The Dangers of Failing a Course in College

There are many reasons why a college student might fail a course. Two such reasons: personal health problems and family issues, unfortunately, cannot be controlled. However, the responsibility for the majority of course failures in college lies squarely with the student. Unfortunately, very few of these students have any concept of the dangers or ramifications failing a course in college can have. Parents, teachers, and school counselors work hard at getting high school students into college, but little is done to make sure they stay there and graduate.

The vast majority of course failures in college happen because students have poor study habits, fail to get help when it is first needed, skip classes, and/or spend too much time partying because they are unprepared for total freedom. These students did not go to college with the study skills and/or proper attitude and respect for learning necessary to be successful in college. As a society, we are expecting more and more of our students to go to college; but, we obviously are not doing a good enough job of informing our students of the consequences of failure, and we are not giving them the skills and focus they need to graduate.

5 Dangers of Failing a College Course:

1. Extreme financial cost. With the average year in college costing approximately $35,000 for 6 to 8 courses, each course failed is wasting roughly $4,000 to $6000. Once a course is failed, there is no way to get that money back; and when you retake that class…the tuition will be higher!

2. Rescheduling that course may be problematic. Years ago, colleges offered most courses every quarter or semester. Unfortunately, colleges are having to cut back just like everyone else, and one of the ways colleges do this is to cut staff and class offerings. If the failed class is required, then it must be re-taken and passed; but rescheduling that class may take a year or more. That will push graduation back one or more years. The financial cost of that is enormous; and the cost to your life plans may be beyond calculation.

3. If the failed course is a prerequisite for other courses you must take, then you have magnified the problem. You can’t take those classes until you pass this one; so now those are off-schedule as well.

4. If the failed course is in your major area of study, you may need to consider a change in direction. Failing a course in your major area is very serious, partly because of the prerequisite issue (one class follows another which follows another, etc.), but partly because this may indicate you are lacking the basics necessary for this major.

5. You are missing job opportunities. While you are waiting the year to reschedule that failed class or taking two years to make a change in your major, you are not out there in the professional job market. Other (former) students are taking jobs that might have been perfect for you. In addition, by the time you are ready to graduate, the economy might be worse or the job market may have closed.

Every one of these potential results is serious! You simply cannot afford–by any definition of that word–to allow poor study habits or poor attitude about learning to cost you any of this. While you are still in high school, start developing the skills and attitude necessary for success–and don’t start college until you are ready for it! Yes, I really said that. Starting college before you are ready to take it seriously is a waste of everyone’s time and money.

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