Student Central: Withdrawal Information


For a variety of reasons, students sometimes cannot complete their classes as they expected. Student Central provides the following information to help students, faculty, staff, and other advisors determine the best course of action available in terms of withdrawing from a class or classes.

Official Withdrawal

An official withdrawal requires students to withdraw themselves from a class or classes, online or in person by the seventh week of the quarter. The Student Central Calendar indicates the deadline for each quarter. Note: earlier deadlines apply to summer quarter.

  • After the tenth instructional day of the quarter (earlier for summer quarter), an official withdrawal shows up on the student’s transcript as a W grade. The college does not record a transcript entry for withdrawals completed prior to the tenth day.
  • An official withdrawal does not affect a student’s Bellevue College Grade Point Average (GPA).
  • Financial Aid limits the number of times a student may repeat a class with a W grade to two additional times, which follows the maximum allowed by federal regulation.
  • International students should not withdraw themselves from their classes without first consulting with the Office for International Education. While in this country, the Department of Homeland Security requires international students to attend their classes for the entire term. A W grade indicates a student stopped attending prior to the end of the quarter.

Unofficial Withdrawal

An unofficial withdrawal shows up on the student’s transcript as a HW grade. This grade represents a Hardship Withdrawal. Generally, students must show extenuating circumstances to receive this grade.

  • The student may ask an instructor for a HW grade, or the instructor may contact a student to discuss this grade option (See Grading Policy 3000).
  • Instructors give the HW grade to students at the end of the quarter when they submit all their grades. Therefore, the deadline that applies to the official W grade, does not apply to the HW grade.
  • The HW grade does not affect a student’s Bellevue College GPA.

Students may experience negative consequences after receiving this grade. These may include:

  • Financial Aid limits the number of times a student may repeat a class with a HW grade to one additional time. Compare this to the W grade, which allows students to repeat a class twice and receive funding.
  • A few colleges and universities transfer in a class with a HW grade as a 0.0 or failing grade. However, the HW grade does not affect a student’s Bellevue College Grade Point Average (GPA).
  • Financial Aid treats the HW grade as a failing grade, and recalculates the Bellevue College GPA to determine continued eligibility for aid. This may result in a Warning or Cancellation of aid for the upcoming quarter.
  • International students must show they attended class the entire quarter. The Department of Homeland Security does not accept HW or W grades for this purpose. Students may end up “out-of-status” with immigration regulations if they complete below 12 credits by receiving a HW or W grade.
  • Although the grade designation of HW indicates a hardship or an extenuating circumstance the student experienced, it may result in the student not asking for a refund of tuition and fees for situations related to a medical condition, or military service.

Because of the potential negative consequences, receiving the HW grade may not be in the student’s best interest. Other options exist, which may provide a better outcome for the student.

Appeal and Refund Options

Students may appeal missing the Official Withdrawal deadline if they experienced a non-medical unexpected, unusual, or extenuating circumstance, which prevented them from withdrawing by the posted deadline. This option does not allow for a refund of tuition and fees, but if approved, does result in changing a poor grade or a HW grade to an official W grade.
Through the Student Central appeal process, students may ask for a refund and an official withdrawal for circumstances related to a medical condition for either the student or the student’s family, or for unexpected military deployment that exceeds 30 days.

  • The college does not enforce a deadline for submitting an appeal, but the student must submit documentation of the medical condition or military deployment.
  • If approved, the college provides a full refund of tuition and fees. If the student received financial aid, the refund generally goes back to the aid program.
  • If approved, the college replaces poor grades, or HW grades on the student’s transcript with official W grades.

Students can find the details regarding the process of asking for a refund or appealing a missed deadline on the college’s home page, then clicking on Online Services at the top of the page. Students may also contact Student Central for additional information or assistance with the process.


Last Updated January 29, 2018