Saving The Semester

Everyone starts the semester with high hopes. However, many things can interfere with a successful semester. If you are in an unsuccessful semester, here are your options:

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Withdraw or take a Leave of Absence

This option is available to you until the Friday before the last full week of classes. You will receive a "W" grade in all classes. You do not need anyone's permission to do this. 

Apply for a grade of "Incomplete"

If you fail to complete all of the required work for a course because of circumstances beyond your control, you may request your instructor to assign you a grade of Incomplete. The decision to grant an Incomplete is solely the instructor's and should be based on incomplete work, not failed exams or poor attendance.

If you are granted an Incomplete, you and the instructor will agree to an "I Contract," which will specify the work you must complete to earn a grade, the date by which the contract is to be fulfilled, and the grade to be assigned if you don't meet the conditions (usually an "E" will be assigned).

Withdraw from a Course

After the first ten weeks of a semester, you can withdraw from a course only with the permission of both the instructor and the department chair. College policy states that permission to withdraw should be given "only for illness and/or unusual circumstances." There is a fee as well.

The required form is available from Registration & Records. When (if) you obtain the instructor's and the department chair's signatures, take the form to the Bursar, who will assess you the appropriate fee, and then return to Registration & Records to turn in the form. The last step is important: it makes the withdrawal official. Registration posts a "W" grade for the course to your transcript. 

Both options 2 and 3 require your instructor's cooperation. If you haven't attended classes, haven't done the work, or kept the instructor posted on why you haven't been able to do these things, the instructor may not be inclined to let you escape responsibility. The instructor may decide to give you the grade you've earned, probably an "E."

If you speak to an instructor about options 2 and 3, you increase the chance of a positive outcome if you bring documentation (proof of your illness, car accident, death in the family, or other reason).

A final caution to those receiving financial aid, including loans. The government provided you aid to complete courses. If you don't complete the courses, you may lose the aid. Student aid may be adjusted if students leave or separate during the semester. All undisbursed aid may have to be cancelled, and disbursed aid may have to be reduced and returned to the federal government. Thus, you may have to repay some or all of the aid you received if you do not finish the course. Please refer to the publication, Policy Statement for the Adjustment of Financial Aid Due to Discontinuance of Study, available at the Financial Aid Office.

Also remember that you have a limited amount of aid eligibility. If you pursue any of the options above, you may be using a semester of eligibility but not earning a semester's worth of credits. This could cause problems later in your academic career, when you run out of eligibility prior to earning the degree. Plan carefully.

Last Updated 5/26/21