What Happens if You Fail a Class in College?

If you came to this article you might be wondering “What happens if you fail a class in college?”. Although it can feel like the end of the world if you finish the term and fail one of your college classes, take a deep breath and try not to worry. There are some things you can do in such a scenario.

Is the Grade Final?

Your grade might be final if it is the end of the semester but, if there is still some time to go, if might be worth asking your professor if there is anything you can do to avoid a fail. You might find out about extra credit opportunities or receive some valuable guidance about how to raise your grade by the end of the semester.

Be warned though: if the failing grade is caused by you not having studied hard enough or skipping class, your professor might not be so thrilled to have you ask.

How It Affects You Academically

A grade can impact your academics as well as your GPA. There might be a chance of being put on probation or not being eligible for the next part of your course. Does it matter whether instead of having a high school diploma you have a GED?

All of this depends on your school, your grade and more, but some of the things you might have to do include:

Arranging to repeat the classes and not fail them again
Signing up for summer class and ensuring you put in enough work this time
Find an alternative course which doesn’t require any prerequisites

How Your Financial Aid Might be Affected

You need to stay on top of things academically to maintain your financial aid. Some schools do allow an occasional academic slip-up as far as finances go, but failing a class can still have an impact on your financial support situation.

If you have not put in enough work or skipped classes, you are already on academic probation or you have made other poor choices which lowered your grade, you might be in danger of losing your financial aid altogether.

Rather than worrying needlessly, seek advice from the school’s financial support office and ask them what is likely to happen.

Class-Failing Consequences

Unless you took the course pass/fail, a failing grade is likely to negatively impact your GPA and this can affect your financial aid situation.

Your college transcripts will list the failing grade and this could be seen by the graduate school you want to apply to. It could even follow you later when job-hunting. It is possible however that future employers will not look at your college transcript.

Mentally, failing a grade can make you feel embarrassed and doubt your ability to succeed in college at all.

Also read: What to Do After Dropping Out of College

Keep Things in Perspective

Sometimes failing (or nearly failing) a grade can make it obvious you are in the wrong major or show you that you need to work harder, cut out some extracurricular activities in favor or studying harder, or just study differently. Reach out for help whenever you need it and share any academic concerns with your professor.

Remember too that even the best of students can fail a class sometimes and nobody does everything perfectly. Yes you messed up, but hopefully there will be ways to raise your GPA and make up for what happened.

Conclusion: What’s Next?

Examine your overall situation. Think about why you failed or came close to failing, and what the consequences are. Decide what you need to change in order to avoid this happening again in the future, and consider what you can learn from this.

Ensure you know, going forward, how to ensure your grades are better, and keep reaching out for help or advice from your professor if you fear you are falling behind again.

Hopefully you will continue to make good progress academically and be able to put the failed grade behind you.

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