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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Annamarie Parker
Annamarie Parker
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I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

As deadline nears, students weigh possible ‘W’s

The last day for students to drop a full-semester class and receive a “W” is Friday, Oct. 31.

Taking a “W” grade means that students who are having a hard time in a particular class, or do not like a class can drop it without receiving a failing grade.

A “W” means a student has withdrawn from a course; the school keeps the course on record, but he/she receive a “W” on their transcript instead of a grade, said Kim Rotundo, interim registrar.

Receiving a “W” does not affect a student’s GPA but can become a hindrance in other areas, Kim said.

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“It can become a problem if (a student) wants to go to graduate school or when they’re looking for a job,” she said. “A pattern of ‘W’s might be a concern.”

Graduate schools and employers can see the number of “W”s a student has received, and may be apprehensive about them, said Kim.

Taking too many “W”s can also affect a student’s ability to receive financial aid from the university or state because it violates the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy, said Mike Rotundo, director of financial aid.

“At the end of winter semester, we will evaluate how students are doing on a cumulative basis,” he said. “If students are earning 67 percent of their credit hours, they are satisfactory.”

Students cannot receive credit hours for the courses they fail, withdraw from, or repeat, Mike said.

“Primarily, we are trying to determine if a student is satisfactorily progressing through their career,” he said. “We will identify that student, and they are put on academic probation; they have one year to bring that percentage above 67 percent.”

Students are given a total of three semesters to bring their credit hour completion up, he said.

“If they are still below 67 percent at our second review, the student will lose eligibility for future financial aid until they bring themselves above the 67 percent,” Mike said.

He added that in some cases, a student who is dropped from their financial aid can request that the decision be reversed.

“There is an appeal process,” he said. “If there are some sort of issues going on (in the student’s life) that are documentable, the review can be overturned.”

Private student loans are still available to students who lose university financial aid, Mike Rotundo said.

Although receiving a “W” or an “F” can affect financial aid, withdrawing from a course the student is failing is a good option because an “F” pulls down the GPA as well, Kim said.

“Sometimes taking a ‘W’ is the best thing for students to do” she said. “That’s why it’s best for students to not use the ‘W’ when they don’t have to, save it for when you need it.”

Some students drop classes because they are stressed, others because they are doing poorly. Raven Locadia, senior English major, has done both. She said that she withdrew from a history class her freshman year because she did not want to receive a failing grade.

“My professor had weekly online tests that we had to take,” she said. “He told us that if we missed one, we automatically failed. I missed the online test, so I decided to drop the class rather than fail.”

Locadia said that she dropped a journalism class this semester because she was feeling pressured by her work load.

“I just dropped my journalism class because I was taking 17 credits total, 16 of which happen to be English,” she said. “It was just overwhelming.”

She plans to attend law school after graduating from NMU and wanted to make sure that having withdrawn from two classes would not affect her chances of being admitted, she said.

“I contacted the admissions offices of the schools I will be applying to, because I wanted to see if it would harm my chances of getting in,” she said. “They said two is not a big deal as long as I had good reason to withdraw.”

Tanya Wonnacott, junior health and special education major, said she has also withdrawn from two classes and received a “W.” Since coming to NMU, she has dropped a math class and a criminal justice class because she was not only stressed by them, but she also did not want to receive a bad GPA, she said.

“I had so much going on that it was tough to do well in the class, and others, as well as have time for myself,” Wonnacott said. “After I dropped it, I had more time to do other things.”

Students can withdraw from a course online through Friday; if a student is completely withdrawing from all courses, he/she must visit the Dean of Students’ Office at 2001 Hedgcock for approval.

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