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How to write a withdrawal letter from college

Updated July 20, 2017

Students withdraw from college for a variety of reasons, and a simple, short letter is the best way to inform the school of your withdrawal. These letters are often attached with official withdrawal forms as well as other documentation pertaining to your withdrawal.

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  1. To officially sever ties with your school, you'll need to complete a "Complete Withdrawal Form" from your school's registrar's office. Some colleges will have forms available online; you can print, fill out, and mail these forms in.

  2. If you are attending a new college, you'll need to turn in transcript request form to the registrar and have them send sealed transcripts to your new school. Write a short letter stating your intention to transfer to a new school and include your new mailing address if applicable.

  3. Ensure that your letter and any paperwork is completed and turned in before any relevant deadlines. Withdrawing from classes past the deadline will usually incur tuition charges and/or late withdrawal fees.

  4. For students who need a retroactive withdrawal for previous semesters due to special circumstances, refer to your school's policy for specific procedures. These letters will typically require documentation or other proof to be accepted. Samples for retroactive withdrawal letters can be found online.

  5. Colleges usually offer distress, military, or medical withdrawals for those who have appropriate documentation. If it is past the withdrawal deadline and you have extenuating circumstances, contact your registrar's office and student services department for details pertinent to your school. Write a short letter with your reasons for withdrawing and attach copies of medical or military documentation as necessary.

  6. Tip

    If you are currently on scholarship, have a student loan, or are receiving a Pell grant or any other type of financial assistance, be sure to notify the financial aid office of your withdrawal.

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About the Author

Jacob Michael has been a freelance writer since 2010, with expertise in computers, cooking, travel and other topics. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is pursuing a master's degree in American studies.

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