.

Students considering a total withdrawal should note the following:

  • The effective date of the withdrawal will be the date on which EM/Records receives the completed withdrawal request form.
  • By registering for courses, students accept financial responsibility for payment for those courses and for any other charges incurred while they are enrolled.
  • Financial aid may be adjusted or canceled as a result of withdrawal and may require repayment of loan funds. Adjustments to financial aid awards will be calculated according to University and Federal refund guidelines based on the official withdrawal date.
  • Once the withdrawal has been completed, students will receive a grade of “W” for each course.
  • Students who reside in University housing are required to check out of their residence hall within 24 hours of completing the total withdrawal process.
  • Completing a total withdrawal from the University requires that students surrender all University property, including, but not limited to library books, room keys, computer cards, and identification/access cards.
  • Students who complete a total withdrawal from the University must reapply for admission to the University by published application deadlines.

Students should report first to the office of the dean or advisory center of their school or college to obtain a Total Withdrawal Request Form, and to discuss the reasons for and the implications of the withdrawal (1) . Students who decide to continue with the withdrawal process should have the withdrawal form signed by their dean or the dean’s designee and should then proceed as follows to the offices that correspond with their student status:

  • Veterans, students with disabilities, and students who have judicial stipulations should report to the Office of Special Student Services, Suite 725, Howard Center (2) .
  • International students must report to the Office of International Student Services, Rm. 119, Blackburn Center (3) .
  • Students who reside in University housing must report to the Office of Residence Life, Tubman Quadrangle (4) .
  • Students who received any type of financial aid (including scholarships, grants, and loans) must report to the Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Student Employment, Rm. 205 Administration Building to discuss the effect of withdrawal on their award(s) and potential financial aid overpayment (5) .
  • All students must report to the Office of Student Financial Services, Rm. 218, Administration Building to discuss the status of and adjustments to their account. (6) .
  • All students must report to EM/Records, Rm. 104 Administration Building to submit the completed Total Withdrawal Request form and surrender their CapstoneCard (7).


  • If you register during General Registration for the upcoming semester and determine before the beginning of that semester that you will not be returning, you must complete a Total Withdrawal Form for that upcoming semester. Obtain the signature of the dean or dean’s designee of your school or college, then take it to the Office of the Dean for Special Student Services. Be sure to make it clear to both offices that the withdrawal is for the upcoming semester.
  • If, due to extenuating circumstances, you need to make the effective date of your Total Withdrawal prior to the date you actually begin the process, you must get special approval to do so.
    The first step is to visit the office of the dean or academic advising center of your school or college. You should take with you documentation to support your request (e.g., a letter from your doctor). If the request is supported by your school or college, it will be forwarded to the Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer to be considered for approval.

Readmission after a Total Withdrawal

Undergraduate students who complete a total withdrawal and wish to return to Howard University after an absence of one semester or more are required to apply for readmission (no Application Fee or Enrollment Fee is required). NOTE: Any withdrawing student planning to return for the semester immediately following the withdrawal must check with Enrollment Management /Admission (EM/Admission) for information regarding re-enrollment.

Graduate and professional school students should contact the dean of their school or college for readmission procedures.

For further general information on Total Withdrawal, contact the Dean of your school/college.