VSU students have until 11:59:59 p.m. today to withdraw from a class without penalty.
As of Fall 2010, all undergraduate students were limited to five course withdrawals, listed as a “W” on their transcript, within their entire enrollment at VSU. All withdrawals thereafter, without extenuating circumstances, will be recorded as “WF”, which for GPA purposes is seen as an “F.”
According to Stanley Jones, VSU Registrar, since the five limit withdraw policy has been enforced last year, there have been less withdrawals by students.
“The number of withdrawals is certainly less,” Jones said. “Not overwhelmingly yet, but I still feel like we’re in that romantic phase where it hasn’t truly sunk in.”
Some faculty members also believe there has been a slight difference in the number of withdraws occurring since the rule has been implemented.
“In the past I would probably see two students out of a class of 25 who might withdraw; about one to two, and now it’s maybe zero to one.” Dr. Byron Brown, professor of English, said.
“It’s less change then I thought I would see.”
Jones sees a rush of activity in the final moments of drop add.
“Tonight and tomorrow will be extraordinary,” Jones said. “Many of them are trying to meet with teachers and advisors to get the best advice before they make that decision because it’s tough.”
Under the current rule, students are able to withdraw from up to five classes, and are not required to offer a reason as to why they are withdrawing.
“Unfortunately the withdrawal process does not offer an explanation as to why they are doing it,” Jones said.
“That would be a great addition to the process if before they click withdraw they could tell us why they are doing it.”
Jones believes that a lot of students drop due to situations they believe to be out of their control.
“Sometimes it’s not having that extra opinion before you make that decision”.
Some students believe that decisions to withdraw depends on academic standing in a class
“The policy is a good thing,” David Johnson, a junior psychology major, said.
“Teachers like to give tests right before the withdraw period so students want to see what their grade standing is.”
According to Jones, more freshmen and sophomores drop classes due to being easily overwhelmed or other extenuating circumstances. Juniors and seniors are more familiar with the capacity and work load of classes, and therefore are less likely to withdraw,
“Juniors and seniors are closer to the end and their goal, and are less likely to give up because they’re more into their classes; whereas freshmen may easily get overwhelmed and decide to quit,” Jones said.
There are certain circumstances in which the five “W” policy does not apply. Withdrawals taken before Fall 2010 or at other institutions are not included.
Withdrawals surrounding reasons of hardship, medical or mental health and military also do not apply. Transfer students, regardless of classification upon entering VSU, are also subject to five withdraws.
Some students believe that this policy is beneficial to keep students hardworking.
“It’s a wise decision because it makes students take school more seriously,” Shaquandra Mesidor, a senior mass media major, said.
“If students can drop when they wanted and what they wanted, they would continuously drop classes.”
Other students believed the withdrawal policy was pointless.
“It’s kind of unnecessary, “Arianna Scott, a junior photography major, said.
“If you’re paying money to come here, you should be able to add and drop as many classes as you need to.”
In the future, students should take more caution when choosing their withdrawals
“Students were withdrawing like crazy and not taking it seriously enough,” Jones said.
“It’s not a punishment, we’re trying to motivate students to get in here, pass their classes, and get their degrees.”