Appalachian four-drop system offers ‘flexibility’


Chelsey Fisher

Thursday marks the last day students can drop a course without academic penalty.

Students get four class drops during their time at the university.

During the first five days of a course, students are able to drop and add classes without penalty and without it counting toward their four drops, Director od Academic Advising Lynne Waugh said.

After those five days and up until the ninth week of class, if a student drops a course, it counts toward the four drops, Waugh said.

After the ninth week of class, students must have an “excellent” reason to drop the class, such as a serious Appalachian's four-drop policy gives students the option of dropping a class up until the ninth week of the semester. The policy has been in place since 1995. Photo Illustration by Joey Johnsonillness or death in the family to allow the drop without academic penalty, she said.

The policy gives students the “freedom to make choices for themselves,” Waugh said.

“I’m glad we have it,” she said.

The four drop policy, which was first implemented fall 1995, is an academic policy determined by the faculty through the governance structure here at Appalachian, Andrea Wawrzusin, the university’s registrar, said.

“From a student perspective, this policy is beneficial because it allows students to drop four courses of their choosing no matter the reason within their undergraduate career here at App State,” Wawrzusin said.

The policy provides students with “flexibility and choice,” she said.

While students have the flexibility and choice to drop a class, Waugh said she recommends students talk to their advisers before doing so.

After the add/drop period at Western Carolina University, its policy allows for students to drop a class for any reason through the withdrawal point, which is after the mid-point of the semester, WCU’s Registrar Larry Hammer said.

Unlike Appalachian, WCU does not have a cap.

All of these drops are technically withdrawals because students receive a grade of W. However, W’s don’t contribute to grade-point average, so there is no impact on either the cumulative or term GPA, he said.

After the withdrawal deadline, students are only allowed out of a class if there is a valid medical, legal, mental health or administrative reason and documentation is required, Hammer said.

After the add/drop period at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, students can withdraw from a course with grade of W recorded, and remain enrolled in other courses, through the tenth week of classes in the fall and spring semesters, UNCC’s Registrar Chris Knauer said.

No student will be allowed to withdraw from a course after this deadline unless there are extenuating circumstances recognized by the university, Knauer said.

UNCC does not limit the number of withdrawals from classes, which is being discussed, Knauer said.

The Faculty Academic Policies Committee is reviewing that this semester.

Story: KELLI STRAKA, News Reporter

Photo Illustration: JOEY JOHNSON