What are the repercussions of withdrawing from my first semester of college this week?


After evaluating my personal circumstances/life goals, the college I’m currently attending is not an ideal choice. My parents and I found an accredited, reputable, online university that will provide me the niche education I need, along with the flexibility to pursue my goals outside of class.

My fall break is this upcoming Monday and Tuesday (it’s Friday as I write this). I am highly considering not returning afterwards. I understand this is before the 60% completion date Financial Aid will reimburse, and I am 100% prepared to compensate my parents. I’m just not certain finishing this semester will have any benefit beyond a sense of accomplishment – but offset by personal costs. This includes intense mental/emotional exhaustion causing recent delays in cognition; the latter scares me most. Apathy mixed with fatigue has decreased my motivation to study, focus, and reach for (at least somewhat) adequate grades.

I’m concerned that ‘sticking through this semester’ will only result in damaged mental and emotional health. Moreover, I would rather start fresh at this new university than transfer poor grades onto my transcript.

What are the repercussions of doing this? Will the withdrawals negatively affect that transcript, even if this is my first semester? Will having to pay back the Financial Aid inflict any poor credit on my parents’ financial record?

Thank you so, so much for your help. Cannot tell you how much it’s appreciated.
Hope you have an amazing weekend! :)

Category: asked October 2, 2015

2 Answers

Hi there, You know, as someone who stumbled a lot through college due to a similar blend of apathy and fatigue, I think you're making the right decision. Don't count on things turning around, its like trying to walk off a wound without realizing how serious it is, and causing further permanent damage. Stop, triage, clean the wound, set the bones, etc, then restart your journey : ) You're at an early enough stage where the repercussions are very light, if any. However, instead of worrying what they may be, I would talk to your assigned dean as soon as you can, since this is time sensitive. I wish I knew what a great resource they were when I started, and not once I had (seemingly) irreversibly messed up. They're very experienced in helping students transition, and gauging their own readiness and aptitude. Getting into a college is no guarantee you're going to flourish there, and they want you to maximize this time of your life even if that university doesn't do it for you.

They can also help you navigate the financial aid situation. If we're talking federal loans, as far as I'm aware, once the money is disbursed, it is applied to whatever fees you have from the university, and whatever is excess is refunded to you. If dropping a class results in a refund, you would get that money back, and then have to pay your loan provider if you don't get back to at least part-time status by next semester. Same applies if you don't get a refund; once you're not enrolled in some program for half or full status (i don't remember), your loan becomes due within 90 days at the end of that semester. That is not as stressful as you might think, they have methods for managing that debt if you don't go back to school or get a source of income.

I'm really glad though you identified your own shortcomings soon enough to do something about them, and even came up with an alternate course of action. Finding a program/university that fits your needs or learning style is key to actually getting any benefit from it, otherwise you just end up losing confidence and time. Hope some of this helps! And yes, talk to your dean/advisor ASAP, and if he/she in particular isn't avaiilable soon enough, you can walk in and find the first available one to talk. Best of luck, fleur!
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