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Medical and Compassionate Withdrawal Request

Medical and Compassionate Withdrawal Request Procedures

A medical or compassionate withdrawal request may be made in extraordinary cases in which serious illness or injury (medical) or another significant personal situation (compassionate) prevents a student from continuing his or her classes, and incompletes or other arrangements with the instructors are not possible.

Usually, consideration is for a complete withdrawal. All applications for withdrawal require thorough and credible documentation; however, applications for less than a complete withdrawal must be especially well documented to justify the selective nature of the partial medical/compassionate withdrawal.

A student may request and be considered for a medical withdrawal when extraordinary circumstances, such as a serious illness or injury prevent the student from continuing classes. The medical withdrawal policy covers both physical health and mental health difficulties.

A student may request and be considered for a compassionate withdrawal when extraordinary personal reasons, not related to the student's personal physical or mental health (for example, care of a seriously ill child or spouse, or a death in the student's immediate family), prevent the student from continuing in classes.

Each college has a dean's designee (see list below) who reviews medical and compassionate withdrawal requests, according to that college's procedures. A student requesting a medical or compassionate withdrawal is referred to the dean's designee of the college of their major. A non-degree student is referred to the dean's designee of the college with which he or she is primarily affiliated. The dean's designee determines the appropriateness of the medical or compassionate withdrawal request and based on the documentation provided either approves or denies the request. If approved, the dean's designee also determines the approved effective date based on the documentation provided by the student or healthcare provider. The Approved Effective Date is used to calculate the percentage of tuition and fees that should be refunded, if any. In addition, if the medical or compassionate withdrawal request is approved the dean's designee must also determine if a medical administrative hold is appropriate. If a medical administrative hold is placed on the student's records, the student will be blocked from all future registration at ASU until the hold is removed by the dean's designee. The removal of the medical administrative hold is usually only processed after the student or healthcare provider supplies documentation explaining that the student is well enough to return to the university.

An approved medical/compassionate withdrawal request will result in a special note line indicating the nature of the withdrawal on the student's unofficial transcript. Medical and compassionate withdrawal applications and supporting documents are retained by the college of the student's major for at least five years and filed separately from the student's other records.

Student Procedure for Medical and Compassionate Withdrawal
The following procedure applies to students who are unable to continue classes for extraordinary medical or other personal reasons. You are strongly encouraged to submit your request as soon as possible.

If you are receiving financial assistance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with a Financial Aid and Scholarship Services counselor to identify and understand the financial aid and monetary implications of processing this withdrawal transaction.

If you are an international student with an F1/J1 visa, you must consult with the International Students and Scholars Center to discuss the serious immigration consequences that may result from your withdrawal from ASU.

To request a medical/compassionate withdrawal, you must submit a Request for Documented Medical/Compassionate Withdrawal form along with appropriate documentation to the college of your major.

Appropriate documentation for a medical withdrawal consists of a letter from your attending health care provider that specifies the following:

  • the date of onset of illness
  • the dates you were under professional care
  • the general nature of your medical condition and why/how it prevented you from completing your course work
  • the date of your anticipated return to school
  • the last date you were able to attend class

Requests for less than a complete withdrawal must be especially well documented to justify the selective nature of the medical withdrawal request. The letter must be typed on the health care provider's letterhead stationery and submitted in a sealed envelope.

Appropriate documentation for a compassionate withdrawal is dependent upon the nature of your circumstances. Your dean's designee can provide advice in this area.

The medical and compassionate withdrawal process is primarily focused on the student’s academic record as it relates to the student’s health and wellness.   In some cases tuition refunds may also be granted through the medical and compassionate withdrawal process, however, this will depend on each individual student’s circumstances. Please consult the tuition refund policy web page for more details.  

Deans' Designees for Medical and Compassionate Withdrawals
College College Designee
Business, W. P. Carey School of Claudia Morales (undergraduate programs)
Stephen Taylor (graduate programs)
Design and the Arts, Herberger Institute of Wendi Maroney
Engineering, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Tami Coronella
Graduate College (non-degree graduate students only) Kim Naig
Brian Mattson
Health Solutions, College of Kate Lehman
Integrative Sciences and Arts, College of Casey Self
Lorraine DeRosa
Journalism and Mass Communication, Walter Cronkite School of Mary Cook
Law, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Tammy Vavra
Leslie Mamaghani
Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Phillip Scharf
Carolyn Harley
New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Catherine Kerrey
Stacey Kimbell
Nursing and Health Innovation, College of Tim Weiss
Public Service and Community Solutions, College of Douglas Capitan
Amanda Andrew
School for the Future of Innovation in Society Andra Williams
Sustainability, School of Lisa Murphy
Beth Volker
Teachers College, Mary Lou Fulton Erica Mitchell
Hannah Lee
Thunderbird School of Global Management Josh Allen
Keaton Allen

College Procedure for Medical and Compassionate Withdrawal

  • Accept a completed Request for Documented Medical/Compassionate Withdrawal form along with a letter from the student's health care provider or other appropriate documentation. Remind the student to discuss the implications of this transaction with a Student Financial Assistance counselor, if he or she is receiving financial assistance.
  • For Medical Withdrawals - The letter on the health care provider's stationery should specify: the date of onset of illness (used to calculate the percent of refund), the dates the student was under professional care, the general nature of the medical condition and why/how it prevented the student from completing his or her course work, the anticipated date of return to school, and the last date the student was able to attend class. Applications for less than a complete withdrawal must be especially well documented to justify the selective nature of the medical withdrawal request. Reminder: the letter must be typed on the health care provider's letterhead stationery and delivered to the dean's designee in a sealed envelope.
  • For Compassionate Withdrawals - The documentation for a compassionate withdrawal will vary, according to the individual circumstances, and must be appropriate to the situation. For example, a compassionate withdrawal request to care for a seriously ill child or other family member may require information similar to that listed under medical withdrawals above. Depending on the situation, other required/acceptable documentation may include police reports, legal documents such as restraining orders, airline ticket receipts, newspaper clippings, etc.
  • Contact the student's health care provider or other appropriate official for clarification, if necessary. (It is also appropriate to consult with other ASU officials for assistance in making this decision, such as staff in the Student Health Center, Student Life, etc.).
  • Consider all relevant academic or personal information (e.g., number of previous withdrawals, number of prior requests for special consideration, etc.).
  • Approve or disapprove the request for a medical/compassionate withdrawal and complete the bottom portion of the Request for Documented Medical/Compassionate Withdrawal form.

If Approved

  • Determine whether or not the student should be placed on medical administrative hold and removed from future classes, if registered.
  • Send the appropriate copy of the Request for Documented Medical/Compassionate Withdrawal form, signed by the dean's designee approving the medical or compassionate withdrawal and specifying from which classes the student is to be withdrawn, to University Registrar Services, Student Services Building Room 140. Do not send copies of the documentation. If the student has an F1/J1 visa send the copy to the International Student and Scholars Center first for their review.
  • Send the appropriate copy of the approved Request for Documented Medical/Compassionate Withdrawal form to the Student Fee Payment Office, Student Services Building Room 235, for determination of the proper refund, if any.
  • Send the appropriate copy of the approved Request for Documented Medical/Compassionate Withdrawal form to Student Financial Assistance, Student Services Building Room 205, for determination of any necessary financial aid adjustments.
  • Send or give the student copy of the approved Request for Documented Medical/Compassionate Withdrawal form to the student. A letter of explanation is optional at the discretion of the dean's designee.
  • Retain the original copy of the Request for Medical/Compassionate Withdrawal form and all original documentation for a minimum of five years. A longer retention period may be established at the discretion of the college.

If Denied

  • Send or give the student a copy of the disapproved Request for Documented Medical/Compassionate Withdrawal form. A letter of explanation is optional at the discretion of the dean's designee.
  • Retain the original and all remaining copies of the Request for Documented Medical/Compassionate Withdrawal form and all original documentation for a minimum of five years. A longer retention period may be established at the discretion of the college.

Page last updated: February 11, 2016

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