How to Withdraw From a University for Treatment (Without Consequences)

Monday, December 18, 2017 | By Cooper Samp

Many students hesitate to seek treatment due to the fact that they are not able to accomplish both at the same time. If you are a student struggling with substance abuse, rest assured you do not have to choose between education and receiving treatment. Multiple standards are set in place at universities to accommodate these situations. Each college has different mechanisms for these conditions, but hopefully, this can be a starting guide to help you take the proper first steps towards beginning treatment without any educational repercussions. Students with substance abuse should not be held back from receiving help due to their academic obligations.

Medical/Mental Health Withdrawal (M/MHW)

Medical/mental health withdrawal is the most common approach to leaving your current academic situation without any adverse effects on your educational progression. Each university has different standards set in place, but for the most part, schools should have a “Medical Withdrawal Program”.

A medical withdrawal enables a student to take leave due to certain medical situations. Such situations include, but are not limited to, physical health issues, mental health issues, learning disabilities, family/personal crises, or death in the family. An addiction would fall under mental health issues. What this enables the student to do is essentially pause where they are academically, and return when they feel they are healthy. It allows them to leave without any academic or financial repercussions. The current standings in all ongoing courses will wash. All tuition expenses are refunded. The student will return and restart the semester with a fresh start. In effect, there are no negative consequences to an M/MHW, apart from the time already put towards the current courses. To find out if your particular university has a medical withdrawal program, visit the dean of students office or the dean’s website. Sometimes it is a simple as a Google search of “Medical Withdrawal from (respected university).”

Click HERE for an example of a typical application process.

University without Medical Withdrawal

In an event where the university may not have a medical withdrawal program, other means for withdrawal may be necessary. Despite not having these systems in place, universities can have workarounds. These workarounds involve obtaining a medical-leave letter from a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist. Unlike Medical Withdrawal, in this case, you would need evidence of a mental health disorder instead of a plan for treatment alone. While these circumstances can be a little tedious, rest assured that we will help you through the entire process. This time can be stressful in and of itself so anything we can do to make the process less of a burden we will.

If you have trouble finding or understanding information regarding the medical withdrawal process, please feel free to contact Coalition Recovery. Our staff can help inform you on the proper steps for your particular university. We can also assist in providing any necessary documentation regarding providing evidence for future treatment plans.


If you are a student or a parent, please reach out to us. We promise to give you a confidential assessment. It is the Coalition Mission to help all those who reach out to us. We will do everything in our power to walk you through the necessary steps needed to seek treatment and provide you the proper resources to make the transition as simple as possible. Call Coalition Today for a Better Tomorrow. (888) 707-2873

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