Monday, March 3, 2014

W's and Pass/Fail: March 6 is the mid-semester date!


The Mid-Semester date is Thursday, March 6. This is the deadline to drop a class with a "W" or elect to take a course Pass/Fail. Before you decide to do either, here are some things you need to know:

Dropping with a W isn't a bad thing. It will not count against you should you decide to apply for/declare a major (as long as you have completed all the prerequisites, predictor courses, and any other requirements). Dropping a course at this point means a "W" will always remain on your transcript, but you will not receive a grade for that class, so the class will not affect your GPA. The W just indicates that you dropped a course after the Add/Drop deadline. You should consider withdrawing from a course with a "W" if you know that you are not doing well in it and there is little chance you can remedy that, especially if your intended major expects a strong cumulative GPA or specific grade in that class. Be careful though that you are not going below 12 credits (full-time) in doing so, as doing so could have an effect on your financial aid, insurance, etc.

There is actual paperwork required to withdraw from a course (you can't do it on SPIRE) and you will need your instructor's signature. So, don't wait until the day of the deadline to make your decision!

The mid-semester date is also your last chance to change a class to Pass/Fail grading. Rather than dropping a course from your schedule you can elect to remain in the class, but instead of getting a letter grade, your transcript will just indicate a P (if you pass) or an F (if you fail). A P will not affect your GPA, but an F will. If you're considering the P/F grading option, be careful! There are many things to consider before making this choice, including the fact that courses taken P/F may not count toward Gen Eds, major reqs, or predictor courses. Just like dropping with a W, electing to take a class P/F requires paperwork (but not an instructor's signature).

You should see your advisor soon if you're considering either taking a W or changing a course to P/F. You can pick up the necessary paperwork in Undergraduate Advising (if you're Undeclared) or the Registrar's Office in 213 Whitmore.

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