To Drop or Not to Drop? That Is the Question.

26 Mar

Thinking of dropping classes?

Dog going crazy

Step 1: Don’t freak out!

There are many, many reasons to consider dropping a class (or even all of your classes), but make sure you consider all of your options. Maybe you’re considering withdrawal because:

1. “I’m failing this ONE class this semester.”
If you’re failing a class, you have three options: keep going and accept whatever grade you get in the end, take a GRO (Grade Replacement Opportunity), or withdraw from the class. What do these options mean? Well, the first one is pretty self explanatory. Stay in the class, give it a shot. Maybe you’ll end with a better grade than you anticipated if you try really hard. If you do end up failing the  class (or just getting a C or below when you want a higher grade), consider the second option, the GRO. GROs are the opportunity to retake the class another semester. The grade you get in your second attempt will replace the first grade, so that means you may get a lower grade if you do worse your second time. GROs are meant to be used sparingly, so check the policies and talk to your advisor. The final option is withdrawing from the class. This means that the class will appear on your transcripts, but as a “W” (might differentiate between pass and fail as well), but won’t factor into your GPA. Withdrawals don’t look awesome on your transcripts, but if there’s just one, it can look much better than taking the E. When considering your options, remember how many units you need for financial aid or scholarships. Perhaps withdrawing from or GROing a class where you are going to receive a C isn’t the best idea, because then the units won’t count for your current semester. If you’re going to get an E, the units won’t count anyway, so you’ll definitely want to consider withdrawing or GROing that class. Again, just talk to your advisor when considering ANY of these options.

2. “I’m failing ALL of my classes this semester.”
Sometimes, life happens. If you have any extenuating circumstances (illnesses or anything that would keep you from focusing on your studies), be in close contact with your advisors and the Dean of Students Office. There are many special cases that will differ from simply withdrawing from the university. Some of these special cases make it easier to return to the university the following semester or even later. However, if you go through the general withdrawal process (a complete withdrawal), you will have to reapply for admission. This may be an option if you are in a situation where you will fail all of your classes this semester, but make sure you talk to your advisor if this is the case.

3. “I’m going to transfer to another school after this semester.”
This type of withdrawal process is very different from the previous two. In this case, more than likely, you want to keep the grades you will be receiving this semester. Generally, for this type of withdrawal, you simply skip registration for the next semester. However, you are encouraged to speak with your advisor and make sure it is taken care of properly. You don’t want to think that you’re withdrawn and then find out that you owe the university $8000 next semester! When considering transferring, make sure you’re considering why you’re doing it. It can be a good thing, certainly! But doing it for the wrong reasons can lead to you a place where you have the same problems you were trying to avoid here while also racking up more money for tuition and time to graduation. Transferring can set you back if some of the credits you have already completed don’t transfer to your new school. More often than not, it’s easier to stay here. If there is something that is making your transition difficult (difficulty making friends, not getting involved, thinking there are no opportunities for you), there are usually ways you can fix that situation – all you need to do is ask! This will save you time, effort, and maybe even money! However, there are some very good reasons to consider transferring. Perhaps you need to move closer to your family,  or maybe you had an epiphany and the major you know you want to go into isn’t available here. Those are good reasons, but just make sure you consider all you need to consider and take care of everything correctly.

The most important thing is not to panic! You have options and you want to make an informed decision. It can be intimidating, but there’s a network of support from your advisors, the Dean of Students, and even us! You don’t have to go through this alone, and it’s important that you take care of everything on good terms.


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