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Withdraw from the University for a Quarter or Longer

If you are withdrawing for personal reasons, learn about the withdrawal policies [see], and submit the Term Withdrawal Request form for undergraduate students [see]. If you are seeking a medical leave of absence (MLOA), information and instructions on the completing this process are available on the Medical Leave of Absence page from Student Affairs [see].

Additionally, if you plan to return to Northwestern, you must fill out a Former Returning Students (FRET ) form and bring it with you to your meeting with the Undergraduate Dean. Once it is signed by the Dean, you will leave it with the Student Resource Center in the Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, room 5-137.

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. Complete a fret form 

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 Baptista 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 Baptista 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that tells you your e-mail account will be deactivated, forward that e-mail to with a note reminding us that you have withdrawn.  We will override that deactivation. 
  • Keep in touch with your advisor and with Dean Baptista during the time you’re away from the university.  We may have important information and updates for you.