What Every Student Needs to Know About
Dropping College Courses
At the start of each term every college student should identify two things for each of their classes :
- The instructor’s drop policy – If it is not covered in the course syllabus, students should ask. Instructors normally have the right to drop students under specific situations. Students need to know those criteria to avoid unpleasant surprises.
- The college’s drop policy – Most colleges and universities publish “drop dates” in the class schedule. Normally there are two dates: 1) the last date a student can drop and receive a full refund, and 2) the last date a student can drop with a “W.” Some schools have additional dates in between these two which identify dates when a student can drop have a percentage of tuition refunded.
When is it appropriate to drop a course? Some of those situations include:
- The student realizes that he/she has registered for the wrong course.
- The student finds out that he/she will not be able to fulfill the course requirements. such as attendance.
- The student determines he/she is lacking significantly in prerequisite knowledge. This can occur even when the student has passed a prerequisite course but not retained that knowledge to the degree required.
College students should take several things into consideration before dropping a course. These include:
- Even though a withdrawal, often designated a “W,” does not negatively impact a student’s grade point average, it does appear on the transcript.
- Some institutions may limit the number of times a student can enroll in a course.
- If student submits a transcript to a perspective employer, multiple drops warn an employer that this candidate has trouble following through.
- Students who receive financial aid may pay a penalty. They could loose their financial aid. These students need to fully understand the implications a drop will have on their financial aid.
- Students who plan to transfer from a 2-year college to a university may find out that a history of drops may block their acceptance.