Withdraw from the University for a Quarter or Longer

Students withdraw from Northwestern for a variety of reasons.  Students who have withdrawn voluntarily are always welcome to re-enroll.

If you are withdrawing from Northwestern University for personal reasons:

  • Make an appointment with Kyla Katz, Director of Advising, at 847-491-7214 to discuss your situation and to complete a withdrawal form. 
  • The withdrawal form is signed by the Undergraduate Dean and circulated to other University offices (housing, financial aid, and the registrar).  This will officially void your enrollment for the selected quarter(s). 
  • We strongly encourage you to also e-mail or make an appointment with your advisor to discuss your options.  Keeping in touch makes the whole process much simpler. 
  • If you are withdrawing for medical reasons, you should apply for the withdrawal through the Dean of Students Office. Information and instructions on completing this process are available at http://www.northwestern.edu/studentaffairs/dos/programs-services/medical-leave-of-absence/request-mloa/index.html.

Additionally, if you plan to return to Northwestern, you should fill out a Former Returning Students (FRET ) form when you have your meeting with the Undergraduate Dean and leave it with the Student Resource Center in the Music and Communication Building, room 5-134.

The FRET form is a one-page document that will be officially filed when you’re ready to return to Northwestern.  Filling it out ahead of time helps to streamline the process of moving you back to “active student” status. 

Important Things to Consider:

  • Withdrawing from the University doesn’t impact your GPA.  Any quarter during which you do not enroll in any courses simply does not appear on your transcript. 
  • Your reasons for withdrawing remain private, but it’s important to be honest when you’re meeting with Dean Ewing because she can help you determine the best strategy for responding to your situation. 
  • When you withdraw, you’re no longer a full time student.  This may have implications for your status on your insurance plan, so talk with your advisor, family, and Dean Ewing to be sure you’re prepared for any issues that may arise.
  • When you withdraw, the clock on your student loan grace period starts counting down.  Most student loans give you a grace period lasting 6 months total when you’re not enrolled full time before repayment kicks in.  This means that stepping out for one or two quarters can diminish or wipe out that grace period, and your repayment may begin immediately upon graduation.  Talk with your family and check the terms of your student loans to be sure that you know what to expect with your repayment schedule.
  • Keep checking your Northwestern e-mail account.  If you receive a notice from NUIT that tells you your e-mail account will be deactivated, forward that e-mail to dear-soc@northwestern.edu with a note reminding us that you have withdrawn.  We will override that deactivation. 
  • Keep in touch with your advisor and with Dean Ewing during the time you’re away from the university.  We may have important information and updates for you.