Are you confused about dropping courses?


*** This story is an updated and revised version from what was published in the September 25 issue of The Brock Press***

The deadline to withdraw from full-year and fall term courses without financial penalty has passed, but the confusion surrounding it has not.

Autumn Wild, the Academic Don of Lowenberger residence, is one of the resources on campus that students turn to first with academic questions. During her weekly office hours, Wild says there has been a common thread surrounding course withdrawal: uncertainty around finding information.

Brock strives to combat this, hosting weekly drop-in sessions each Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Thistle 147. As well, each student living in residence received a booklet outlining financial literacy on campus including withdraw dates. Furthermore, information is available online, at Brock Central, on bulletin boards around campus, and even on flyers distributed in Market.

Despite this abundance of information, students often do not know where to turn with their questions, and occasionally do not know that they need information soon enough.

“I think that oftentimes first-years are not aware of the deadlines for dropping courses. I’ve had quite a few students who have approached me for help past the deadline to withdraw,” said Wild.

Prior to September 18, students could withdraw courses using the online registration system available through the Brock Portal without financial penalty.

While this information is available to the public, Wild notes that students, particularly those in their first year, often do not know where to seek out the information on their own.

According to Patti Latham-Malton, the manager of student financial services and accounts receivable at Brock: “Students in per credit billing structure have until 11:59 p.m. the Friday before Fall reading week to receive 50 per cent credit on Fall only or full Fall/Winter courses. Full Fall/Winter courses can obtain a 25 per cent credit after this date until the last full day the university is open before the December holiday closure. Winter only durations can withdraw until the registration close date in January and withdraw after that date until 11:59 p.m. the Friday before winter reading week for a 50 per cent refund.  Again, this only applies to students in per credit billing. Students in flat fee billing structure (four attempts or more) will have no adjustments made to their accounts.”

This schedule is available on the SAFA website, as well as those for the Fall/Winter, Spring and Summer sessions. Schedules for graduate students are also available.

Students must also know that for any course they register in or withdraw from after the drop date, those course(s) will count as an attempt. Students that attempt four or more credits will be charged the flat fee for tuition and are not entitled to a refund.

Anyone attempting fewer than four credits during the Fall and Winter session will be charged per credit. If a per credit student withdraws from a course after the drop date, there will be a tuition reversal and a withdrawal charge on the applicable course, based upon the recorded date of withdrawal.

The date to drop courses without financial penalty typically occurs about two weeks after the first day of the term.

“The deadline can be a bit early,” said Wild. “You don’t get an idea of how a course is taught after you’ve been once or twice.”

After the drop date without financial penalty, students can withdraw from courses by submitting a course withdrawal form to the Office of the Registrar. The last date to do this without academic penalty is Jan. 18, 2019 for full-year courses and Nov. 6, 2018 for Fall term courses. Students will receive a grade in the course after the dates to drop courses without academic penalty.

What students may not know is that they have electronically signed and are bound by a statement that states they are financially responsible in order to register for classes each academic year. Choosing to not attend the class anymore, informing the instructor you have dropped the class or choosing to not pay will not count as withdrawal from the course or Brock.

The statement of financial responsibility outlines the duties of students regarding finances as well as possible consequences for overdue accounts, which include the withholding of a degree or transcript.

“By registering for classes at Brock University, I agree to pay all assessed tuition and fees as a result of this registration. I am responsible to properly cancel, adjust or drop my registration by the end of the online drop and add periods, in accordance with the course calendar. I understand that decisions with respect to any request for course withdrawals, tuition refunds, tuition adjustments, or other fees shall be made at Brock University’s sole discretion and in accordance with the applicable Brock University policies and procedures,” the statement of financial responsibility says.

Students with questions about course withdrawals can seek answers at Brock Central on the third floor of Schmon Tower. Students may also reach out to academic advisors to better understand the academic impact of course withdrawals. Academic dons are also available for students living in residence.


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