The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Drop limit reveals flawed logic

Drop limit reveals flawed logic

six-strikesTexas lawmakers had good intentions when they voted to limit the number of classes a student can drop to six. The new law affects all students, whether they are on financial aid or have paid for the class with their own money.

Refunding tuition costs the school money, and students who could have successfully completed the class miss out because the class was full at the beginning of the semester.

Also, with the state paying 25 percent of tuition after the 12th day of class, students who drop after that date place a burden on state funds that could have gone elsewhere.

Many universities have had drop limits in place for years. Texas A&M-College Station, UT-Austin and Texas Tech limit dropped classes to three. So what’s the big deal? The new ruling sounds like a great plan for everyone, right?

Well … no. The plan is flawed for community college students and their administrators.

In a perfect world, students graduate from high school and head straight for college with two responsibilities—making good grades and making plans for Saturday night. Mom and dad supply the rest.

In the real world, especially the community college world, students enroll in college after they already have jobs and families. The average age student at TCC is 26, not 18.

In 2007, TCC had more than 11,000 students 26 or older. Many have similar responsibilities—making good grades and making plans for Saturday night—just add making a paycheck to pay for school and support a family while making time to care for aging parents.

Stuff happens, especially when a student is juggling so many balls while trying to get an education.

This new ruling might force some students to drop out, forcing the cycle of low income to continue and costing the state more money down the road in services for low-income households.

Lawmakers also forgot about the community college administrators. Talk about a headache. The six official drop exceptions for students seem a little trite. Let’s review them:

No. 1—a student, family member or someone equally important gets a serious illness. (How many students out there have had a member of their family get pretty sick since enrolling in college?

Already happens everyday.) Plus, who thought up the equally important part? That’s another issue.

No. 2—student becomes responsible for the care of a sick or needy person. (Many students already care for sick kids or aging parents, and if not, they might find one quick).

No. 3—death of a family member or someone equally important. (How is that one gong to be proved? After all, some students have a ton of grandparents and cousins). Again, equally important?

No. 4—a student is called to active duty, or a family member or someone of equal importance. (This one seems legit and easy to prove except for equal importance).

No. 5—student’s work schedule changes. (“Boss, please give me extra hours.”)

No. 6—Other good cause? (That is where the headache will really begin.)

Sounds like a migraine, doesn’t it? Dropping classes is usually caused from a combination of reasons—life. Let’s not make life harder on students than it already is.

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