There are very important differences between dropping and withdrawing from a course; the option available to you depends when you are attempting to drop or withdraw. Below outlines the academic differences between the two.
For information about fee reversals for dropping or withdrawing, see Fee Deadlines & Refunds.
Dropping a course
Registration in a term/semester normally starts about 8-9 weeks before a semester commences (see Dates & Deadlines for term-specific dates). Throughout this period, and up until the add/drop deadline, you can drop a course using the Registration application. When a course is dropped, the course is completely removed from the student record. Whether or not fee penalties are assessed depends on if the term has started; see Fee Deadlines & Refunds for information related to reversed fees for dropping courses.
The add/drop deadline for a full-semester course is different than an intersession course. See Dates & Deadlines for term-specific dates, as well as any non-standard add/drop and withdrawal deadlines for the current term.
If you intend not to attend KPU for a term, you must ensure that you drop any courses you are registered in by the established deadlines (see Dates & Deadlines or Fee Deadlines & Refunds). Check your schedule after dropping as, unless you have officially dropped, you are considered fully registered, will be charged for the course, and will be assigned a grade.
Once the add/drop period is over, the withdrawal period commences. Students are eligible to withdraw themselves from a course until the withdrawal deadline using the Registration application. Once you withdraw, the course remains on your student record with a "W" grade. The "W" is not calculated in your term or cumulative GPAs. No fees are reversed for withdrawn courses; see Fees Deadlines & Refunds for more information. After the withdrawal deadline, you cannot withdraw from a course unless you have grounds to request a withdrawal under extenuating circumstances.
The withdrawal deadline for a full semester course is different than an intersession course. See either Dates & Deadlines or the Academic Schedule for Senate-approved full semester and intersession withdrawal dates, or Dates & Deadlines for any non-standard add/drop and withdrawal deadlines for the current term. Check your schedule after withdrawing as, unless you have officially withdrawn, you are considered fully registered and will be assigned a grade.
Some resources to consider before withdrawing from a course:
Peer tutoring and academic coaches at The Learning Centre.
Overwhelmed or need help with personal goal setting? See Counselling Services.
Academic Advising: How will withdrawing affect your academic goals?
Student Awards & Financial Assistance: How will withdrawing affect your education funding?
Withdrawal Under Extenuating Circumstances
Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the stated withdrawal deadline for the term and are expected to voluntarily withdraw themselves online if seeking a course withdrawal for any reason prior to the stated deadline. Only those circumstances that are unexpected, extenuating, or beyond the student’s control and that arise after the stated withdrawal deadline should necessitate a withdrawal under extenuating circumstances. Only in rare circumstances will a partial withdrawal be considered. Students requesting a partial withdrawal will be required to provide additional justification in support of their partial request.
Please note that approval of a course withdrawal does not result in a tuition fee adjustment.
There are a variety of reasons why a student may wish to withdraw from their studies. Before doing so, students should seek support to help determine the impact of a voluntary withdrawal and/or withdrawal under extenuating circumstances.
For complete information, please refer to Policy ST13 and its associated procedures.
To initiate a course withdrawal request after the stated deadline for the term, please complete the Request for Course Withdrawal Under Extenuating Circumstances form.