By: Katherine O’Connor, MA
Should You Stay or Should You Go? What do you need to know about making an informed decision to drop or withdrawal from an online course? Making the decision to drop or withdraw from a course can be quite stressful. It’s important that you know the options you have and how they might affect you, both educationally and financially. In the end, you have to make the decision that is best for you.
Drop Period versus Withdrawal Period: Why the two periods?
Dropping a class means you permanently leave the class during the first week of the course. A drop means the course is removed from your record, you do not receive a grade, and therefore it does not affect your GPA. Any monies, minus course and/or lab fees, already paid to the University will be refunded. You should be aware of Academic Calendar dates to be sure you know where you are within a term.
Withdrawal from a class means you permanently leave the class during weeks two through six. A withdrawal means being permanently removed from a course, you will receive a “W” on your transcript, which does not affect your GPA, and, dependent upon when you withdraw, you will owe some, if not all of the tuition. You will find the sliding refund scale on the Tuition, Fees, and Refunds webpage.
What do you need to know before making the decision to drop or withdraw?
There are some factors you need to consider before you drop or withdraw from a class. You have more options that you realize. Once you do it, you can’t change your mind. Have you thought about:
Time: Can you commit the time to your course to be successful? Are you attending/logging in frequently? Are you keeping up with your assignments? For every one credit hour your course is, you should be spending 3-4 hours each week devoting time to your course. When looking at the time you have to devote to your class each week, don’t forget to factor in work and time with family and friends.
Grades: Have you talked to your instructor? Have you turned in all your assignments? What do your grades look like? Are you passing? Are there enough points left for you to pass? If so, what do you have to do to make that happen? Is it a realistic goal? What happens if you don’t pass? Failure to pass a class could severely impact your standing at Webster University. Take a look at the Graduate and Undergraduate Catalogs for their grade policies.
Degree Plan: How does dropping or withdrawing from the course affect your degree plan? Is this course a pre-requisite for any other course(s)? Is the course a core course or elective?
Finances: Do I get a refund? How does this affect my Tuition Assistance, Veterans Assistance, or Financial Aid? Drop and withdrawal refunds are on a sliding scale. You will want to talk to your TA, VA, or FA representative to see how a drop or withdrawal affects your award.
HELP! I want to talk to someone about this!
Sometimes it just helps to talk through it with someone, or you have more questions than you can find answers. Contact the following for assistance:
- Your Academic Advisor: 314-968-6972/800-982-3847 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your Student Success Coach: 866-622-0888 email@example.com
- Your Financial Aid Representative: 314-968-6992/800-983-4623 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office of Military Affairs: 314-246-8387/800-981-9801 ext. 8387 email@example.com
- Business Office: 314-968-7410/800-981-9803 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Academic Resource Center: 314-246-7620
Need help dropping or withdrawing?
Contact your Academic Advisor or call Academic Advising at 314-968-6972/800-982-3847.
Katherine O’Connor is the Online Student Retention Coordinator in the Online Learning Center.