Last withdrawal date approaches by March 29

By Joyce Stevenson

March 5, 2013

Withdrawal from a class can adversely affect graduation completion rate.  With only two weeks left to withdraw, any student considering withdrawing from a class should seek advisement. Director of Financial Aid Marilyn Baker recommends that students familiarize themselves with their unique situation. The MWSU website has helpful information found under the financial aid tab. Students need to be aware of their status in order to retain financial aid. "We try to inform students of their options," Baker said. Every student earns a graduation completion rate. This rate comes from data collected by the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to provide national educational statistics on the length it takes a student to complete their graduate requirements. The rate is based on the student completing their program within 150 percent of the normal six-year completion time allowed. The better the rate, the more marketable a student is after graduation. “Many times a student may think of withdrawing as the easiest way to overcome an obstacle,” assistant provost of Academic Affairs Cynthia Heider said. Heider advises that students should seek the advice of an academic advisor, study group, the Center for Academic Support (CAS), or the Student Success Center (SSC) in order to make an informed decision. She says there are many steps in place to assist students with reaching the best decision for their circumstance. There are federal guidelines that stipulate what is required of a student to meet satisfactory academic progress. All students should be aware of the fact that withdrawing from a class may have an effect on their permanent record and financial aid eligibility. A student must maintain a minimum 70 percent completion rate to keep their federal aid. Baker recommends that a student be constantly aware of where their money is going. Many students take out a large amount in student loans. “Students need to look at how much they have accumulated in student loans and reconsider withdrawing so that they get their money’s worth per credit hour,” Baker said. The financial aid office counsels students, and when needed, they host a Student Academic Progress (SAP) seminar in order to help them refocus on their GPA to keep federal financial aid. The student is given an assignment to learn how to be aware of debt, salary required to repay their debt, and the different types of re-payment plan programs available. “It is so individualistic, we must look at every one separately,” Baker said. At MWSU, the procedure is almost too simple. You must notify the Registrar’s Office (Eder 102) in writing (they have a form) with your name, student ID number, last date of attendance, signature and contact information. The last date to withdraw this semester is March 29. A “W” will appear on your transcript for that class. No tuition or fee refund is available at this point in the semester. Students should seek counseling before making a decision to withdraw. If a student chooses to completely withdraw from a class, they still must fill out the formal withdrawal forms in the Registrar’s Office. According to the MWSU website, if the student is receiving financial assistance, they may be required to pay back all or a portion of the funds received, according to federal/state regulation(s) or institutional policies. Financial aid exit counseling is required to be completed within 30 days of withdrawal. Failure to complete exit counseling will result in a hold on the student’s academic transcript and will prevent future registration in classes. There is the possibility of using an appeals process after withdrawal to be allowed to return to class. Student's are urged to seek academic advisory before withdrawing from any class.