The Importance of the Academic Calendar: Spring 2014

As a college student, the importance of understanding the meaning and significance of each date on the academic calendar is vitally important: for your state of mind, your academic success, and your finances. With that in mind, I want to highlight a few significant dates.

Classes begin on Monday, January 13, 2014! You cannot get much more important than that.

The last day to add a class is Friday, January 17. This gives you a week to figure out exactly which classes you want to take for the semester. You can add your own classes through MaineStreet.

There are three (3) separate drop deadlines, depending on the situation:

If you drop a class by Monday, January 27, you will receive a refund for that class. This gives you two weeks from the start of classes to decide if you want to stay in the class, without being academically or financially penalized. Monday, January 27 is also the final day that students may use MaineStreet to drop classes. Starting on Tuesday, January 28, you will need to go to the Student Support Services office (100 Stevens Hall) and use an Add/Drop Form.

If you drop a class at any time between Tuesday, January 28 and Thursday, February 13 at 4:30pm, the class will not appear on your transcript, but you will not receive any refund. This gives you a month to decide whether you want to stay in this class. You will be penalized financially, not receiving any refund (you were enrolled in the class for up to a quarter of the semester), but you will not be penalized academically. Your transcript will have no record of you attending the class.

If you drop between Thursday, February 13 after 4:30pm and Wednesday, April 9 at 4:30pm, you will not receive a refund and you will receive a “W” on your transcript. A solitary “W” is not normally an academic penalty, rather it is an acknowledgment that you were enrolled in the class (and hopefully attended) for the majority of the semester, but ended up dropping the class for an unspecified reason. Generally speaking, an isolated “W” or two is insignificant. If you have too many, however, it can affect your financial aid, and if you are planning on applying to graduate programs, too many could be a red flag for the graduate admissions offices. Bear in mind, though, that unless you are in danger of losing your financial aid (and you should contact the Student Financial Aid office if you have questions about too many withdrawals), a “W” looks better than an “F”.

If you withdraw after Wednesday, April 9 at 4:30pm, you will receive a failing grade (an “F”). This is academic penalization, which is bad. You don’t want this. If you need to drop, do so before this date.

You should also keep in mind, when contemplating dropping a class, that twelve (12) credits is considered full time and that falling below twelve (12) credits can affect your financial aid and your housing if you live on campus. If dropping a class will drop you below 12 credits, be sure to contact the Student Financial Aid office and the Student Housing Office.

There are, of course, certain exceptions to these rules. If you have significant extenuating circumstances beyond your control that make it impossible to continue with a class, you may consult with us here in the Advising Center or you may go to Student Support Services (100 Stevens Hall) and speak with someone there.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We at the CLAS Advising Center are always happy to answer any and all questions (the question and answer may even end up as a blog post!).

For additional information about dropping classes and refunds, see: http://umaine.edu/bursar/dropwithdrawal-refund-policy/

You can also contact the Bursar’s Office at 207-581-1521