It seems that more student-athletes than normal have been struggling in one or more classes. I’m sure that one main reason is because courses are being taught almost exclusively online this year.

As a result, your athlete may be thinking about dropping a class before their final exam. Before doing that, there are a number of things that should be considered:

  • Will dropping the class affect current eligibility right now? (If the athlete drops below full-time status, they become immediately ineligible for competition in most cases, and in many cases, also ineligible for practice.)
  • Will dropping the class affect my eligibility next semester? (That depends upon the athlete’s specific situation. The required number of credit hours that an athlete must earn will vary from one college division to another.)
  • If I don’t drop the class, but fail it, how might that impact my eligibility? (If the athlete’s GPA drops too low, it could make them ineligible for next semester.)
  • What other implications have I not thought about? (Will dropping the class or having your GPA drop too low impact your athletic scholarship or other financial aid?)

In a confidential phone, Zoom or Skype session, we will discuss your student-athlete’s specific situation and the impact that dropping a course compared to staying in it but failing the course, could have on their current and future eligibility. Schedule your confidential eligibility consult online, by emailing or calling 913-766-1235.

Frequently, I consult with parents of college athletes about the academic eligibility requirements their athlete needs to satisfy in order to remain eligible at their current school or possibly transfer.

When they tell me “I withdrew from all of my classes prior to the drop/add date for that semester” I cringe. Because while that may have been a good idea from a financial standpoint to avoid paying more tuition than necessary for that semester, it could negatively impact the athlete’s future eligibility at an NCAA university.

The NCAA rules hold a student-athlete accountable for the academic requirements for that semester or quarter (as well as that academic year) when an athlete is registered for a full-time program of studies and “…attends the first day of classes for that term, even if the student-athlete drops to part-time status during that first day of classes.”

Before making decisions or taking actions to drop classes, an athlete should know the academic requirements and repercussions that could result. The academic requirements for a particular student-athlete can differ depending upon the rules of the college division they were previously attending, as well as the college division to which they plan to transfer.

It’s much better to know ahead and prepare than to make a rash or uninformed decision and regret it later. 

For a detailed and confidential explanation of those academic requirements, schedule an Eligibility Issues Consult online or by contacting us at 913-766-1235 or emailing to

College athletes who are struggling in a class and are thinking about dropping a class before a final exam should stop and consider a few things before they take action:

  • Will dropping the class affect my current eligibility right now? If it drops you below full-time status, you’ll be immediately ineligible for competition.
  • Will dropping the class affect my eligibility next semester? That depends upon your specific situation. For some football athletes, it could even affect your eligibility next Fall.
  • If I don’t drop the class, but fail it, how might that affect my eligibility? If your GPA drops too low, you may be ineligible for next semester.

What other implications are there that I’m not thinking about?

In a confidential phone consultation, we will discuss your specific situation and the impact that dropping a class or possibly staying in it but failing the course can have on your current and future eligibility.

Schedule your Eligibility Issues Consult online or call our office at 913-766-1235.

A question that we often receive this time of year is whether a student-athlete can drop a class(es) without a “penalty.” They might wish to do this because of second thoughts about their college choice, or due to injury or illness.

If your athlete has already started attending their college classes this Fall as a full-time enrolled student, withdrawing from their classes will, in most cases, negatively impact their eligibility now, and also in the future at their current college or at a new college that they may transfer to.

Dropping a course later in the term to avoid a failing grade that will hurt the GPA may be OK, but encourage them to finish the semester or quarter before they withdraw or transfer to another college so that they don’t lose all their credits for this term.

To discuss a potential withdrawal situation and how it could impact your athlete, schedule a confidential Eligibility Consult online or contact us at 913-766-1235.