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Late Drops FAQ

How do I request a "late drop"?

Three critical dates govern what you should do:(1)  If you want to drop a course before the middle of what is called the "term of instruction"---but after the refund period, you can drop the course online. You might be eligible for a refund only if you can verify that a catastrophy prevented you from dropping the course during the first four weeks of the term of instruction.  (To determine the exact date of the middle of the term of instruction for the course you want to drop, click on the course section number in the Schedule of Courses.)

(2)  If you want to drop a course after the middle of the semester, go directly to your college advising office (or the Undergraduate University Division advising office, if you're a freshman or sophomore) and request a Late Drop. If a serious illness or  catastrophic event prevents you from completing the semester, you will be asked to document the illness or event.

(3)  If you discover a course you thought you had dropped remains on your course schedule after the middle of the term of instruction and before  the final exam week begins, the going gets tough. Normally, a late drop is  approved only for a verifiable clerical error or catastrophic event, such as serious illness or accident. 

(4) If you remain enrolled in a course you thought you had dropped because of an error, you will be asked to verify that error.  You also will be directed to ask the instructor of this course to provide the advising office with the date you stopped attending class or a statement that you never attended the class.  You will not be allowed to drop without such documentation.  (To prevent such a surprise, always make a copy of your revised course schedule for your records immediately after you drop a course.)
If your college administrator (for example, an associate dean or the director of your college Student Affairs Office) approves your request for a Late Drop,  he or she will forward the request to the Registrar's Office.

(5) If you discover--after the end of the semester--that you were given a failing grade in a course you thought you had dropped during the semester, the going gets even tougher - if not impossible. To  request removal of the 0.0 from your transcript, you'll need an Administrative Action form, complete with the signatures of your instructor and your assistant dean. To begin the process, follow the directions in number 4 above.

Three more points on this subject: 

You can save yourself the hassles connected with late drops by following the prompts at the end of the drop process. Click the "VIEW SCHEDULE" button and then print the screen and share it with your academic adviser. Be sure the printout is dated.

Also, before you drop a course—and therefore the number of credits you're carrying, be sure you're aware of all possible consequences. For example, if dropping a course drops you to part-time student status (below 12 credits), you're likely to jeopardize your financial aid package or disqualify yourself from your parents' health insurance policy. To solve this problem, you'd need to add a course, and that gets increasingly difficult (if not impossible) the deeper into the semester you go.

Finally, remember this: At MSU (and most other universities) you cannot drop a course after the middle of the term of instruction simply because you are doing poorly in the course.  Instead, you must be able to document one of the acceptable exceptions to this rule cited above. 

Questions? Contact the Ombudsperson