Is it better for a student-athlete to drop a class or fail a class?

This time of year, many student-athletes start thinking about dropping a course in which they are struggling.  It’s important to consider the possible consequences of dropping a course versus staying in but possibly failing.

Dropping a Class

All college athletes must be enrolled in a full-time course load in order to be eligible to compete for their team (there are a few limited exceptions).

If an athlete drops a course and as a result is no longer carrying a full-time course load, that athlete will not be eligible for competition. Also, in the case of NCAA universities in particular, the athlete won’t even be eligible to participate in practice or strength and conditioning sessions with their team.

Failing a Class

On the other hand, if an athlete chooses to stay in a course to stay eligible this semester, but ends up failing the course, it could negatively impact their eligibility for the next year.

College athletes must be making sufficient progress toward their degree and keep their GPA above minimum levels each term in order to be eligible for the following term.

As an example, an NCAA Division II soccer or football athlete must successfully complete at least 9-semester hours or 8-quarter hours of academic credit this Spring in order to be eligible next Fall. They also must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00.

Need Confidential Advice?

The academic requirements vary from one level of college athletics to another. If you want to discuss your student-athlete’s specific situation in a private, confidential consultation, contact us at rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235.