What You Need to Know about Dropping a Class in College

Sometimes, not everything goes as planned with your college classes. You may not like the class, or the professor may not teach in a style that works for you. There are more than a few reasons to drop a class, as long as you're not being lazy. Unlike high school, you have the option in college to drop a class that you're taking, as long as you do it right.

Make Sure You Do It on Time

Different colleges have different deadlines for dropping classes, but there are two deadlines to watch out for and keep in mind if you are seriously considering dropping a class. The first deadline is the date by which you can drop a class without it showing up on your transcript, and this date is usually pretty early in the semester. The second deadline is the date by when you can drop a class and get a "W" on your transcript, which means your college record will show that you withdrew from that particular class. It's best to keep your transcript clear from these marks, but if you do have to drop later in the semester, a "W" will not hurt your GPA.

Make Sure You Can Afford to Drop the Class

To keep your financial aid, you need to attend college full-time, which usually means taking at least 12 credits worth of classes per semester. If you drop a class that puts you below full-time credit hours, you could be in danger of losing your financial aid. Also, check and see if the class you want to drop is required for your major. If you have to take the class but drop it anyways, you could be in danger of delaying your graduation date.

Make Sure You're Doing It for the Right Reasons

You don't want to graduate late or jeopardize your financial aid just because you were slightly annoyed with the class or the professor. Weigh your options, consider your reasoning, and even make a pros and cons list so you can know with certainty that dropping a class is the right thing to do. You can even talk to your advisor about it if you're not sure! This is an important decision, so don't take it lightly!