Drop / Withdrawal Deadlines FAQ’s


Why the new Add/Drop policy? What is it?

Mason is adjusting the deadline for dropping a full semester, 15-week course beginning fall 2018. The deadline for adding courses is not changing (8 days after semester start, excluding holidays). Dropped courses will disappear from a student’s academic record; as is the case now, withdrawn courses will be recorded with a “W” on the transcript.


What’s the new deadline to drop a class?

Students will have 22 calendar days after and including the first day of classes to drop a class without the class appearing on their transcript. To give students more time to evaluate and drop classes, the university also is lengthening the drop period through day 22 of the semester. As Mason students are more likely to be successful if they are registered and attending a class early in the semester, we are implementing this change, in part, to encourage students to commit to their course registration early in the term.


When can students withdraw from courses?

Beginning the 23rd day after and including the first day of classes of the semester, students may self-withdraw using Patriot Web; a W will appear on the transcript. This self-withdrawal period extends through the 5th week of the term, or the beginning of the selective withdrawal period. Each withdrawn course regardless of the effective date will have a W grade posted on the transcript.


What are the implications of withdrawing from a class?

Grades of W are considered attempted hours, which means they are used to determine academic progress. Both the university’s standards for academic standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid are affected by these attempted hours. W grades do not affect GPA. A grade of “Withdraw” or “W” is not considered an attempt under the university’s course repeat policy (see AP 1.3.4). Students should consult an academic advisor prior to withdrawing from a course.


How might this change affect a student’s financial aid?

Financial aid is based on student enrollment at midnight on the 22nd day of the semester. Students need to register for all courses by this date, even those with a late start. If a student withdraws from a course on day 23 or later, the W grade will appear on the transcript and it will count as attempted hours in determining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

If a student registers for a class that begins later in the semester and drops it before it begins, financial aid will be adjusted to reflect actual enrollment. Federal requirements do not allow aid for courses a student never begins. Students who are considering dropping or withdrawing from a part of term course (one that is less than the full 15 week semester), should consult their financial aid counselor to learn how aid eligibility will be affected.


Tuition Exceptions:

Except in specially-defined circumstances, such as military deployment or a new prolonged illness, students will not receive a refund after the 15th day of the term, excluding holidays.  A full copy of this policy can be found here.


How does this change apply to classes that meet for less than a full semester?

The 22-day drop period applies only for classes that meet the full 15-week semester.  Deadlines for the last day to drop are listed in the semester calendar on the Student Accounts Office website.