First-Year Experience
Georgia Southern University

Withdrawing from a Course

Withdrawing is exiting a course after the drop/add period concludes, which is typically the fourth day of classes in a 15-week semester. When students withdraw before the established deadline (roughly the 40th class day of the semester in fall/spring), they are not assessed an academic penalty.  Be forewarned, however:  withdrawing can create significant problems.  You should only withdraw from a course after consulting with your instructor, academic advisor and financial aid counselor.

Although frequently called “dropping a course,” withdrawing is different from dropping.  Drops occur during the drop/add period and never become part of a student’s academic record.  In contrast, withdrawals are permanent entries into your record.

Beginning in Fall 2018, students have a maximum of six withdrawals they may take in their entire undergraduate careers.  Students who withdraw from a course beyond the six allowed receive failing grades in the course.

Total withdrawals approved for medical or military reasons through the proper channels also do not count toward a student’s maximum.  The full policy can be viewed on the Provost’s Office website.

Please note:  Students cannot withdraw from every course.  One prominent example is FYE 1220: First-Year Seminar.  In other cases, a withdrawal date for a specific course section may be earlier than the general deadline, usually because the course does not run the full term.  This is often the case when sections don’t run the full term.  When the deadline is earlier, students will generally not be able to withdraw online.

Reasons to Avoid Withdrawing

  • Withdrawals delay graduation.
  • Withdrawn hours are “burned” for HOPE.  HOPE will only pay for the number of hours in a degree program.  By withdrawing, students often will have to pay for course work toward the end of their degrees, even if they maintain the HOPE GPA.
  • Withdrawn hours count as attempted hours.  Failure to pass 66 percent of attempted hours means that a student does not make “Satisfactory Academic Progress” (SAP) toward the degree, and can result in exclusion.
  • Repeated withdrawals look bad on a transcript to many employers and graduate schools; they demonstrate a student’s tendency not to complete what he or she starts.
  • Withdrawing can make a student part-time (if the student ends up with fewer than 12 hours), and thereby jeopardize some financial aid programs and insurance eligibility.
  • Although students often withdraw because they believe it helps their GPA, research at Georgia Southern and nationally demonstrates that students who withdraw earn lower GPAs than students who commit to their schedules and do not withdraw.

There are times when a student may need to withdraw.  However, you should only withdraw as a last resort, and only after consulting your instructor, academic advisor and financial aid counselor.

Last updated: 6/25/2018

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