What happens if I have an extraordinary life event and can’t continue with my courses?  What is a Compassionate Withdrawal?

During a defined period at the beginning of each semester (typically the first two weeks), students may drop courses from their schedule without charge. Dropping a course removes it from the student’s transcript and removes any charges.

After this drop period, students may withdraw from courses. A withdrawal from a course places a “W” grade on the student’s transcript and the student is responsible for the entire cost of the course.

NOTE: There are a number of important factors (ex. financial aid implications, Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a degree, etc.) that heavily influence the decision of whether or not to withdraw from a course. Withdrawing from a course is an irrevocable choice and the College strongly encourages students to discuss these decisions with their Mid Mentor and Financial Aid before proceeding.

A Compassionate Withdrawal occurs after the defined drop period and allows the student to withdraw from a course as usual—but with the possibility of a full or partial refund of tuition and fee expenses. Compassionate Withdrawals are only granted when such action is warranted based on unusual, unexpected, and extenuating circumstances. In most cases, these circumstances are out of the student's control and prevent the student from completing the courses.

NOTE: As with the decision to withdraw, there are a number of factors that determine whether or not a compassionate withdrawal is appropriate for a student (ex. financial aid implications, loan payback, return of funds, etc.). In some cases, receiving a withdrawal may result in the student owing money to the College. The College strongly encourages students to discuss these decisions with their Mid Mentor and Financial Aid before proceeding.

How are Compassionate Withdrawals administered?

Students who believe that a Compassionate Withdrawal from their courses is warranted must submit a formal request with proper documentation.

If approved, the charges associated with the courses may be reduced. Financial aid circumstances, outstanding bills, and other financial ramifications will be reviewed prior to a final determination. Depending on the specific situation, the students’ responsibility for tuition and fees may be reduced, pro-rated, or waived. Due to financial implications, the reduction of a bill, pro-rating of outstanding financial commitments, or refunds must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The impact of the charge being reversed will depend on a number of factors, including the way in which the course was paid for and whether or not the student has an existing balance. The financial impact can be significant and may change loan status or repayment, Satisfactory Academic Progress, or balances due to the College. Students should discuss the implications with their Mid Mentor and Financial Aid prior to submitting their request for a Compassionate Withdrawal.

Who is eligible for a Compassionate Withdrawal?

Compassionate Withdrawals are fairly uncommon and are a last resort (after working with faculty and making appropriate accommodations) to resolve a situation. Students may be considered based on unusual, unexpected, and extenuating circumstances. In most cases, these circumstances are out of the student's control and prevent the student from completing their courses.

Compassionate Withdrawals are typically not granted for a single course from a student’s course load because the circumstances that would warrant a Compassionate Withdraw would likely mean that the student cannot complete any courses. 

Students need to discuss their situation with a Mid Mentor and Financial Aid in order to be eligible. Based on those discussions, the student should withdraw from the impacted courses prior to submitting the Compassionate Withdrawal form—students should not submit the form and then wait to see if they are approved before withdrawing.

Compassionate Withdrawals are typically not granted after 75% of the course has been completed (about week 12). A Compassionate Withdrawal is generally a last resort to resolve an unexpected circumstance and students near the end of a term should work with their faculty to complete the course or request an Incomplete grade so they have additional time to complete the course.

While not exhaustive, the following circumstances provide a good set of guidelines for circumstances that may warrant a Compassionate Withdrawal.

  • US Military deployment
  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Death of the student
  • Verifiable, significant medical situation that substantially impacts the student’s ability to complete their courses
  • Verifiable error on the part of Mid Michigan College
  • Extraordinary event prohibiting the student from completing courses

The following reasons are not accepted.

  • Illness, disease, surgery (depending on duration and impact)
  • Incarceration/parole violation
  • Job change
  • Acceptance into another college
  • Relocation
  • Unaware of Mid Michigan College's withdraw or refund schedule
  • Loss of transportation to/from the course
  • Personal/family concerns that impose on study/course time
  • Enlisting in the Armed Forces
  • Issues between the student and the instructor
    • Visit Mid Cares! for next steps if you have an issue with an instructor.

What documentation is needed when the request is submitted?

It is vital that the student submit clear documentation of the circumstances that led to their request for a Compassionate Withdrawal. Proper documentation is the only way that the committee can determine the merit of the request.

While each situation is unique, these are the documents that will be necessary in most cases.

  • US Military deployment
    • Provide orders or call-up documents displaying dates of service.
    • Exclusions: New enlistments, foreign military service.
  • Death of an immediate family member
    • Immediate family member is defined as a parent, step-parent, current parent in-law, biological grandparents, child, step-child, adopted child, foster child, sister, half-sister, step-sister, brother, half-brother, step-brother, grandchild, great-grandchild.
    • Provide an obituary, death notice, or death certificate.
  • Death of the student
    • No form or approval is needed—a Compassionate Withdrawal is automatic.
    • Please notify Counseling & Wellness Services at wellness@midmich.edu.
  • Verifiable, significant medical situation
    • Provide a letter on the Doctor's or Clinic’s letterhead.
      • The letter should contain
        • A statement indicating why the student was incapacitated and prohibited from returning to college activities (either on campus or online)
        • Dates of care and incapacitation
      • Submitting receipts, appointment reminders, discharge instructions, disability certificates, EOBs, or other notes in place of a doctor’s letter are subject to the interpretation of Mid Michigan College. Please do not submit confidential medical information and be sure to black out sensitive information prior to submission. The College cannot ensure the confidentiality of medical information.
  • Verifiable error on the part of Mid Michigan College
    • Provide documents related to the situation.
  • Extraordinary event prohibiting you from completing courses
    • Provide documents related to the event.
    • Exclusions: Mid Michigan College reserves the right to define 'extraordinary event'.

Important Considerations & Declarations

By submitting a request for a Compassionate Withdrawal, you understand and submit to the following.

  • You will be submitting all the documentation that you want reviewed.
  • You assume all responsibility for the enrollment and financial aid changes that may result from the approval of a Compassionate Withdrawal. These impacts include, but are not limited to
    • Changes in financial aid eligibility.
    • Changes in the balance of your Mid student account.
    • Changes in your status on current and prior student loan deferments that are based on enrollment.
  • You acknowledge that any financial aid funds that have not yet been disbursed will be held pending a final decision on the situation.
  • You understand that a Compassionate Withdrawal will only be granted once during your time at Mid Michigan College barring any extraordinary situation as determined by the College.
  • You understand a Compassionate Withdrawal is typically applied to all courses. Exceptions to this are limited and rare. 
  • This process is not intended for you to see what the potential results are, and then decide if you wish to continue in the course. This process is intended for students who have encountered significant issues and are unable to complete the semester.

What are the financial implications of a Compassionate Withdrawal?

Each situation is unique and students pay for courses in any number of combinations and with multiple sources. The College strongly encourages students to discuss these decisions with their Mid Mentor and Financial Aid before proceeding.

What is the process for receiving a Compassionate Withdrawal?

Approval of a Compassionate Withdrawal is not automatic. Each request is reviewed in the context of the information provided along with consideration of the documentation submitted. Generally, the College will not contact the student for additional information but will evaluate the request based on the documents provided.

Compassionate Withdrawal Request Process

  1. Student discusses the possibility of a Compassionate Withdrawal with a Mid Mentor, Financial Aid, and/or the Director of Counseling & Wellness Services.
  2. Student assembles the necessary documentation and submits a request using the appropriate form.
  3. The request is evaluated and the student receives a response within about five business days.
  4. Based on the response, the student follows up with their Mid Mentor for next steps.


If the student is dissatisfied with the determination, they may file an appeal with the Vice President of Student Services. The petition must be filed within five (5) business days of receiving the written final determination. Any party that files an appeal must do so in writing (email is an acceptable method of delivery) to the Vice President of Student Services. Other parties will be notified that an appeal has been filed and forwarded for consideration. Within fifteen (15) business days, the committee will determine if the request is timely and has merit; an appeal decision will be rendered within an additional fifteen (15) business days.

The original findings are acknowledged to be reasonably and appropriately determined. Therefore, the only grounds for appeal are

  • If a procedural [or substantive] error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the decision.
  • To consider new documentation that was unavailable during the original evaluation and could substantially impact the original decision. A summary of this new documentation and its potential bearing must be included.

Request a Compassionate Withdrawal