Most students are unfamiliar with the consequences of dropping or withdrawing from classes.
Dropping is defined as a student only dropping a few courses but still being registered for classes, while withdrawing is dropping all courses.
“College students are allowed the ‘six-drop rule,’” said Andrea Liner, registrar at Tyler Junior College. The “six-drop rule” is made up of several components. The rule only allows a student to drop six courses during their entire college career.
“TJC believes that when a student drops a course, they are dropping it for good cause, so when another university looks at the student’s transcripts they are aware that all of their drops are for a good cause, but it is then up to the university whether or not they want to honor it or not,” said Liner.
Withdrawing from a class seems simple until it begins to affect a student’s financial aid.
“When a student withdraws from a class after the Census date (Jan. 30) they will be required to have a return to title 4 calculation made on their account, which means the student could possibly have to repay TJC some of the money that they received for financial aid and possibly have to pay the federal government as well,” said Devon Wiggins, director of financial aid at TJC, “But when a student drops a course after the census date, their financial aid will not be affected.”
Both dropping and withdrawing from classes will affect the student’s pace rate. According to Wiggins, pace rate is defined at TJC as “a student’s past hours compared to their attempted hours averaging out to a 67 percent ratio.” If a student’s pace rate drops below the required ratio he or she will be at risk for financial aid probation.
Another question that students ask is whether they will receive financial aid if they chose to drop a class and end up taking fewer than 12 hours.
Rosita Brown, a student at TJC said, “I was told by my high school teacher that if I didn’t take 12 college hours I wouldn’t be considered as a full-time student, and that I wouldn’t be able to receive financial aid.”
This is a myth that has been carried around for years, and a very passionate Wiggins would like to inform students that financial aid will still be awarded just not in full increments. If a student is receiving financial aid and is taking fewer than 12 hours, he or she will only be rewarded the amount of money needed to pay for those classes. Most students prefer being full-time students so that they can receive their entire financial aid grant, but students aren’t required to do so.
“Grade replacement has recently been introduced to TJC, if a student fails a class and retakes it for a better grade the higher grade will reflect on your GPA, but the previous grade will still be printed on the student’s transcript,” said Liner.
So if students feel like they are going to fail a class, Liner encourages them to “stick it out” because if a student does end up making a grade that they aren’t proud of they can always take it again for a better grade.
“Never assume that there is nothing else that can be done, make dropping a class the final thing that you decide to do,” said Liner