By this time of the semester your student maybe facing a struggle of one or more classes. In this message, I would like to give you some insights on options your student might have.
On most campuses, students can drop a class. Here are some questions you might want to ask your student before he/she withdraws from a class:
- What is the last day to drop a class? For most classes, this date will be about the 10th week of the semester.
- Are there any more tests or other graded assignments prior to the drop date? Maybe there is a chance that your student can still pull up his/her grade.
- Is the class to be dropped a prerequisite for another course? If this is a prerequisite, dropping it could have a major deterrent on your student’s progress.
- Does your student receive federal financial support? If yes, your student will need to complete 67% of his/her classes attempted in college. A failure, an incomplete, or a withdrawal from a class counts as an unsuccessful completion of a course.
- Does the university have a policy where a bad grade (D or F) can be replaced by the grade the student receives when the course is repeated? If this is the case, then your student may want to stick with the class in hopes of raising the grade.
- Will dropping a class make your student a part-time student? Typically students need 12 credit hours to be full time. Dropping below full time can have consequences for such things as financial support, health insurance, and in some cases on campus housing.
- Encourage student to calculate grades to share with teacher their plan – talk with instructor
What are the consequences for bad grades? Typically a student who has less than a 2.00 GPA will be placed on academic probation. Being on probation often means a reduction in credit hours the next semester, more frequent monitoring of grades, a special course on academic skills, and possibly a contract for grades the coming semester.
Low grades can also lead to being suspended from the university. Generally suspension is not triggered after just one semester. Typically suspension decisions are based upon a combination of credit hours and grade point average (GPA).
Many scholarships depend upon both GPA and credit hours completed. If your student has a scholarship, you may want to check out the requirements for scholarships. Especially look whether students have a full academic year to meet the requirements.
I hope that your student is doing well and this message is not relevant. But if your student is struggling, I hope the information presented here is helpful.
Let me close with the story of Melissa. Melissa was one of a very few students to complete her freshman year with a 4.00 GPA. When I learned of her story, her 4.00 GPA was even more impressive. Her mom and dad are divorced. Her dad is in jail and cyber stalking her.
Melissa has struggled with money for school. She has multiple high level scholarships so this helps. But she also needs to work to pay for school.
Last fall (her sophomore year), I noticed that Melissa’s grades were dropping off. We talked about this. She has a muscular disorder, and this was affecting her academic performance. She couldn’t afford the medicine she needed.
Melissa’s grades suffered and as a result, she lost her scholarships. She came to me this summer seeking help. She didn’t have money to continue college.
As always seems the case, one day later an answer appeared. A company contacted me. They were desperately looking for co-op students. I connected Melissa with the company. Beginning that summer, she began doing a co-op and more important, she was earning the money she needs to continue college.