Extend the Q-drop deadline, expand academic opportunities

Arushi Mathavan

As finals season creeps up, UT students scramble to save their GPAs. 

Students flood libraries and outdoor study spaces to prepare for final exams all while worrying about passing classes. Students are permitted six Q-drops without academic penalty throughout their time at UT, but there is only a one-time exception for dropping classes after the drop deadline.

A student’s GPA can be a significant factor in their future. Students in certain majors and honors programs need to maintain a minimum GPA to stay in their chosen program, and many scholarships also depend on a minimum GPA requirement for students to maintain eligibility. The academic future of countless Longhorns relies on their GPA, and Q-drops enable students to drop classes that will detrimentally affect their GPA.

The mid-semester deadline for Q-drops is too early for many students to accurately determine their academic standing. The UT Office of the Registrar needs to extend the deadline by a couple weeks into the semester. This way, students don’t have to unnecessarily use their one-time exception because they wil have had adequate time to accurately gauge their decision to drop a class.

The deadline for students to apply their one-time exception Q-drop is the last day of class, this Dec. 10. Once students use this Q-drop, they are not allowed to drop any other class for academic reasons past the deadline in the rest of their time at UT. Nov. 1 was the official deadline for students to drop a class for academic purposes, but for students like undeclared freshman Kenyan Mortensen, this deadline came far too early.

“I didn’t have time to realize that I could not handle my chemistry class, and since I missed the deadline, I had to use my one-time exception Q-drop,” Mortensen said. “We had a midterm four days after Nov. 1, so I did not have an accurate picture of how I was doing in the class so early in the semester.”

Mortensen also said her grades were otherwise high As and Bs, and the progressively difficult exams and assignments following Nov. 1 demonstrated the harsher demands of her class.  

“There’s not enough time to know how you’re doing because you’ve only finished the first half of the semester, and the second half is generally much harder,” Mortensen said. “A later Q-drop deadline would help students understand where they are academically and give them time to fix it.”

“Supporting the success of our students is a top priority,” said Kendall Slagle, communications coordinator for the UT Office of Executive Vice President and Provost. “We encourage students to speak with their professors if concerns arise around understanding of class material, progress or success in a particular class, and to meet with their academic advisers about what resources are available for their specific class.”

The Nov. 1 Q-drop deadline is far too early for students to determine their academic standing, and UT should extend to the middle or end of November in order to help students maintain their GPA and status in prestigious programs or necessary scholarships. 

Mathavan is a business honors freshman from McAllen.