To Drop or Not to Drop?

10:52 AM

Last semester I was doing poorly in my Chemistry class. I was disorganized, failed almost every quiz, and couldn't understand what was happening in class. I was falling behind and wasn't sure I could pass the class with the grade that I wanted, and it would ruin my GPA. After a lot of debating, I finally decided to drop the class. I know there are others out there in the same situation who aren't sure whether they need to drop or not, so I wanted to share ways to improve your grade and what could happen when you drop a course.

What's the Problem?
Before dropping you should consider whether or not you can bring your grade up in the class, and identifying why you are lacking is the first step to do that. Are you doing poorly on the class essays? Are you confused on how to perform certain formulas? Is being late making you miss the morning quizzes? Do you noy have enough time to dedicate to the class? After you find the problem, you have to think of ways to fixing it.

No Time
Since many of us are working while aiming for a degree, it's hard to balance your time and put it towards what is really important. I was stretched between classes, clubs, work, and the blog and often found it difficult to keep up with everything. you should consider ways to dedicate more time to class and maybe even cut out some activities in order to keep your grades up. If cutting back in other areas is a problem, then it maybe time to consider dropping your course.

Talk With the Professor
Your professor is the one person who will be able to tell you whether or not you will be able to pass a class or not based on your current grade.  Ask the professor either after class or during office hours what you will need to make in order to pass your class. He or she may offer you extra credit, give you resources to help, or even be able to help explain why your grades may be falling from his or her perspective (what you missed in an essay, why your quiz was low, etc). Preparing to improve will be a lot easier when you know where your pitfalls are and what grade you need to make in order to succeed.

If your grades are falling because of quizzes or academics, then it may be time to talk to a tutor or form a study group. Your school may offer free tutoring sessions for you to take part in for your particular subject.  Ask your professor if there is a tutor in your school who can help you in your subject. If your professor, or another one who teaches that same subject, is offering study sessions be sure to attend. Having special attention to discuss your problems will help improve your grade.

Sound Advice
If you come to the realization that you will not have the time or ability to pass the class, then it it's fair to say that dropping may be the best option for you. I recommend talking to your academic adviser to see how dropping will affect your academic plan. If the course is a requirement for the degree, your adviser may be able to tell you when the course will be offered again.

How Dropping Will Affect You
Dropping classes affects your Satisfactory Academic Progress or SAP. Following below 60% on your SAP  could prevent you from receiving financial aid upcoming semesters. Dropping the same course or similar, even from different schools, could also affect your financial aid, including scholarships you may have received this semester. Make sure to talk with a financial aid advisor before you drop a class to make sure you you won't be negatively affected. Dropping your class will not affect your GPA, and receiving a W is a lot better than getting an FA or F.

It Doesn't Make You a Failure
I felt bad about dropping my class at first, because I felt as if it made me a failure. I wanted to prove that I could do better, but I had to admit that I would not be able to dedicate the time or work to pass the class. I was able to drop my class and found another this semester to replace that requirement. If you have to drop, it won't be the end of the world and there is always the possibility that you can make the class up later if you need to.

*Note for all you people on Financial aid: If you decide to drop a class, make sure it is after the 60% completion mark, or after 60% of the current semester is over , to drop so you won't immediately owe the school back. Again, talk to a finacial aid adviser before dropping classes.

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