By Kerry Thomas, Academic Advisor College of Liberal Arts
We are now right in the middle of fall term and I’m sure you all have had a chance to turn in a paper, take a test or do a large project in each of your classes. After looking at those grades, you may be overjoyed with your grades and feeling optimistic about the GPA you are going to earn this term. Others of you may be getting concerned. You may be getting lower grades than you had wanted in one or more classes and are contemplating either S/Uing or Withdrawing from a class. There are a few things you should consider before making this decision.
1. Calculate your term GPA assuming the grades you currently have in your classes are your final grades. If you are not sure how to do that, look at this worksheet for instructions on how to calculate your GPA. It is important for you to earn at least a 2.0 in the term to maintain good academic standing at the university, but there may be other GPA requirements for scholarships or your major that you need to consider as well. If the GPA that you compute is below where you need to be and you don’t think you can bring your grade up in a class, it may be time to look at options that will help you salvage your GPA.
2. S/Uing a class- If you are doing poorly in a class that is not in your major but you think you will successfully pass it, you may be able to S/U it. Changing the grading basis of a class to S/U means that if you earn a C- or better in a class, the grade that will show up on your transcript will be an S. You will earn credit for the class, but the S grade will not impact your GPA. If you earn a D+ or below in that class, you would earn a U. Earning a U does not impact your GPA and you do not earn credit for the class.
Once you decide to change a class to S/U, you cannot change it back. In other words, if you change to S/U grading, and end up earning an A in a class, you will not be able to change your S to an A. To S/U a class, you need to go to your advising office and get the S/U form signed and take it to the registrar’s office in Kerr by 5:00 pm on Friday, November 9th. You do not need an advising appointment to do this, but if you want to talk through whether or not it’s a good idea, you are welcome to make an advising appointment with a CLA advisor by calling 541-737-0561.
3. Withdrawing from a class- If you are in any class that you know you will not be able to successfully complete, you have the option to withdraw from it. You can withdraw from a course, even if it is in your major. You do not need to fill out a form to withdraw from a class, you just need to go to your “Register, Add, Drop” menu in student online services. Find the drop down menu next to the class you want to withdraw from, select withdraw and press the “submit changes” button located towards the bottom of the page. Refresh the page and make sure that the class is now listed as withdrawn. I recommend withdrawing from a class if you are sure that you cannot pass a class. It saves you from earning an F that brings down your GPA and you can get rid of a class that is causing you stress which will provide you more time to focus on improving the final grades in all of your other classes.
4. Check with financial aid- Withdrawing or S/Uing may or may not impact your aid, loans, scholarships or other funds you are using to pay for your tuition at OSU. If you are concerned, make sure to contact the financial aid office and find out if your aid will be affected.
5. Seek help from the Academic Success Center– That’s right people, there is a whole center on campus dedicated to helping undergraduate students be more successful! They are located in Waldo 102 and offer services from Academic Coaching, workshops on success skills, tutoring, supplemental instruction, the writing center and different strategies that will help you be a better, more effective learner.
At the end of the day, you have to make the decision that is right for you. Just remember, you do have options to help save your GPA and your advisors in CLA would be happy to help you choose which option is right for you.