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Campus Chatter: OU’s add/drop policy is not fair for students

OU’s add/drop policy doesn’t leave enough time for students to decide if they want to drop a class or not. 

I am a girl who thrives on structure, deadlines and a packed agenda. If my days aren’t filled with tasks and assignments, I feel lost and unproductive.

So in an effort to keep busy, I try to stick with 18-credit hour semesters. Though six classes can sometimes be a lot to juggle, a little organization goes a long way. With some planning, it isn’t too much of an issue getting my assignments done and turned in on time.

That is, until this semester.

Three weeks in, I started to realize that I might have bitten off more than I can chew. Five of my six classes are outside of my major, making the subject matter more difficult to grasp and the workload heavier than usual. College will always come with high periods of stress but for the first time, I felt too overwhelmed to properly function.

I decided I couldn’t keep up with this schedule. For the sake of my GPA and my sanity, I needed to decrease my workload.

After careful consideration, I made the decision to withdraw from a class I didn’t necessarily need to take this semester. When I logged into my student account to drop the class, however, I was met with a major roadblock in my withdrawal process.

According to Ohio University’s academic policy, students can withdraw from one or more (but not all classes) from Saturday of the second week of the semester through Friday of the tenth week of the semester without permission.

Not a problem, right?

Not quite: any classes that are dropped after the second week remain on academic records with grades of WP (withdrawn passing) or WF (withdrawn failing). Although the WP or WF grades do not affect students’ grade point average, these dropped classes continue to be used in the calculation of tuition, fees and appear on students’ transcripts.

Ohio University’s withdrawal policy doesn’t leave students with enough time to play around with their schedules. As I discovered, it takes longer than two weeks to feel out a course. The first days of the semester are spent going over future assignments and exam dates, so students don’t really dive into the material until a few classes in. Unfortunately, it’s hard to really figure where you fall in the class until after the first test.

Although students are still given time to drop a class within the first month of the semester, they still get a big, fat WP/WF blemish on their transcripts.

OU should reconsider their add/drop policies. Even if they give students just one more week to drop a class without a WP or WF, those five extra days count because syllabus week isn’t an accurate portrayal of how classes will be for the rest of the semester. As the current policy stands, students essentially only have one week to figure out if this new schedule is going to work.

But once they realize a class isn’t the right fit for them, it’s too late.

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Maria Fischer is a junior studying journalism. Email her at

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