After registration but before the beginning of the Block in which the course is taught, a student may drop that course and add another course by (1) obtaining a Drop/Add Form from the Registrar's Office, (2) securing the signature of the academic advisor, and (3) returning the form to the Registrar's Office before 4:00 p.m. on the Friday immediately preceding that Block.
During the first three days of the Block in which the course is taught, a student may drop that course and add another course by (1) obtaining the Drop/Add Form from the Registrar's Office, (2) securing the signatures of the instructor of the course being dropped, the instructor of the course being added, and the academic advisor, and (3) returning the form to the Registrar's Office before 4:00 p.m. of the third day (normally the first Wednesday) of the Block. Students who drop a course after the first day and cannot add another may take a vacation block and students must petition for a reduced load. However, this may impact progress toward graduation (see "Satisfactory Academic Progress"). Instructors are not required to add students after the course has begun, and permission to add a course is more difficult to obtain after the first day, so students should not delay in contacting instructors of courses they wish to add.
If a student does not attend or ceases to attend a course for which he or she is registered and does not add another course or a vacation in its place before the end of the third day of the Block, the student will be given the grade of WR. Students who receive a grade of WR are charged tuition for the course, but they are not eligible for institutional financial aid or VA benefits for that Block. Any federal or state financial aid eligibility will be reviewed on a case by case basis per federal and state regulations.
Students who attend a course for which they are not registered must petition to request to add the course late; such permission is not necessarily granted. Students who wish to audit a course must declare their intention to the instructor at the very beginning of the Block (see "Auditing Courses").
Withdrawal between the 4th and 14th day of the Block is possible only when recommended by the instructor. The instructor may release a student if the instructor believes that the student, when compared with the others in the class, has not had adequate preparation or is deficient in a skill essential for success in the course. The instructor must describe the student's problem in a letter to the Academic Standing Committee and also certify that the student attended faithfully and tried to do the work assigned. The student receives a grade of W.
On the 15th day of the Block (normally the third Friday) in which the course is taught, a student may withdraw and receive a grade of W for a course by (1) obtaining the Drop/Add Form from the Registrar's Office, (2) securing the signatures of the instructor and the academic advisor, and (3) returning the form to the Registrar's Office before 4:00 p.m. The instructor should agree to sign the form if and only if the student (a) has complied fully with the instructor's attendance policy, (b) has taken all the tests and turned in all the papers or projects that were due by the 15th day, and (c) has made, in the opinion of the instructor, a determined effort to learn the material, complete the work, and participate in the class.
Students on Probation or Probationary Suspension, however, are not permitted to withdraw from a course without permission from the Academic Standing Committee. They must file a petition with their Drop/Add Form on the 15th day, but continue in the course pending the Committee's decision. The Committee will evaluate the petition not only on the grounds listed in item 6 above for a particular course, but also on the basis of the student's entire academic record.
A withdrawal for health or family emergency (grade of WH) may be given by the Academic Standing Committee upon petition, or by the Registrar acting as the Committee's agent, when a student is ill or has a personal crisis or family emergency, such that completing the course by taking an Incomplete (see "Grades," item 4) would not be feasible. The student should submit a petition for a WH. The course instructor and the academic advisor must sign the petition, acknowledging that they have been notified of the student's intention. Both the course instructor and academic advisor are encouraged to submit a statement indicating whether they support the petition or not, and why. For a WH, a signature alone shall not be interpreted as endorsement of the petition.
Any petition based upon medical or psychological conditions must be supported by a written statement from an appropriate health professional stating the problem; the dates when the student was examined, treated, or counseled; and the recuperative difficulties, if any.
Students who claim a personal or family emergency may be asked to provide documentation and to account for the entire time during which they say they were, or will be, unable to attend classes or to study.
Cornell counselors and health professionals will not normally issue a recommendation for a withdrawal unless the student has consulted them at or near the onset of the problem.
Such recommendations, however, do not automatically constitute grounds for a WH. The Committee will in all cases consider the instructor's evaluation of the student's work in the course before the onset of the illness or emergency as well as the circumstances on which the student has based her or his petition. The Committee reserves the right to consult with anyone whom the student offers as a recommender or corroborator. Students on Probation or Probationary Suspension do have the right to petition for a WH, and their petitions will be considered in the same way as any other student's.
Students may add and drop parallel courses as follows:
During the first three days of the first Block, a student may replace parallel courses with one single-Block course.
Between the 15th and 21st days (normally the third Friday and the fifth Wednesday) as in item 6 above, if the student retains one of the parallel courses, he or she may add in the second Block of the parallel sequence only a half-credit independent study or a vacation Block. If the student drops both parallel courses, the student may add one single-term course in what would have been the second Block of the sequence.
On the 33rd day (the 15th day of the second Block) as in item 6.
Students who register for a course that requires an additional fee, e.g., a course taught off campus or one that involves field trips or special provisions, and later decide not to enroll must notify the instructor and the Registrar before the instructor's final deadline or, if no such deadline has been announced, then at least 60 days before the course is scheduled to begin. Students who drop after this deadline are liable for payment of the full cost of the program. Instructors calculate the cost of a trip, make reservations, and order materials based on anticipated enrollments. The loss of even one student may result in higher costs for the other participants or in the College being charged a penalty by hotels, airlines, and cooperating agencies.