As I mentioned in my last post, we’re at the point in the semester where a lot of you may be feeling burnt out. Things may be so crazy right now that you’re even considering dropping a class. If you think you’re too far gone in a certain course to be able to pass, it may not be the end of the world to drop it. However, there are several things to consider before doing so. Most schools require an adviser’s signature to drop a course. There’s a reason for that. You need to be aware of the possible repercussions dropping a class may cause so that you can make an informed decision. So many things can be affected by dropping below a certain amount of credits.
One of the biggest things to consider is your financial aid package if you are currently receiving assistance with paying for school. In most cases, you need to be carrying a certain amount of credits in order to maintain your financial aid eligibility for the following semester. You also need to stay above a minimum Grade Point Average.. If you’re failing a class anyway, it may be in your best interest to drop so that you can focus on your other classes. Sometimes you can make up that class in the summer out of your own pocket, putting you back on track for your financial aid. However, don’t make the decision alone. Talk to a financial aid officer at your school, your adviser, and your parents first.
Another biggie is health insurance. Many students are on their parents’ health insurance, and the majority of policies require students above age 18 to be carrying a full-time course load in order to be eligible to remain insured. It is possible that your insurace company will check with the registrar at your school to determine your status. So be prepared to stick it out in a difficult class in the interest of maintaining full-time credits.
Your GPA is probably important to you. It also may determine your eligibility for scholarships and aid. Sit down and work out your potential GPA, looking at all possible outcomes to determine the best move to make. What will happen to your GPA if you fail? Is there a chance to pull off a D and keep the GPA a little higher? If you don’t know how to calculate your GPA, see your adviser. I know I sound like a broken record, but there are so many problems an academic adviser can help you to deal with or to avoid altogether! In fact, I’ll write a post in the next week about how to calculate your GPA.
In most cases, it’s probably a good idea to just keep going in the class at this point. Regardless of the grade outcome, attending the class sessions will expose you to the material, making it easier to digest and understand should you need to retake the course.