Withdrawing from the Semester

If you are unable to complete the semester and plan to drop your only course or all of your courses, you will need to withdraw from the semester.

Keep in mind that:

  • You may withdraw at any time during the semester, including the last day of classes.
  • Withdrawal will delay normal degree progress, may affect academic programming, and may have financial implications. Read our tuition adjustment policy and refund policy for more information.
  • Withdrawal will terminate enrollment in all resident instruction and continuing education courses for current and future semesters.
  • Withdrawal results in a "W" symbol recorded on your transcript.
  • If a course was completed before a withdrawal was processed, a grade or appropriate symbol is recorded.
  • Reason for withdrawal will be stated in the special actions and notes section of the student's transcript.
  • You can always contact your academic adviser to discuss alternatives to withdrawing.

Withdrawal Process

To initiate a withdrawal, you should submit a withdrawal form.


In order to become a Penn State student again, you will need to apply for re-enrollment to the University. No re-enrollment fee is required. If you’re a nondegree or certificate student, or an adult learner, you may qualify for an exception from the re-enrollment process. Contact the Penn State World Campus Registrar if you have questions. 

Implications for financial aid and veterans benefits

If you are a student enrolled in one of the following categories, you should contact a representative from that office to discuss the impact your withdrawal will have:

  • Financial aid recipients — please call 814-867-4244
  • Veterans benefits recipients — please call 814-863-0465
  • Active duty benefits recipients — please call 814-863-8300

Military Withdrawal

If you're called to active duty during a semester or session, you should initiate a military withdrawal. You will not be charged tuition for the semester of withdrawal, and you will be eligible for "military re-enrollment" to the University, which assures you access to the same major and location assigned at the time of withdrawal. No re-enrollment fee is required.

Additionally, the Office of Student Aid and the Bursar's office will be notified automatically by the Registrar after they have processed your paperwork.


Students in basic training are not eligible for military withdrawal.

Military withdrawal process

If you are a student called to active duty, you may request a withdrawal by completing two actions:

  1. Present a copy of your military orders with formal correspondence on unit letterhead to the Registrar's Office at the campus you are attending. The correspondence must include your unit commander’s contact information and the duration and location of your pending assignment.
  2. Complete a withdrawal form, citing "Military" as your reason.