October 4, 2023
Policy Updates

Notice: Withdrawal for Special Circumstances policy added

The Withdrawal for Special Circumstances has been implemented as of Feb. 27, 2013.

Withdrawal for Special Circumstances Policy

Columbia Southern University (CSU) recognizes students may encounter life situations that impede successful course completion.  Students experiencing an extenuating circumstance, such as a prolonged illness, death in the immediate family, military deployment, or similar incident, have the option to request a Withdrawal for Special Circumstances (WSC).  Requests for a WSC are limited to students who have a course(s) on Incomplete or have a course that has ended with a sub-standard, final course grade directly related to the incident.

Students are eligible to request one WSC per calendar year and the request must be within one calendar year from original course end date.  Each withdrawal request may include all courses in which the student is enrolled during the period of special circumstance.  Requests for a WSC are not automatically granted and are reviewed independently through the Student Appeals process.   Students who wish to withdraw under special circumstances must submit documentation which supports the extenuating circumstance.  Acceptable documentation should include applicable dates to justify the request and may include:

  • Medical documentation by a licensed practitioner
  • Deployment notice documentation
  • Officially signed letter from a Unit/Battalion Commander or Employer
  • Death certificate
  • Any other documentation deemed acceptable to CSU

Students approved for a WSC will receive a grade of “W” for the course, which will be recorded in the student record.  The grade of “W” will have no effect on the cumulative CSU GPA, but will count toward hours attempted when determining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and may affect FSA eligibility.  Students using FSA should contact their academic advisor to discuss SAP standing and the Office of Financial Aid to discuss FSA eligibility.  An approved WSC is subject to the Tuition Refund and Withdrawal Policy and Returning Textbooks for Dropped/Withdrawn Courses Policy. 

Students applying for a Withdrawal for Special Circumstances should submit a formal letter to and include necessary documentation to support the request.   Students will be notified of a decision within 7 calendar days

To view the Student Handbook, visit