"Drop" Policies at Virginia Universities
George Mason University
(First five weeks)
The last day for dropping a 14-week course is five calendar weeks after the first day of classes (including the first day). Courses meeting for fewer than 14 weeks have add, drop, and tuition liability dates proportional to their length. These dates are published on the registrar’s web site each semester.
All students are expected to drop courses in which they do not intend to continue by the end of the drop period. Registration is not canceled for failure to drop courses properly. Further, registration is not canceled for failure to attend classes unless stated otherwise in the Schedule of Classes. All classes for which a student is enrolled past the drop deadline will remain part of the official academic record. For students who appear on the official roster and final grade form for a course, but who never attended or stopped attending a course, a grade of FA (Administrative Failure) is noted on internal documents. Official documents contain the official grade of F.
After the date listed in the Schedule of Classes for dropping courses, withdrawal approval is granted only for nonacademic reasons by the student’s academic dean. Normally this approval is given for all courses at once, constituting withdrawal from a semester.
University of Virginia
(First two weeks)
Students may drop a course without it being noted on their permanent record during the first two weeks of classes. Students do not need the instructor’s permission to drop a class but it is courteous to inform the instructor. Students who miss the drop deadline will have eight weeks from the start of the semester to withdraw from a class with the instructor’s permission. This will result in a W on the transcript. Students must talk to their Dean if dropping a course would leave them with fewer than 12 credits. Drops below the minimum must be done using a Course Action Form to file a petition with the Association Dean requesting permission to carry a reduced course load. All students automatically will incur an Academic Warning. They may also jeopardize their financial aid or full-time student status for purposes of NCAA eligibility, parents’ health insurance,
veterans’ benefits, international student visa, and automobile insurance for “Good Student” discounts. If they stop attending a course without formally dropping or withdrawing from it, they will receive a failing grade.
(First six weeks of class)
The Course Withdrawal Policy is intended to assist students who find themselves enrolled in courses for which they are insufficiently prepared, or for those who initially enroll in majors that they subsequently change. Presidential Policy 196 allows currently enrolled students to designate a course status of “Course Withdrawn.” A maximum of six (6) hours may be dropped beyond the normal six-week drop deadline date during a student's academic career at Virginia Tech subject to the following stipulations:
1. This option may be exercised up through the last regular day of classes (i.e., the day before Reading Day), prior to a student's scheduled graduation.
2. Students must formally request to drop a course by the last regular day of classes in the semester in which they are enrolled in it.
3. Courses from which a student withdraws under the terms of this policy will appear on their transcript with a “W” grade, but will not count in the GPA hours nor in any GPA calculations. The “W” signifies that this policy was invoked and does not reach the rationale for its use. The reasons for use remain the student's responsibility.
4. A student decision to invoke this policy is irrevocable and unappealable.
5. Withdrawals under this policy may not be employed to reduce or obviate any penalty otherwise accruing to students under the University Honor System.
6. Students may request withdrawal from any course, irrespective of the evaluation earned in it up to the point of their request for withdrawal.
7. Students already enrolled when this policy takes effect who have exercised their option to use the previously existing Freshman Rule shall not be eligible to use this policy.
To exercise this option, interested students should see their academic advisor to obtain a course withdrawal form and submit it to their designated departmental representative and academic dean for approval.
College of William & Mary
(First 2 weeks)
For a period after the beginning of classes a student may add or drop courses. Students who wish to add or drop classes must do so on or before the published deadlines. Unless correct procedures are followed, course changes have no official standing and will not be recognized as valid by the College. Courses dropped during the add/drop period are not entered on the student’s academic record. A student may not add or drop a course after the deadline except in unusual circumstances. In these cases, the student must submit a petition to the Committee on Academic Status. Petition forms are available through the Office of the Dean of Students. Petitions to add or drop a course must have the consent of the instructor, and the advisor’s recommendation may be solicited.
After the add/drop period, students may withdraw with a grade of “W” from a course through the ninth week of classes. Students who withdraw from one or more courses must maintain a course load of at least 12 credits and must follow procedures established by the Office of the University Registrar. No other withdrawals are permitted without the approval of the Committee on Academic Status. Petition forms are available in the Office of the Dean of Students.
James Madison University
(During first week)
Dropping and withdrawing both result in the termination of a student’s enrollment in the course. Dropping a course must be completed before the drop deadline, which usually occurs the Monday after the first week of a regular semester’s classes. There is no fee for dropping a course, and the dropped course will not appear on the student’s transcript. Depending on the student’s course load, dropping a course might result in a tuition reduction.
Withdrawing from a course occurs after the drop deadline but prior to the end of the course adjustment period. The student will receive a grade of “W” for the course, and this grade will be recorded (and remain) on the student’s transcript regardless of the status of the student in the course at the time of the withdrawal. Withdrawing from a course will not result in a tuition reduction. The university will not permit students to withdraw from a course after the end of the course adjustment period. Students are responsible for knowing their registered course schedules and for making any desired course adjustments prior to the published registration deadlines. Failure to attend class does not constitute a withdrawal. After the end of the course adjustment period, a grade other than “W” must be issued for all registered courses.
Students considering withdrawing from a course should be aware that graduate and professional schools and future employers might hold differing opinions on a student’s withdrawal from a course. For this reason, a student should withdraw from a course only after serious consideration. Students wanting to drop or withdraw from any course in Cluster One of the general education program must have the approval of the Dean of General Education or the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Movement from one section of a Cluster One course to another section of a Cluster One course does not require approval.
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
(During first week)
Changes in registration during the add/drop periods can be made on the Web. Courses dropped during add/drop periods do not show on a student’s permanent record. Drops are not permitted after the add/drop period has ended. However, students may withdraw from classes in accordance with prescribed procedures. To officially withdraw from a class, a student must obtain and file the appropriate form with the Office of Records and Registration, or via the Student Records Access link.
Withdrawals become a part of the student’s academic record with a mark of “W.” In classes that do not conform to the normal semester calendar, the final withdrawal date is when one-half of the course is completed. The last day to withdraw for the fall and spring semesters is the end of the 10th week of classes.
If a student stops attending a class and fails to withdraw, a failing grade is usually given for that course.
Old Dominion University
(During first week)
Once registered, a student must drop or add classes via www.leoonline.odu.edu, by using the telephone registration system, or by bringing a completed drop/add form to the Office of the Registrar. The date the form is received in the Office of the Registrar or processed via LEO (either by telephone or the worldwide web) determines tuition adjustments, if applicable. Drop/add forms, if needed, are published in the Schedule of Classes booklet or may be obtained from the student’s advisor, department chair, or dean, or from the Office of the Registrar.
Prior to the start of and through the end of the eighth week of the semester (or a similar fraction of non-semester courses), signatures are not required. Students enrolled in degree programs in which sequencing is critical are urged to consult their academic advisors before scheduling changes. In such programs, dropping of courses without prior consultation with academic advisors may necessitate additional time to complete University and/or departmental degree requirements.
Prior to the start of and during the first six class days of the semester (or a similar fraction of non-semester courses), a student may drop a course; this means no grade will be assigned and no reference entered on the student’s permanent academic record. After the first six class days of the semester, a student may withdraw from any course though the end of the eighth week of a regular semester (or its equivalent for non-semester courses). A grade of W will be assigned during this period. The last day to drop will be specified in the University calendar. Students who withdraw through the end of the eighth week are
encouraged to contact their instructor, advisor, and financial aid counselor to discuss the implications of withdrawing. Withdrawal from a course after the eighth week of a regular session (or its equivalent in a nonsemester course) is usually not permitted. However, in the event of an illness or other severe hardship beyond the student’s control, the student should submit, no later than the last day of classes, a written petition for permission to withdraw to the instructor and the chair of the department offering the course. If permission is granted by both, a grade of W will be recorded. If permission is not granted by both, the student will not be allowed to withdraw from the course. Any appeal of decisions should be brought to the dean of
the college offering the course.
A student who stops attending classes without withdrawing from the course will receive a grade of WF, except if the student’s performance has been an F, in which case a grade of F will be assigned. The grade of WF will carry no grade points, but will be computed in the grade point average.
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