Office of Student Life

Retroactive Medical Withdrawals

The University does not normally grant retroactive medical withdrawals. However, there is a process by which students may apply for a retroactive withdrawal if there are substantial documentable medical circumstances which may have prevented a student from meeting his or her academic requirements.

Students who would like to request a retroactive medical withdrawal must to do so in writing to the Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Student Health and Wellness. Requests for retroactive withdrawals must be made within 30 days of the last day of class for the term in which students are requesting the withdrawal.

The request packet must include:

  1. A detailed written statement and request by the student: The written request should clearly outline why the retroactive withdrawal is warranted and why the student’s condition prevented them from being academically successful.
  2. Detailed documentation by a licensed medical/mental health provider: The request must also include thorough and detailed documentation by a licensed medical/psychological provider who can speak directly to their condition during the term in which the student is requesting the withdrawal. This direct documentation must include dates student was seen in the term, diagnoses, and treatment notes indicating the student was evaluated or treated. The provider must also provide a summary statement about why the condition prevented the student form being successful. Having verification of a pre-existing medical condition does not in itself meet the standards for granting a retroactive medical withdrawal.

Once all of the information/documentation has been received, the Retroactive Withdrawal Committee will be convened to consider the appeal for a retroactive withdrawal. The decision of the committee is final.

Additional information:

  • Retroactive medical withdrawals must meet a rigorous standard of documentation from licensed medical and psychological providers as outlined above. If the documentation provided does not provide the requested information at the time of the application, the request will likely be denied.
  • Retroactive medical withdrawals are granted for all classes for which the student was enrolled for the term. There are no partial withdrawals so the student would not receive any academic credit for the term in which the retroactive medical withdrawal was granted. If the retroactive medical withdrawal is granted, the student’s grades for the term in questions will be changed to a “WD” indicating a medical withdrawal.
  • All academic standing status decisions will remain in effect pending the outcome of the appeal process. Students who may have been suspended will remain on suspension pending the outcome of the request for withdrawal.
  • Students who may also be facing code of conduct charges must complete the student conduct process and are responsible for completing any sanctions assigned.
  • Students and parents should contact financial planning or their tax advisor to discuss any financial aid or tax implications/consequences that may be associated with the awarding of a retroactive medical withdrawal.
  • There is no financial refund for retroactive withdrawals.
  • If approved, the committee will decide when the student may reapply for admission. While the student is away, he or she be will required to participate in therapy/medical care at home to assure that issues are worked out and that the situation is stable and can return to the academic environment. The Committee may require that the student sit out one full term (Fall or Spring) or a year prior to returning.

Requests for Retroactive Medical Withdrawals and all Documentation should be faxed or e- mailed to:
Dr. Jana Lynn Patterson, Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
R.N. Ellington Center for Health and Wellness
E-mail: patters@elon.edu
Fax: (336) 278-2875


Please allow 90 days from the receipt of all materials for a decision to be rendered.
Questions may be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students at (336) 278-7200 or patters@elon.edu

*Revised Fall 2016

The Office of the Dean of Students:

(336) 278-7200

R.N. Ellington Center, Suite 109 (East Entrance)

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