The University sets a deadline, usually around two-thirds of the way through the term of study of the course in question, by which you are required to formally withdraw from a course (“drop” a course) if you do not want the course on your transcript.
Starting FW’16/17, students who did not drop a course by the withdrawal deadline may opt to use the Withdrawn from Course Option to be withdrawn from a course up to the final day of classes; those courses will remain on a student’s transcript showing as “W” (Withdrawn). No credit will be retained and they will not be included in the student’s grade point average.
A "late withdrawal" petition is a request to waive the deadline for removing a course (“dropping a course”) from your transcript. When the Committee on Student Academic Petitions considers a petition for late withdrawal, one of three decisions will result:
- Granted, with removal of the course from the transcript;
- Granted, with the course remaining on the transcript designated by a “W” and excluded from credits and grade point averages.
NOTE: If you are granted a "W" for a course, you may NOT appeal to have the original grade reinstated.
The following is a general guide for preparing and writing a petition for late withdrawal:
- General Responsibility. It is the responsibility of the student to take his or her circumstances into consideration, and to assess his or her progress in each course, during the term of study. The student must drop a course either by:
- Dropping it by the deadline to withdraw without academic penalty to have it removed from their transcript; or
- Opting to use the Withdrawn from Course Option to be withdrawn from a course up to the final day of classes with the course remaining on the transcript showing as “W” (Withdrawn).
- Submission deadline. The deadline for submitting a petition for late withdrawal: 30 days from when classes end for the course in question. The Office of the Registrar lists the "Classes End" date under the "Sessional Dates" published for each term and session of study. Petitions for late withdrawal may be considered up to one year beyond the deadline, but the petition (1) must be submitted as soon as possible following the 30-day deadline, (2) request within the petition that the deadline be waived and (3) include a reason(s) to justify waiving the deadline. The Faculty is not obligated to consider a petition submitted beyond one year.
- Statement of Grounds. This is your personal letter and must provide a detailed, date-specific account of the extenuating circumstances that you believe justify a waiver of the withdrawal deadline.
- Documentation. Evidence to support your statement of grounds is essential. You will be required to have original documentation to support the grounds of your petition. The University requires the completion of an Attending Physician's Statement (APS) form to document medical grounds.
- Selectivity. This is the term we use when you are selectively asking to drop only one, or a select few, of the total number of courses you completed in a term or session of study. Your explanation and evidence must be compelling for the Committee to "selectively" alter your academic record – to let you drop your poorer grades, and keep your better ones.
- Graded Feedback. For most courses (exceptions) course directors are required to provide graded feedback (15% for a fall, winter or summer term course; 30% for a full year course) by the withdrawal deadline. You must complete work on time, as originally scheduled, to be eligible for this graded feedback. You are not entitled to an extension of the withdrawal deadline because you had work deferred or waived. You will assume responsibility for the academic risks of proceeding in a course without the benefit of graded feedback which would have been available to you if you had completed work on time. At the same time, if the course director fails to provide the class with the graded feedback required by the withdrawal deadline, you must petition for late withdrawal immediately after the class receives the required graded feedback. You are not entitled to wait for additional feedback, or in any way to delay submission of your petition beyond the point when the class is issued the required feedback. In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain the graded feedback when it is made available to the class.
- Some grounds that are not compelling: Did not know I was enrolled (should have checked your enrolment record); computer error (the enrolment system identifies whether or not you have successfully dropped a course, and we have records that will confirm even an unsuccessful attempt to drop a course); unhappy with a grade, or the impact of a grade (all grades impact your academic record, for better or worse, and if you did not want a course to impact your record, then you would have had to drop it by the withdrawal deadline).
- With the exception of a first year late withdrawal petition (see the special note below) a Course Performance Summary (CPS) form is required for each petitioned course.
A SPECIAL NOTE ON COURSES COMPLETED IN A STUDENT'S FIRST YEAR OF STUDY
The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies is sensitive to the transitional issues faced by students in their first year of university studies. The Faculty exercises leniency in its consideration of petitions for late withdrawal where:
- the student was attending York University for the first time.
- the courses were completed in the 12 months consecutive to when the student first began a course at York University.
- the petition is submitted within one year from the end of classes of the course in question.
Petitions which meet these conditions will be considered on an expedited basis and do not require the submission of the Course Performance Summary forms. If granted, the qualifying courses will remain on a student’s transcript with a “W” (Withdrawn from Course) notation, and be excluded from credits and grade point averages.
Late withdrawal, with the potential for removal of a course from the transcript, even for a course completed in a first year of study, requires submission of a more comprehensive late withdrawal petition, and Course Performance Summary forms. The petition letter and support documentation will be subject to thorough review by the Committee on Student Academic Petitions. The Committee will evaluate your academic performance and the requirements of the course, both before and after the withdrawal deadline; scrutinize timelines; consider the relevance of prior academic or petition warnings; check on the selectivity of the petition; consider the appropriateness of other petition options; and look at how promptly you submitted the petition relative to the published submission deadline. In short, your circumstances, and your decisions and actions, and the timing of those decisions and actions, will be thoroughly considered in advance of a decision.