You could pay thousands more if your child drops that college course

Think twice before allowing your child to bail from that class.

Talk to the professor: If your child is struggling and it’s too late to drop the course, he should meet with the professor.

“Maybe you’re working too many hours and can’t put in the time required for the class,” said Goldrick-Rab. “Ask the professor to work with you.” This may mean delaying assignments or obtaining an “incomplete” grade and finishing the work later.

Visit the financial aid office: Your child probably has to speak to an academic advisor before dropping a class, but be sure he understands what it means for loans and grants.

Consider the big picture: The longer it takes for your child to complete his education, the more money he’ll need to finish college. Financial aid has a limit: For instance, students can only receive up to six years of Pell Grant aid.

Understand “satisfactory academic progress”: Withdrawing or failing so many classes such that your child is behind schedule to graduate will dent his financial aid package. He must take and pass enough classes to complete his degree within six years.

If you hate the class, hit the books: There’s a difference between dropping a class due to pressure from work and family, versus bailing because the coursework is too tough.

“If you just don’t like the class, study and bear it out,” said Goldrick-Rab. “Make better choices next time.”

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