Should You Drop That Class?
Did you start the spring semester with high hopes, only to find yourself struggling in a class already? Depending on when your semester began and what deadlines are in place at your college, you may have some options to consider, other than struggling through and hoping for a passing grade. Of course, there are many factors to consider before you ultimately decide to give up on a course, as it could lead to unexpected ramifications in other areas. If you find yourself barely treading water and in serious jeopardy of failing a course, here are some things to consider before throwing in the towel.
1. Have You Exhausted Your Resources?
Although it is not the end of the world to drop a class or withdraw, you may still have a chance at salvaging your grade. Make sure you speak with your professor to see if there are any additional resources available to help you better understand the material. You may be able to join a study group, get free tutoring assistance or even submit an extra assignment to help boost your grade.
2. Is the Course Required for Your Major?
It’s one thing to drop or withdraw from an elective, as you can usually select something different down the road, but if the class is required to graduate, you’ll end up taking it again eventually. Another thing to consider is whether the course is a prerequisite for a course you need next semester. If so, dropping the course now could throw a wrench in your future academic plans, too. If the professor is your problem, be sure the course is offered by another professor before dropping it. If not, things probably won’t change by postponing the inevitable, so you might as well bite the bullet and get it over with now.
3. How Will it Affect Your Money?
News flash, dropping a course can actually hit you in the pocket, if you aren’t careful. All colleges have an add/drop date, so if you drop the class before that deadline, you shouldn’t be charged for the course. After that date, there will be another deadline for withdrawing from a class. Some colleges will give a partial refund, depending on when you withdraw, but it’s best to check with your college to verify what, if any, amount you may receive.
Another thing to consider is how dropping the class will affect your overall financial aid package. Many of your grants, scholarships and loans may require you to carry a minimum course load per semester. If dropping the class puts you under the amount, you could lose your financial aid. It’s always best review your requirements before making the decision to drop a class. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to stop by the financial aid office for help.
4. Will Your Grade Point Average Drop?
Fortunately, if you drop before the add/drop date or the withdraw date, your grade point average will not be harmed. You will, however, see a ‘W’ on your transcript, if you withdraw. Having one or two withdrawn classes is not detrimental, but three or more could signal to future employers or scholarship providers that you may have difficulty completing tasks/assignments. Some states even restrict how many times as student can withdraw from a class, so check with your college administrators to ensure you don’t approach the limit.
It’s a good idea to meet with your academic adviser to go over all your options for dropping or withdrawing from a course. Consider your academic workload, as well as any outside commitments, such as work or family issues, as these may play a role in your ability to focus and bring your grade up. After considering all your options, if you find that leaving the class is best for you, be sure to drop/withdraw through the proper channels. Notify your professor and let him/her know why you won’t be continuing in the course, get the required forms from your college and submit them before the appropriate deadline. Keep in mind that not showing up for class does not remove you from the class roster and can have serious consequences down the road.