Sam The Student: Dropping a Class

Dear Sam the Student:

I'm living in student housing this year, but I can't afford my apartment next year. What are my options?

Signed, Need a Home

Dear Need a Home

It's a tough decision. On one hand, living in residence gives you 24/7 access to your classmates and opens the doors to friends, but on the other hand, you sacrifice a lot in terms of privacy and costs (e.g. meal plans.) Some colleges don't actually charge that much for residence, while others a bit of a cash grab. But if you're willing to spend some time researching off-campus housing options and good roommates, the trade-off can be worth it. Just make sure you plan carefully, because now all the cards are in your hands.

Dear Sam the Student:

How do you know when to drop a class?

Signed, On the Fence

Dear On the Fence:

Good question, and one you need to answer as quickly as possible. The longer you wait, the more you risk losing money and marks if the answer is a yes. But ask yourself these questions first:


  • Is this course required for my major and is this prof the only one who's teaching it?
  • Is there a chance the grades will be curved at the end of the semester and have I talked to my prof about it?
  • What are all the factors contributing to my current grade? What's in my power to change?
  • Have I sought as much help as possible in boosting my mark?
  • Will dropping the course affect my financial aid?
  • Will it affect my on-campus housing status?
  • Is there anything else I can sacrifice for the rest of the semester to focus harder on this class?
  • Is it possible to change the grading method to a pass/fail option?
  • Will my plans to graduate or apply to grad school be affected?


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