Think Twice Before Dropping that Course

25 Aug

Casey Doten, Financial Aid Administrator


As syllabus week nears it’s end, you may start to realize how difficult this semester is going to be. Between daily readings, tests, group projects, and papers it’s easy to get overwhelmed without even considering that you also have a life outside of class.

The thought might cross your head that if you drop one of your more difficult courses, you can make it through this semester and take it later when life is easier. My advice: is to think carefully about that decision especially if it drops you below 15 credits!

If you drop below 15 credits, not only does that likely take you off-track for graduating on time but new research from EAB finds that students who take 15 credits each semester during their first year have higher GPAs on average and are more likely to graduate. Indeed, this applies to even the least-prepared students who are most likely to feel in over their heads.

While taking one extra year might not seem like a big deal, it can be an incredibly expensive decision. The combination of allowing time for student loan interest to accrue for longer, more tuition paid, and lost wages and retirement savings can total over $138,000!

Even if you’re covering your education with scholarships, many only last for four years leaving you on the hook for any costs after that.

Another perk to not dropping that class and falling below 15 credits? You don’t have to take that class another semester, one which you’d probably be at 15 credits without adding in a class you were worried would stress you out.

If you thought the class looked tough at 15 credits, imagine what it’ll be at 18.

An alternative to adding up those extra credits in the semester is to take some classes during the summer. It’s a good way to play catch-up (or just to get ahead) without adding an extra burden to fall or spring semester and still staying on track to graduate in 4 years! You can even receive a Pell Grant or scholarships from Purdue during the summer term if you qualify.

So save yourself time and money: Take and complete 15 credits every semester!

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