The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Withdrawing may have consequences

College is a struggle for many students. Not only do they have to prepare for exams, read hundreds of pages per week and sit through hours of lectures taking careful notes, but many must work for an income as well. At times, these pressures can catch up to a student, forcing him or her to withdraw from a class with a W rather than hurt his or her grade point average with an F. Although a W can save a student’s GPA from taking a nosedive, is it really beneficial?

In certain situations, a W is a viable solution, especially if a student is in a class where it would be nearly impossible to pass even with a C grade. For example, unless a student plans to go to a school like Harvard or Yale, a W can save his or her GPA when trying to transfer.

According to the University of California, Santa Barbara’s website, a W grade will be disregarded in determining a student’s GPA. In graduate school at a UC, a successful withdrawal from a class does not even appear on a transcript; it is like the student never took the class.

Most of the time, one or two withdrawals will not do any damage. But in some cases, too many Ws can hurt a student’s financial aid status. According to the University of California, Santa Cruz’s website, “if you withdraw during a session, you may need to repay some or all of the aid you received.” 

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The UCSC website also said that if a student withdraws from more than one course, he or she might not only lose his or her financial aid, but could also be put on academic probation, as well as face expulsion from the school. This all depends on whether university officials believe the student is making sufficient progress toward his or her academic goal.

With all the potential dangers too many Ws can pose, as specified on the colleges’ websites, I believe that a student should stay away from withdrawing from classes with Ws as much as possible. It seems that many of the colleges in California, according to their school’s websites, treat a W as if a student never took the class. This could hinder the student’s academic progress and take a student longer to obtain a degree. 

For students who take more than 12 units, a W would suffice because the student would still have full-time status. It is a problem, however, when a student withdraws and only has four to six units counting for letter grades. It is no guarantee that a student will get into trouble with a low unit load, but it would not be wise to challenge the admissions and records office at the university. 

So one or two Ws are perfectly fine in most cases, but a regular habit of withdrawing from classes could eventually catch up to the student. Instead of putting yourself at the mercy of school officials reviewing your degree progress, select classes as carefully as possible before enrolling in them. Make sure to have a sufficient number of units, even taking into account a potential W, and check any school’s admissions policies, whether undergraduate or graduate. A college can turn a student down for just one W.

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