Changes to class withdrawal policy initiate this semester

The withdrawal policy has been changed at the University of Indianapolis this year. Previously, the policy had been that students could withdraw from a class and not receive a final grade in that course up until a few days before finals. After a faculty meeting in April 2014, the decision was made to change the withdraw deadline to the 10th week of classes.

University Registrar Kristine Dozier said that the decision followed a change in state-funded financial aid programs that now require students receiving aid to complete 30 credit hours per academic year, or at least 15 credit hours per semester.

“It’s really financially crafted,” Dozier said. “The faculty wondered if having such a late withdrawal date hindered students’ ability to progress towards 30 credit hours per year.”

According to Dozier, the idea is to promote earlier conversation between students and teachers about struggles in courses, rather than when it is too late to do anything about them.

“Having such a late withdrawal date, because it’s so lenient, what we found was a lot of students were just waiting, and maybe they wouldn’t even go to class in the last month of classes,” Dozier said. “They would wait until that last week, before finals, to withdraw. That’s where we saw the highest percentage of withdrawals for each semester.”

By moving the withdrawal date to one week after midterms, the registrar’s office and faculty hope to give students time to assess their performance in their classes, as well as discuss possible options with their teachers.

Some students feel that this change will not impact them very much and are not concerned about the implications of the policy change.

“I don’t think it should matter that much,” said sophomore music major Quin Wezeman. “Because if you signed up for the course, you should be prepared to finish it.”

Other students have a different view of the change and believe the withdrawal policy change is unfair.

“You should be able to withdraw up until the final. We’re paying to go here, so if we decide that we want to withdraw from a class, and not have the final grade on our records, we should have that option,” said sophomore music major Sarah Smith.

According to Dozier, it is likely that there will not be any significant changes to the policy, unless there is an extremely poor reaction to the new deadline.

“This will be the policy from here on out,” Dozier said. “Unless there is a lot of negative feedback that would prompt the faculty to reconsider, but I don’t see that happening in the near future.”