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Skipping out on first week classes brings risk of losing financial aid

Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

Thinking of skipping class these first few days back on campus? If you like your financial aid, you might want to reconsider.

According to Title IV — the federal financial-aid program — and Ohio State regulations, students who are not present on the first two days of a class are at risk of being dropped from the course, a move that could result in a loss of financial aid if the total amount of course hours drops below the aid requirement.

To streamline Ohio State’s compliance with these regulations, professors are to use a new “Participation Roster” system available on Professors’ BuckeyeLink, said Jack Miner, the university registrar.

Professors received an email from Ohio State Provost Bruce McPheron explaining the system prior to the first day of class; the School of Communication was sent the email Friday.  

In the email obtained by The Lantern, McPheron said instructors indicate whether a student attended at least one class during the first week (or participated through Carmen for online or distance learning courses). Professors will have to go in and input if a student did not attend or participate, as the default setting for each student in the system is a “yes.”

“If a student fails to attend or participate during the first week, he or she might be ineligible for financial aid,” McPheron said. “The faculty rule (3335-8-33) that allows an instructor to disenroll a student for nonattendance remains the same, as does the university’s policy for disenrolling students who have not paid fees.”

According to the faculty rule, the instructor, graduate teaching associate or other supervising faculty members, the chair of the instructor’s department (with the agreement of the instructor) or other appropriate administrative official may disenroll a student from a course if the student fails to attend the scheduled course after the third instructional day of the semester, the first Friday of the semester, or the student’s second scheduled class meeting of the course (whichever occurs first) without giving prior notification to the instructor.

A variation of the rule was first approved by Ohio State’s Board of Trustees in 1976. It was last updated and approved in April 2016 by the Board.

If a student is dropped from a course, the registrar’s office is notified, and will contact the student via email, Miner said.

According to the student financial aid website, additional consequences of unofficial withdrawals include: ineligibility for a fee refund on any charges, an EN grade (failing grade for nonattendance, which negatively affects GPA) and, depending on timing, outstanding amounts owed to the university if the EN grade is not available before the end of the term.

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