Flunk a Class? It’s What You Do Next That Matters

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DegreeAdvisers - Flunk a Class? It's What You Do Next that Matters

Failing a class can be a college student’s greatest fear. Once you’re staring that grade in the face and wondering where it all went wrong, is it too late to bring up your average?

Believe it or not, you still have a chance to turn things around, but the next steps you take will have the biggest impact on preserving your academic standing. Here’s what you should do first if you flunk a class.

Check Your Graduation Requirements

Failing a course usually means you’ll receive zero credits for the time you spent in that class. This isn’t necessarily the end of the world, but you may still have to take extra measures to graduate on time. If you’re unsure how many credits you need to graduate, you can visit your advisor and discuss the best course of action. You might even have the opportunity to retake the failed class over the summer and avoid falling behind.

Talk to Your Family

If you have parents or other family members supporting you through college, it’s important to be honest with them when you’re failing. You might dread having to do it, but having a transparent discussion can save you extra stress. Your family may even have some ideas on how to address the issue.

Make a Plan With the Professor

After flunking a course, you’ll probably need to retake it if it’s part of your common core or degree requirements. If this is the case, consider talking to the professor about ways you can improve your performance next semester. People make mistakes, and most good professors are happy to help students who show an interest in improvement. The teacher may be able to work with you or give you one-on-one instruction during their office hours to help you gain a better understanding of the material.

Consult With Your Scholarship Funders

Some scholarships and financial aid institutions require you to maintain a certain grade point average (GPA), which is why it’s important to check your GPA immediately if you’ve failed a class. If you think the low score will affect your cumulative grade, consult with your funder to find out what the potential consequences are. Good grades can give you access to better financial support, but you may need to plan ahead for changes in your college expenses if those grades drop.

Failing one class probably won’t have catastrophic effects on your college career, but by taking proactive steps, you can prevent the issue from escalating further. College is a time for facing challenges and making mistakes, so taking a failure and turning it into a positive learning experience can help pave your way for future triumphs. Study hard, and you can keep your sanity and your GPA!

~Here’s to Your Success!

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