Another year at TJC brings with it a new set of adventures and challenges for every student. College is supposed to be the time of your life, but each and every one of you will face obstacles along the way. At some point, you may feel overwhelmed and ready to give up.

Don’t. There are so many reasons why sticking with it during the tough times is the right thing to do. It builds character, you’ll learn things about yourself you wouldn’t have otherwise, the longterm benefits outweigh the short term relief, etc…

You may have noticed that there are a whole lot of nontraditional students at TJC. One common thread is that many are returning to school after a prolonged absence. Well, one thing they probably didn’t know 10 years ago was that dropping their classes will affect whether or not they can continue their education through financial aid.

The Satisfactory Academic Progress program that the Department of Education holds colleges to is a percentage based (decider?). That means if you leave after just one semester, it is going to be much harder to get back in school without paying out of pocket.

Of course, students are eligible for an appeal, but that is not a guarantee. It’s far safer to finish the semester before making major life changes. That way, you’ll have gained some perspective about your individual situation and you won’t need to worry about an entire schedule full of withdrawals counting against you when you are ready to return to school.

Statistically speaking, if you leave college before graduation, you probably will return at some point in your life. Whether it’s a few years or decades down the line, a growing number of americans return to college in order to better their lives. The United States has the third highest graduation rates for 55-64 year olds in the world.

A 2010 study by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found that the US comes in dead last in graduation rates for students during their first stint in college. One third of all college students are over 25 and 40 percent of community college students hold full time jobs. It is harder than ever for students to get their degrees and better their lives. This is doubly true for nontraditional students, many of whom have already started their family or have no one to fall back on.

So when it comes time to face your decision, keep in mind that persevering until the end of the semester may mean a huge increase in lifetime earnings along with graduating on track. You can do it, TJC has the resources to help.

If you have questions about how dropping a class will affect your SAP, please see your academic advisor.

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