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What Happens If You Drop a Class in College? Our Advice On What To Do Next

Academics are sometimes not a walk in the park. There comes a time in your college life when you feel like dropping a certain class. Sometimes, dropping a challenging class in college is the best option. After all, it does not affect your GPA.

You might be wondering what happens next if you drop a class in college. In this article, we will tell you what happens if you drop a class in college plus our advice on what to do next.

What Happens If You Drop a Class In College?

Dropping a class means unenrolling in a certain course by the set deadline date. Most colleges have two deadlines. If you drop a class by the first deadline, the class does not show up in your transcript. The first deadline is usually known as the drop/add date.

On the other hand, if you drop a class by the second deadline date, the class shows up with a ‘W’ on your transcript. W means withdrawn. It does not affect your GPA.

Before dropping a class in college, the first talk to your academic advisor. Most colleges require that you must talk to your academic advisor before dropping the class. If he finds it ok for you to drop the class, then go ahead. For you to drop a class formally, you must visit the academic counselor or school office and fill a drop form.

Although dropping a class often looks like the easy way out, it has its cons in the future. Dropping a class in college may create an impression that you are lazy. Also, future employers may think that you are a person who gives up easily, especially if the class reflects with a W on the transcript. Before dropping a class, weigh your options and make sure dropping the class is the last option.

If you drop a class in college, you will no longer have to attend it, at least for that semester if it’s not an elective course.

Why Should You Drop a Class In College?

Before dropping a class in college, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. There are various things to consider before you decide to drop that class. These include ;

Whether The Class Is a Requirement To Graduate In Your Major

After enrolling in a class, you might discover later that it is not even a requirement to graduate in your major. Instead of overworking in class, drop the class and use that energy on the needed classes.

However, if the class you are planning to drop is a requirement to graduate in your major, you must retake it later. In case you are two semesters away from graduating, dropping a class required to graduate in your major will affect your graduation date by one year. If you can’t handle having your graduation date postponed, then don’t drop the class.

Whether The Class Is Required In a Next Semester’s Course

Most classes in college are sequential. For instance, for you to take up organic chemistry 2, you must have done organic chemistry 1. Before dropping a class in college, make sure it is not required in other future classes. If you drop a class whose content is required in the next semester’s class, you’ll end up creating confusion in your academic life.

a man looking out of glass wall
Is The Class Straining You Mentally and Physically?

Schools should not create physical and mental strains. It is not just worth it. If the class is too hard or you over-enrolled in classes, you might have to drop a class to reduce the anxiety. After you drop the class, you will be able to concentrate on other classes.

Instead of developing health issues because of a hard class, just drop it. Your mental and physical health comes first. Also, there might be a high probability of failing in the class if you don’t drop it. Something that can cause you so much anxiety. High probability of failing in the class if you don’t drop it- Your grades and transcripts are very important, especially if you plan to apply to graduate school in the future.

If you find the class hard and you have a feeling that you will fail in it, just drop it. You don’t want a single class messing up your entire transcript when you have an option to drop it. Even after several attempts, maybe you just don’t get the coursework. It will be better for your grades and GPA to just drop the class.

Is There Any Other Way To Solve The Problem?

Academics should be a top priority during your school years. Sometimes, you might think about dropping an important class because you are too busy and can not handle the amount of work in the class at that time.

As aforementioned, maybe the course is too challenging for you to handle. Before you drop a class, consider other options like hiring a tutor. Also, attending your professor’s office hours is a great option. Doing that is easier and cheaper in the long run. Dropping a class in college should be the last option.

Alternatively, other options such as help labs and review sessions can help you understand the class’s content much better. Talk to your academic advisor for other ideas.

Effect Of Dropping The Class On Your Financial Aid

Before you drop a class, make sure it has no effect on your financial aid. In most cases, dropping below 12 credits affects your financial aid in most colleges. Speak to an advisor to know the college’s policy on dropping a class and financial aid. Some colleges require satisfactory academic progress for you to continue getting financial aid.

If you retake the dropped class later, the balance of your tuition bill will be on you. If you must drop the class, file an appeal to have your financial aid reinstated. Also, dropping classes may have a huge negative impact on your eligibility for future student aids. In other cases, dropping so many classes can make you lose financial aid.

Our Advice On What To Do Next After Dropping a Class In College

After taking so many considerations, you finally decide to ditch that class. What next? Here is our advice on what to do next after dropping a class in college.

Retake The Class Later

First of all, if the class is a requirement to graduate in your major, you must retake it. Otherwise, you will never graduate from college. It is important to keenly check other times of the year when the course is offered.
This ensures that you will not miss out on the graduation list. If you retake a class, there will be R next to the grade you get in the class. Your choice about when you retake the class should be when you do not have much workload.

You might end up failing a class if you retake it at a time when you have many other classes. When you retake a class, work extra hard in it. Failing to attain an impressive grade in a class that you retook creates a bad picture especially during graduate admissions.

Check Out Other Options For Professors

In other cases, maybe you dropped a class because you did not fancy the professor. Maybe you didn’t like the way the class was being taught. In addition, you had a feeling that you won’t benefit from it from the way the professor was teaching. A professor’s way of teaching might be good for others, but not go hand in hand with how you learn best. We all learn best with completely different teaching styles.

If you dropped a class in college because you did not like the professor, make sure you check other options for professors. Take the class next when it is offered by a different professor. If you don’t check, you are likely to find yourself in a situation identical to the one that made you drop the class in the first place. Do your investigation.

Take Up a Rescue Course

Sometimes, after dropping a class, you will be required to enroll in a new class to replace the dropped one. This is important for you to get adequate credits to graduate on time. However, this is not always the case. Ensure you consult about the number of credits required to graduate from the academic advisor.

a man wearing graduation clothes/What Happens If You Drop a Class in College
Continue Attending The Class

If possible, continue attending the class. If the class is a requirement to graduate in your major and you have to retake it later, we advise that you continue attending the class, that is if you have time.

Continuing attending the class looks unnecessary but it is very important. Even if you will not get credit for the course, you will benefit so much from attending the classes. The material used in the class will be useful next time you take up the course. Surprisingly, you might even end up finding the class much easier next time you take it due to prior exposure. Spare some time to attend that class!

By Study Team

The Study Team are a collection of enthusiastic and dedicated studiers who love sharing resources, guides and tips on how to make your studying, home learning or education a breeze.

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