Withdrawing Due to Extenuating and Unforeseen Circumstances

  • If you are forced to withdraw from your studies due to unforeseen and extenuating circumstances, you may request an exception to the college's written withdrawal policy through the Office of Administration (Student Accounts). In order to make this request, you must officially withdraw from the study or studies in question first. You must substantiate that the unforeseen and extenuating circumstances forced you to withdraw. Both the withdrawal, and circumstances that forced you to withdraw, need to have occurred during the first half of your term (not prior to your term, not in the second half of the term, and not after the term has ended). Once withdrawn, a request for an exception to the stated withdrawal policy must be made within one year after the term end date. Requests received after this time will not be considered. If a balance due exists because of your official withdrawal, you’re still expected to make the necessary payment, or payment arrangements, until a decision is made regarding your request.
  • All requests are evaluated on an individual, case-by-case basis and approval is not guaranteed. Providing an exception to the college’s withdrawal policy is at the discretion of the Office of Administration (Student Accounts).
  • If you are requesting an exception based on academic or service issues you must contact your center instead.
  • All requests will require completion of the Exception to Withdrawal Policy Due to Unforeseen and Extenuating Circumstances form (only available by contacting Student Accounts, a brief explanation of the circumstances at hand, and documentation from a third party or outside source.
  • All requests are for only one term per circumstance. Pre-existing conditions or situations are not eligible for an exception.
  • If your request is approved, your tuition and fee charges (except residency fees if a residency was attended) for the term are removed. Book charges are not removed unless through the Empire State College Bookstore, in accordance with their return policies.
  • If your request is approved, any resulting credit on account will first be returned on your student loans for that term, if there are any, as a condition of approval of the exception. If no loans were obtained for the term approved, the credit is issued to you.
  • Approval or denial of an exception request does not affect federal and state regulations that govern the impact of withdrawals on federal and state financial aid. For information on how withdrawals impact current and future financial aid, see http://www.esc.edu/Withdraw.
  • Recalculation of federal financial aid is based upon your actual date of last attendance, regardless of the approval or denial of an exception to withdrawal policy. No credit, administrative withdrawals and withdrawals all impact students’ good academic standing and eligibility for current and future financial aid. You also may be required to file the academic appeal and financial aid mitigating circumstances or waiver forms for consideration for academic and financial aid eligibility reinstatement. See http://www.esc.edu/Withdraw for more information.
  • Review of requests for exceptions to the withdrawal policy can take up to four weeks. You will be contacted if any additional information is needed. You will be notified of the outcome of your request via e-mail.

How to Apply: Contact us at Student Accounts so that your account can be reviewed to ensure initial qualifications are met (officially withdrawn, official withdrawal took place within first half of the term, etc.). If so, the Exception to Withdrawal Policy Due to Unforeseen and Extenuating Circumstances form will be mailed to you.


Contact the Student Information Center at 518-587-2100 or 800-847-3000.