By Irene Campos
As the spring semester continues in its 5th week, students are getting a good feel for how their classes, and professors, function. But, this also means that students are beginning to contemplate dropping a class, or maybe two.
There are essentially two methods of dropping a class. If you drop a class before the 12th class day, otherwise known as the census date, you will not receive a “W” on your transcript. If you decide to drop later in the semester, after the census date, a “W” will be put on your transcript.
When thinking about dropping a class after the census date, whether it’s because you’re not sure you’ll be able to pass or it didn’t turn out the way you expected or whatever the case, it is important to talk to an Advisor before making the final decision. Advisor offices are located on the 2nd floor of the Rogers Student Center (School of Engineering, Mathematics and Sciences & School of Humanities, Communications and Fine Arts. Includes School of Nursing and Heath Sciences); and Pirtle Technology in room 202 (School of Professional and Technical Programs).
Dropping a class “refers to dropping one or several classes after the census date (12th class day) but before the last day to drop,” says Kimberly Tucker, Lead Academic Advisor; School of Engineering, Math, and Science. When you drop a class you will receive a “W” on your transcript. The “W” meaning that you have withdrawn.
However, there are several things to keep in mind before dropping. An undergraduate student is only allowed a total of six drops in their academic career at TJC. It can be particularly harmful to a student who is going to transfer to a four-year university. A university will look at the number of classes you have dropped and depending on the amount, you may not be allowed to drop a class while at your selected university. And that can be a little taxing.
Something TJC students may not know is that there are a limited amount of times they can drop classes and still have financial aid available to them. “In addition,” said Tucker, “dropping classes affects a student’s PACE rate/time to completion of a degree and increases the out or pocket of financial aid cost of college for that student.”
When asked what advice she’d give any student considering dropping, Tucker states:
“Prior to a student dropping a course, Advisors urge them to speak with their Professor to determine whether they can successfully complete the course. We also advise them to speak to Financial Aid or other appropriate offices based on their personal situation. If the student is struggling academically we advise them to get a tutor as well. TJC has so many resources available to the students and the majority of the resources are free, so why not utilize them?”
Another thing to take into account when dropping is whether or not you’ll still be considered a full-time student. Despite being allowed an “unlimited” amount of post census date drops, whether or not being a full-time student is still important.
In order to be considered full-time, a student must be enrolled in at least twelve hours. If you drop a class and are no longer enrolled in twelve hours, it will affect financial aid. Especially if a student lives on campus and is involved in any extracurricular activities.
“In order to receive a “W” on your transcript,” Tucker continues, “students have to have a College Class Change Form submitted to the Registrar Office by 5:00 p.m. the last day of the 14th week of classes during the 16-week term.” If you are in danger of failing the course, make sure you drop before the last day of the 14th week. If you try to drop after the 14th week it won’t work. Remember, it is always better to receive a “W” than an “F” on your transcript.
The drop date for the Spring, 16 week semester is April 29th.