Withdrawing from Classes

RACC is committed to providing you with the support you need to meet your highest academic and personal potential. However, we recognize that certain situations may prevent you from completing courses as planned.

Withdrawing from some or all of your classes may have academic and financial implications. While sometimes withdrawing from some or all of your classes is the best long-term decision, it is important to consider the questions below before deciding to withdraw.

What is the difference between a drop and a withdrawal?

At the start of each semester there is a period of time when you can add or drop classes freely.

After the add/drop period ends, you may withdraw from classes. Withdrawing from a class means that the class will permanently appear on your transcript with a "W" grade.

When can I drop or withdraw?

The last day to drop or withdraw varies by each class section, but you always have the first 20% of each class to drop without having a permanent record of the class on your transcript. If you need to withdraw from a class after add/drop period, you may do so until 80% into the class. After 80% of the class has passed, you may only withdraw if you get special permission. The add/drop/withdrawal schedule is available online. You may drop a class until the "census" date and withdraw until the "W end" date.

Will I get a refund?

Any refund will depend on when you drop or withdraw. The further you get into the semester, the smaller your refund.

How will withdrawing affect my financial aid?

Federal regulations determine how withdrawing will affect your financial aid in two ways: how your refund is processed and how your Satisfactory Academic Progress is calculated. Depending on when you withdraw, you may owe some of the semester's financial aid back. In addition, withdrawing from the whole semester may mean that you will need to start paying back loans sooner than expected.

For SAP purposes, "W" grades count in the Pace and Quantitative categories. Pace requires that you complete at least 66% of the credits you attempt every semester. For example, if you enrolled in 12 credits and withdraw from 6 credits, your Pace for the semester will be 50%. This is below the Pace requirement of 66%. The Quantitative requirement of SAP states that you must complete your degree in no more than 150% of the required credits for that degree. If your degree requires 60 credits you must complete it in no more than 90 (150% of 60) attempted credits. If you have completed 80 credits and have withdrawn from 20 credits, you will have 100 attempted credits and will not meet the Quantitative requirement for SAP.

Will withdrawing affect me academically?

Sometimes withdrawing from classes can be helpful academically, especially if withdrawing from one or two classes gives you enough time and energy to do better in the classes you stay enrolled in. In addition, if an extra-curricular situation like a medical emergency comes up unexpectedly, it might be better to withdraw from the semester and return when you can again devote enough time and energy to your classwork.

Classes with "W" grades do not count in your GPA. However, the number of courses you withdraw from may affect your academic standing, so you only want to withdraw if there is no way you can still complete the class(es) successfully.

Who can help me decide if I should withdraw?

We strongly recommend that you talk with your instructor(s) before withdrawing from any courses. Our instructors want you to be successful and will talk with you about how you are doing in class and what to expect in the remainder of class. Many times students think they are struggling in class, only to find out from the instructor that they are really doing just fine. In addition, your instructor may be willing to explore opportunities that could allow you to complete the course successfully.

Once you talk with your instructor(s), your next step will be to talk with an advisor. There are many advisors at RACC who can help you review all your options. If you are a degree-seeking student, you are also assigned an advisor in your major. If you are unable to meet with your assigned advisor, you may also meet with another faculty advisor in your major or with the Assistant Dean of your academic division. Advisors are also available in the Advising Center in Berks Hall 111 and in Berks Hall 209. Through these two offices, you can make an appointment to meet with an advisor or take advantage of their walk-in advising hours.

If you are receiving financial aid (grants or loans), you must also talk with a Financial Aid staff person in Berks Hall 107 about how withdrawing will affect your current and future financial aid.

If, after conferring with your instructor, advisor, and Financial Aid, you decide that withdrawing is the best option for you, you will submit the Withdrawal From All Courses form to Records in Berks Hall 107.

What is the process to drop a class?

Before you decide to drop a class, we strongly recommend that you meet with an advisor to make sure your decision to drop a class will not affect future semesters. During the add/drop period, you may drop a class online through WebAdvisor or by submitting a Schedule Change form to the Records Office in Berks Hall 107.

What is the process to withdraw from a class?

Before you decide to withdraw from a class, we strongly recommend that you meet with an advisor to make sure your decision to drop a class will not affect future semesters or your financial aid award. After the add/drop period, you may withdraw from some of your classes online through WebAdvisor or by submitting a Schedule Change form to the Records Office in Berks Hall 107.

What is the process to withdraw from all classes?

Before you decide to withdraw from all your classes, you are required to meet with an advisor to review how your decision will affect your financial aid award or SAP, your academic standing, or your progress towards a degree. During the discussion, you should talk with an advisor about why you are withdrawing, how you are doing in each of your classes, and your plans for returning to RACC for future semesters. An advisor cannot prevent you from withdrawing, but it is very important that you make an informed decision about withdrawing.

With an advisor, you will complete a Withdrawal From All Courses form, which you will then submit to the Records Office in Berks Hall 107.

What happens if I stop going to class and do not withdraw?

Faculty can choose to initiate a withdrawal for students who stop attending their class, but they are not required to. It is your responsibility to withdraw if you are going to stop going to class. Otherwise, you might earn an "F" grade in that class, which will negatively affect your academic standing and financial aid SAP.

Can anyone prevent me from withdrawing?

No. Instructors, advisors, and Financial Aid will not tell you that you cannot withdraw, but they might give you reasons why you should not withdraw. However, the decision to withdraw from any or all courses is an important one and the decision is ultimately up to you.

How can I return to RACC after withdrawing?

After withdrawing from all your classes, your student record will remain active for 1 year and you may register without any additional steps for any semester in that year. If you are inactive at RACC for more than 1 year, you will be required to submit an application as a returning student, which allows us to reactive your student account. For example, if you withdraw from Fall 2015, you may enroll in Spring 2016, Summer 2016, or Fall 2016 without submitting a new application, but if you do not enroll in these semesters and decide to return to RACC in Summer 2017, you will need to complete an application.