Changes to Withdrawal and Grade Forgiveness Policies

Sent on behalf of Dr. Mark Ginn, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Greetings Students, Faculty and Staff,
We recently received notice of a revision to UNC Policy 400.1.5(R), Regulation Related to Fostering Undergraduate Student Success.  Among other things, this policy defines UNC System standards for undergraduate course withdrawal and grade replacement.
Section II.C of the regulation requires each institution to develop policies and processes for course withdrawals due to extenuating circumstances.  Consistent with the provisions of that regulation, we are directed to:

  • Provide students with the opportunity to withdraw from undergraduate courses in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 due to the impacts of COVID-19,
  • Ensure that courses that a student withdraws from due to the impacts of COVID-19 in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 do not count as one of a student’s four (4) career drops,
  • Ensure that any courses that are repeated in a future semester for grade forgiveness as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 do not count as one of a student’s four allowable forgiveness courses.

Because of these changes in policy we are:

  • Changing the last date to drop for Fall 2020 to Friday, December 18 at 11:59PM.  This is the Friday after final grades are due on December 14.  Students may go online and drop any course at any time between now and then.  These drops will not count as career drops. A similar drop date for Spring 2021 will be announced later.
  • All drops this semester, including those that have already occurred, will be judged as being impacted by COVID -19 so will not count as career drops.  The same will be true for drops in the Spring 2021 semester.
  • During Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, any course that a student is taking for the initial time may be repeated for grade forgiveness in a future semester and will not count as one of the students four grade forgiveness courses.  If a student is repeating a course now, and does not want the current attempt to replace the initial grade, they should withdraw from the course (which, of course, can happen any time through December 18.)
  • While withdrawals from courses this semester will not count as career drops, they may impact time to degree or financial aid eligibility.  We encourage students to work with their advisors and the Office of Financial Aid before dropping courses.  

We, in Academic Affairs, continue to work to stay abreast of the rapidly changing landscape as we navigate this unprecedented health pandemic.  Our top priorities remain preserving the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students and maintaining the academic progress of our students.  We give our sincere thanks to our faculty and staff who have worked tirelessly in allowing us to fulfill this academic mission.  We encourage our students to continue to stay focused on completing their educational goals and to use the resources available both on campus and remotely, to help them.  If you have any questions about these policies you can feel free to email me at


Mark Ginn

Mark Ginn, Ph.D.

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and 

Professor of Mathematics

Academic Affairs

Appalachian State University

Boone, NC 28608

Published: Oct 16, 2020 8:32am