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Adding and Withdrawing from Classes

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Adding and Withdrawing from Classes


Adding a Class - Policies and Procedures

You may add classes through the third day of instruction. From the fourth through the 10th day of instruction, the instructor’s written permission is required. Restrictions may apply; be sure to check with the instructor.


Withdrawing from a Class - Policies and Procedures

Students may withdraw from a class and not have a 'W' appear on their transcript if submitted prior to the 10th instructional day of the quarter. The last day to withdraw from a class is generally the last day of the eighth week of instruction. Students withdrawing from courses after the 10th day will receive a 'W' on their transcript. 

Refunds for federal financial aid recipients are calculated according to federal regulations. Any student receiving financial aid is advised to speak with Financial Aid staff prior to withdrawing from a class as there may be a negative impact on a student's ability to receive financial aid in the future and the student may owe a return of funds. Students should review the Financial Aid Handbook located at lowercolumbia.edu/financial-aid/forms or consult the Financial Aid Office.

For a full tuition refund, you must withdraw prior to the sixth instructional day of the quarter; for a 50% refund, you must withdraw prior to the 20th calendar day of the quarter.

Withdrawal from a course must be officially processed through the Registrar's office by 5:00 pm on the final withdrawal day. The last day to withdraw from a class is the last day of the eighth week of instruction (LCC policy 468).

Please see the academic calendar located at lowercolumbia.edu/calendar/academic for exact dates and deadlines related to withdrawals and refunds.


Instructor Initiated Withdrawal - Defined

Students should attend scheduled class sessions. Non-attending students should contact their instructor in person, by phone, or by email and notify them of their intention to remain enrolled or they will be administratively withdrawn by the instructor during the first five instructional days of the quarter. An instructor will initiate a withdrawal for a non-attending student at any point during the first five instructional days of the quarter if the student does not attend class and fails to contact the instructor to indicate their intention to remain enrolled. 


Types of Withdrawals

  • Student withdrawal: initiated by the student. Students may withdraw from a class and not have a 'W' appear on their transcript if submitted prior to the 10th instructional day of the quarter. The last day to withdraw from a class is generally the last day of the eighth week of instruction. Students withdrawing from courses after the 10th day will receive a 'W' on their transcript. A Petition for Late Withdrawal and Refund may be submitted by the student requesting an official withdrawal and/or refund after the withdrawal deadlines. Circumstances for the request need to be documented. If approved, a 'W' will be recorded on the transcript.
  • Faculty withdrawal: initiated by the instructor. Withdrawal will be initiated for a non-attending student at any point during the first five instructional days of the quarter if the student does not contact the instructor to indicate their intention to remain enrolled. See also "Instructor Initiated Withdrawal," above.
  • Administrative withdrawal: initiated by senior college administrators (e.g., VP of Student Services, VP of Instruction, VP of Administrative Services, Registrar) for disciplinary actions, academic performances decisions, and health or safety issues. If approved, a 'W' will be recorded on the transcript.
  • Emergency Medical Withdrawal: Students requesting an emergency withdrawal and/or reinstatement for health or medical reasons need to provide appropriate medical documentation from a physician, licensed mental health provider, or other qualified healthcare provider. Submit an online Petition for a Medical Withdrawal located at forms.lowercolumbia.edu/forms/medical-withdrawal-form or contact Jennifer Houge at jhouge@lowercolumbia.edu or (360) 442-2343

What to Consider when Withdrawing from a Course

Although you hope you never have to make the decision, there may be a need to withdraw from a course. The reasons can range from life circumstances to material that is too difficult or time consuming given your current academic load. However, before deciding to withdraw, it is important to consider all of your options by discussing them with faculty and staff, considering the timing, and knowing the impacts.

Who to Consult Before Dropping a Class or Classes

  • Instructor: as you consider withdrawing, the first person you should discuss this with is your instructor. No one knows the material and future challenges coming in the course better than your instructor. Also, chances are everyone else you consult will recommend you talk with your instructor.
  • Advisor: if you and your instructor agree withdrawing may be a viable option, still check-in with your advisor. Advisors usually know when that course will be offered next, and what the implications for withdrawing will be. They can also discuss alternatives to withdrawing, including, but not limited to:
    • Time Management: occasionally, it may just be a matter of building a plan to better manage your time. Often, people budget their money, but neglect to do the same with time. Like money, you have a limited amount of time. If you are trying to balance academics with other commitments, it’s very difficult to do so without planning ahead and setting aside time for specific activities.
    • Tutoring: LCC offers tutoring in a variety of subjects for free. If the course material is challenging, your chances of success will significantly improve if you commit some time for tutoring. Often, you will actually save time in the long-run as your studies will be more directed and focused.
    • Instructor Office Hours: Every instructor has office hours. You can find these in the course syllabus as well as in LCC’s directory. Take advantage of the opportunity to get some one-on-one time to ask questions and get feedback on your work.
  • Supplemental AdvisorMany students have a supplemental advisor, such as a TRiO, Athletic, or Workforce advisor. They will also serve as another valuable resource. In addition to assisting you with the same things as an advisor, they can also inform you of any consequences your withdrawal may have on your eligibility to participate in the programs they represent.
  • Financial Aid/Funding Source: there are certain time frames when, if you withdraw from a course, you may need to repay money received from Financial Aid. For the most up-to-date information, go to the Financial Aid Handbook located at lowercolumbia.edu/financial-aid/forms or consult the Financial Aid Office. It is also crucial to consult with any other funding sources you may have. This may include but is not limited to a scholarship, state program, or family member.

Timeline Considerations for Dropping a Class or Classes

When you drop a class can make a big difference in terms of your transcript and financial aid.

  • After 5th instructional day of the quarter: there may be financial aid implications if you withdraw after the first five days of class, and you could have to repay grant money to the college. That's why it is critical to discuss your plans to withdraw with your funding source(s).
  • Before 10th instructional day of the quarter: if you withdraw from a course before the 10th instructional day, you will not receive a “W” on your transcript. When looking at your transcript, it will be as if it never happened.
  • After 10th instructional day of the quarter: after the 10th instructional day you can still withdraw, but a “W” will be listed next to the class on your transcript instead of a grade. See also "What Impacts Will a 'W' Have on my Transcript," below.
  • Last Day to Withdraw: The last day to withdraw is generally the last day of the 8th week of instruction. A Petition for Late Withdrawal and Refund may be submitted by the student requesting an official withdrawal and/or refund after the withdrawal deadlines. Circumstances for the request need to be documented. If approved, a “W” will be recorded on the transcript. Please note that the Academic Standards Committee does not consider requests for late withdrawal except for those requests that include valid, verifiable proof that withdrawal beyond the deadline date was due to an emergency.

What Impacts Will a “W” Have on my Transcript?

Having a "W" listed on your transcript can have implications.

  • Transfer opportunities: one or two “W”s generally are no cause for concern when universities are reviewing transcripts as part of the admissions process.
  • Pre-requisites: Students applying to certain health programs should research repeat limits on pre-requisites. Although LCC’s program does not as of 2020, many nursing programs only allow students to repeat a prerequisite course, such as Anatomy and Physiology, once within a certain period of time.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA): a “W” does not impact your GPA. A low grade will. However, opting to stay in the course and receive a low grade does not need to have a permanent impact on your cumulative GPA. Repeating a course will eliminate the prior class’s grade’s impact on your cumulative GPA. Also, consider the other classes and the time that can be spent on them if you choose to withdraw from another class.

How to Withdraw from a Class using ctcLink

Although you never enroll in a class with the plan to withdraw, there are times when it is necessary and in your best interest. You can withdraw from a course by signing into your ctcLink account. Once you are in, go to your Student Homepage, select Manage Classes, click on Drop Classes, and select the term on your right. From there, you can select the class by clicking on the checkbox on the left next to the class and select the Next button in the upper-right corner. In the next screen, click on the Drop Classes button and confirm the drop by clicking the Yes button on the separate pop-up dialog box. From there,  you should receive a confirmation. If you can, take a screenshot of that confirmation and save it.


Verification of your Withdrawal

If you withdraw, there’s one more critical step: double check to make sure you withdrew. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a student to think they withdrew, only to find out that, for whatever reason, they did not and received an “F” in the class. After withdrawing, go back to your class schedule online (in ctcLink) and verify the course now says “dropped” or “withdrawn.”

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