You usually register for a course with all good intentions of seeing it through to the end. But sometimes it just isn’t a good fit, for whatever reason. Yes, you can drop it, but that can be a drastic move. Consider these 10 things before you make any big decisions.
Essentially, make an appointment with an advisor to work through the questions below to see if dropping a course is the best thing for you.
1. Is it too late to drop?
There are different implications (consequences, but not necessarily negative) for dropping a course depending on the date. Here are a few dates to watch out for:
- The last day to add courses
- The last day to drop courses without a “W”
- The last day to drop courses with a “W”
What do these mean? The date will tell you when you can and can’t register for classes, when you can drop classes, what tuition fees you will pay, what refunds you could be eligible for, and what notation, if any, will appear on your transcript (more on this later). In 2019, Sept. 18 is the last day to drop a fall course with no financial implications and Oct. 2 is the last day to drop a fall course without a “W.”
2. Is the class a prerequisite or a required one?
You need to think about any classes you want to take down the road and make sure you’re taking any prerequisites. That means you need to decide whether you’re willing to give up the option of those future classes. If the class is necessary for graduation, then you may just have to tough it out. Make sure you talk to an academic advisor for all your options. Believe me, I didn’t want to take physics, but I lived and you will too!
3. How often is the class offered?
Are you thinking of dropping a required course knowing you’ll have to take it at a later time? Be careful, the course might not fit in with your schedule next time or might run not in the semester you want it! You don’t want to end up one course short of graduation because it’s not offered when you need it.
4. Is taking fewer than five classes an option?
Thinking about just dropping a class and taking four instead? You need to make sure you check out all your scholarships because some of them require you to be registered in five courses or you lose it! Also, make sure you check the conditions of your student loans.
5. Are you struggling with the class or your course load?
Your mental health comes first. Are five courses too much? Are you working outside of school and struggling to succeed in both? Consider your options and if you’re finding the course load too much, the best strategy may be to drop one. As always, before you do anything go see an academic advisor.
Did you know? Even if you have a “W” on your transcript, your GPA won’t be affected. If you don’t think you’re doing well in the class, talk to your professor. They will likely be very direct with you about how you’re doing and recommend continuing the course or not.
6. Are you an international student?
Dropping a course may affect your student status and therefore your visa or study permit. You’ll want to talk to someone in the International Centre to find out if it will affect your status.
7. Are you a varsity athlete?
Dropping a course may affect your eligibility to play. Ask your coach before making a move.
8. Are you living in residence?
Dropping courses may affect your eligibility to live in residence. Check in with the Residence Office before you find yourself having to move out!
9. How will dropping the class affect your graduation plan?
You always want to make sure you’re on the track you want to graduate. And if your graduation plan changes, no problem! Check in with an advisor and they’ll help you work through your graduation plan, either sticking to it or making a new one.
10. What will your transcript look like?
At the end of your degree you’ll have a transcript. This transcript will have all of your marks, including any course withdrawals (W). In reality, you may never be asked for your transcript. If you are asked though, having one or two withdrawals isn’t a bad thing (and is likely better than failing the class). Especially if you are planning to apply for graduate studies, you should check in with an advisor.
Kauri dropped a class and it was the right thing for her to do.