Kelsie Hahn" />
side bar
Monday, October 2, 2023


Today last day for students to drop

Students can withdraw from classes without receiving a grade until 5 p.m. today, University officials said. The policy, adopted by UH in January, was approved as a state law in June to curtail the amount of dropped classes students can make while at a public higher education institution.

After the deadline, students must complete the class and receive a grade at the end of the semester, barring an administrative or medical withdrawal.

Libby Barlow, executive director of Academic Information and interim registrar, said the policy regarding withdrawals, or W’s, is intended to give students flexibility.

"There are a number of different reasons dropping a course might be an appropriate decision, and the point of offering the option is to allow students the latitude to make that decision without the University having to decide about the legitimacy of every circumstance that could arise," she said.

To withdraw from a course, students must fill out a drop form, available at the Welcome Center, obtain a signature from their professors and return the form to the Welcome Center by the deadline. Students do not have to be passing a class to withdraw from it.

Students are responsible for confirming they have been dropped from the course either through their PeopleSoft account or by visiting the Registrar’s Office in the Welcome Center, according to the provost’s Web site.

Beginning this semester, both UH and the Texas Legislature implemented a six-drop limit throughout an undergraduate’s career. According to Texas’ policy, withdrawals from any public institution of higher education transfer along with the student and contribute to their total at all subsequent schools.

The limit does not apply to graduate students, but their deadline to drop courses remains the same, Barlow said. According to the provost’s Web site, W’s accumulated before this semester do not count toward the six-drop limit. Withdrawals from private institutions or other states are not included in a student’s total, according to the provost’s Web site.

Barlow said details of the policy have not been worked out regarding returning students who earn a second undergraduate degree, but the state is expected to have the law clarified in the future, but could not specify on when the policy would be made specific.

Communication freshman Joachim Clarke said he disagrees with the limit and thinks it should be raised.

"Things happen that make you need to drop a certain thing," he said. "You’re going to have to go through some semesters without a drop. Some people may need to drop more than six."

Although Clarke has never had to drop a class, he said he might need to in the future, such as English junior Sierra Seja, who is dropping her first class this semester.

She said the limit would have little affect on the "studious," but could have a large impact on other students.

"It would make them think twice before registering for (a class)," she said.

Other students, however, said the limit will help make students more responsible and serious about their studies.

"It encourages students not to be lazy and take the challenge of the class," biology junior Roy Emanuel said. "If you have to drop more than six classes, something’s wrong."

Emanuel said he has not dropped a class so far, and even if he drops a class in the future, the six-drop limit is more than enough.

The six-drop limit is intended to help students graduate in a timely manner, Barlow said.

"We have been studying retention and graduation for some time now, and we discovered students who drop a higher proportion of the classes they attempt are less likely to graduate," she said.

Sarah Fishman, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, said in the long run, the limit will help students learn to make wise choices and plan ahead.

"It’s a matter of knowing yourself, knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are," she said. "In the end, I think that’s a good thing."

The rising costs of tuition and fees also means dropped courses have a greater impact on students financially, Barlow said.

"It seemed clear that allowing an unlimited number of course drops wasn’t in students’ best interest from either an academic or financial point of view," she said.

Fishman, who also teaches history at UH, encourages students to talk with their professors before dropping classes. Sometimes, she said, the situation is not as dire as they believe.

"Students sometimes don’t want to get a lower grade because it will hurt their (grade point average), but that’s the way of the world," she said.

Students should consider their long-term academic careers and save drops until they need them, she added.

"They really need to be thinking about where they are, how many years do they have left, why do they feel they need to drop this course," she said.

In emergency situations, she said, students should consider requesting an administrative or medical withdrawal, in which all courses for the semester are dropped but do not count against the W limit.

Requests for medical or administrative withdrawals must be made through the Office of Academic Affairs, according to UH academic regulations.

No grade is assigned for a dropped class, but it does appear as a W on students’ transcripts and is visible to prospective employers, Barlow said.

"Interpretation of what it means is not necessarily predictable or consistent across employers and graduate schools," she said. "Some may think course withdrawals are inconsequential, but others may find them problematic, especially if they appear in high numbers."

Professors also have the option to assign a W to students who do not have the required prerequisites for their course, miss an excessive number of classes or are disruptive.

"The option for professors to assign a W at the end of the semester is intended for rare, urgent, substantiated, nonacademic reasons," Barlow said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑
  • Sign up for our Email Edition

  • Polls

    What about UH will you miss the least this summer?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...