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Adding, Dropping, or Withdrawing from Courses

The drop/add period is an interval at the beginning of a semester (or session) when a student may make schedule changes. For example, a student may drop HSTY 101 and add PSYC 103. If this is done before the drop/add deadline, the student’s transcript will not show that he or she was enrolled in HSTY 101 for that semester. The transcript will show that the student was enrolled in PSYC 103 for that semester. The deadline date for drop/add is different for each session (15-week, 5-week, 7.5-week, delayed start, or summer).

When making schedule changes, students should be aware that full-time status is determined by the number of credits for the entire semester (or summer session). Students may need to maintain full-time status for various reasons: qualifying to be on parent’s health insurance, being allowed to live in campus housing, student visa status, and regulations of various financial aid sources. Some students will rush to add a few one-credit courses in the last five-week session of a semester; this is usually a poor choice. Any one-credit course which meets for only five weeks carries a workload at the same rate as a three-credit course over 15 weeks. So adding three one-credit courses for a five-week session is just like adding the workload of nine full-semester credits.

All students should be reminded that they will need the advisor’s approval to add or drop courses, or to withdraw from courses. It is the advisor’s job to assist the student in making informed choices about schedule changes.

During a semester or a session, it may become apparent to a student that he or she is having problems in a given course. A discussion with the advisor is in order, to see if there is a way for the student to succeed in that course. The course instructor should be consulted as well. Sometimes, a change in the student’s approach to the course, along with tutoring or other resources, can turn the situation around. In other cases, it will be in the student’s best interest to withdraw from the course. Students may need the advisor to discuss the implications a withdrawal will have on their progress toward fulfilling program requirements. For example, the course may not be offered in the next semester or may be a prerequisite for a required course that the student will be taking in the next semester. In this case, the student may need an additional two semesters to complete program requirements and should carefully consider whether to withdraw from the course or to seek another solution. Again , careful consideration must be given to this decision, as it may affect academic status, visa status, financial aid, health insurance, and campus housing requirements.

Make sure students understand that if they decide at some point they will be unable to complete a course, they must officially drop or withdraw, rather than just quit going to class. If they “unofficially” drop the class by not attending, they will receive an ‘F.’

To complete an official course withdrawal, the student will need to fill out the Official Change of Schedule Form and have the advisor sign it. Then the form must be submitted to the Enrollment Services Center. If the withdrawal occurs before the deadline to for the “W” grade, the student’s transcript will display a “W” for that course. If the withdrawal occurs after the “W” deadline, the student will receive a grade of “WP” or “WF” for the course. The registrar will find out from the course instructor if the student was passing or failing at the time of withdrawal, and the “WP” or “WF” grade is assigned accordingly.

A grade of “W” or “WP” will not affect a student’s G.P.A. A grade of “WF” definitely pulls a grade point average downward. Any course in which the grade of “W”, “WP” or “WF” is earned is a course that will count against the (credits earned/credits attempted) ratio. Students can be placed on probation or suspension because of a low GPA or a low earned/attempted ratio. See the Academic Standards Policy for more details.