First-years, sophomores and juniors only have until Sept. 6 to drop courses without a mark on their transcripts.
This discrepancy is due to a policy change that was implemented in fall 2014, said Katie Cartmell, assistant dean of academic eligibility and former transfer student coordinator.
“(The UNC system) took on a new initiative, Fostering Undergraduate Student Success or FUSS,” she said. “It was designed to support students, theoretically, in their retention and success at the universities across the state. It was a mandate that all universities have to do.”
Students that were already enrolled at UNC before fall 2014 have until October to drop classes through the system that was in place when they entered UNC, she said.
Cartmell said the initiative affected new first-year students in fall 2014, fall 2015 and fall 2016. New transfers in fall 2014 and 2015 fell under the old policy, with the idea that they would better match up with their graduating class.
“This year, fall 2016, is the first time that all new students are under the FUSS standards, where all new students have to drop their courses by the 10th day of classes to have them removed from their transcript,” she said.
Cartmell said withdrawing from a class might not negatively affect students after graduation, but it depends on the situation.
“I think a student who has withdrawn a class every single semester while in college, an institution for graduate school might look at that with a question mark, but I am not that institution,” Cartmell said. “I think every graduate school or employer looks at things very differently and on a case by case basis.”
Students including first-year Alex Apple have mixed feelings about the policy.
“I don’t think it’s fair, because it’s kind of like a double-standard,” Apple said. “(First-years) are trying to adjust to everything all at once and I think there’s a lot of stress that plays a role. I think (first-years) should have more time versus a senior who has been here all four years and knows the ropes.”
Emre Kurt, a senior, said he has never taken advantage of the extended time he has to drop classes.
“Isn’t the way it works that however you come in, they give you this contract and then it holds for all four years?” Kurt said. “I guess it’s kind of unfair, but tough luck. I don’t know.”