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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop us a note so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...