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What to Do If You Fail a Class In College

Learn What to Do Next

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Even the best of students can fail a class in college. It may not be what you wanted, but it happened -- and figuring out what to do next is just as important as preventing it from happening again.

  1. Learn what impact the grade will have on your academics. Are you no longer eligible for the next course in a series? Do you need to rearrange your schedule next semester? Do you need to register again for this class? Do you need to take a summer course to stay on track for graduation?
  2. Learn what impact the grade will have on your financial aid. Many schools allow for an academic slip-up here and there (financially speaking), but if you are on academic probation, are not taking enough units, or have any other sort of complication, failing a class can have a major impact on your financial aid. Check with the financial aid office about what your failed grade may mean for your particular situation.
  3. Be honest with yourself about why you failed. Did you party too much? Over-commit yourself to cocurricular activities? Not study enough for the tests? Turn in assignments late? Have a bad professor you need to make sure you don't get again? Figuring out where things went wrong can help you figure out what you'll need to get right in order to pass this class (and any other) in the future.
  4. Tell your parents or anyone else you may need to. Your parents may not have a legal right to your grades, but you may still need to tell them. Putting the failed grade out into the open will give you one less thing to stress about and, hopefully, provide you with the support you need to prevent it from happening again.
  5. Move on and let go. So you failed a class. True, it can have major implications, but it's not the end of the world. Admit you messed up, figure out what happened, and move on. Since you're in college to learn, take away what you can from the experience and make the most of it -- because that's what college is supposed to be all about anyway, right?

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