Withdraw or take the F….that is the question!

I have a question for those more knowledgeable. My question is this…is it better for a student to withdraw or to take an F? I have a specific situation in mind but any information would be good to have.

One of my students  is passing three out of four classes. If the student withdraws from the class he/she is failing their UPASS will be cut off. I did the math and calculated it would cost a person over $60 bucks to ride CTA for the last weeks of school. Even broken down to $5+ a day that can still be a lot of money for some of our students. My student could not afford that amount and so was going to take an F in one class while passing three other classes. So, what happens to a student’s financial aid when they fail one class (or receives a D) but pass their other classes?

5 thoughts on “Withdraw or take the F….that is the question!

  1. I went to the financial aid explanation at DWFDW, offered by the head of FA at Truman who was really great. I’d recommend it to anyone. Unfortunately, I don’t have my notes here and it was 13 weeks ago, so take what follows with a grain of salt, but my understanding is that there are two potential impacts:

    1) The GPA–this one is obvious, and doesn’t affect Financial Aid directly (but could affect future eligibility if taking the F puts them on probation or leads to their exclusion or something;

    2) SAP–to be/remain eligible for financial aid, students need to succeed in 2/3rds of the classes they attempt. The WD and the F basically count the same in this category (as a non-success of an attempted course), but a D would not. So the impact of not trying for the D depends on the student’s overall history. If this is the her/his first semester, and s/he decides to take the F (or WD) the student has to get at least a D in the other three to stay eligible.

    So, the withdrawing helps the GPA, but an F or WD have the same impact on the Financial Aid, so assuming the rest of the classes are in good shape, the choice comes down to UPASS or GPA.

    • Thank you for posting this. I had the same question running through my head at the end of last week as I sent an email announcement about the last day to drop to all my classes. It helps me to know what the ramifications are of each decision so i can advise my students more effectively.

    • Thanks PhiloDave. You saved me from putting in my own half-baked response. I knew you’d remember the workshop better than me. I think next semester CAST should host a similar workshop around Week 8. We’ll have to let the new coordinator know.

    • “… the choice comes down to UPASS or GPA.”
      For some students the UPASS will dictate their decision and I believe it is due to the economic mess we’re in.
      I know when I was taking classes, I never thought about the effects of a good or bad GPA, so I can’t blame the student if they see the CTA as the only true choice. I am left to wonder: IF the student can’t see past the UPASS, have we, the employees of HWC, failed to properly inform our students of their choices?

      Thanks for the 411, PhiloDave. I missed that session.

      BTW, I see this post is by a new author. Nice.

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