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Green Turtle

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Sep 21, 2017
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I've been reading through endless threads on this topic, but would love some advice on my particular situation. Thanks in advance.

Situation: I am currently in Calculus 2 and slowly falling behind. We have daily quizzes that I underperform on, and have taken one exam of four that I received a 70% on. I cam contemplating withdrawing to focus on other courses and extra curriculars.

Backstory: I took Calculus 1 twice and received a D- that my college changed to a NC, that I'm going to have changed back to a D-. A D- is less damaging on my AMCAS GPA than a NC. I retook and received a B+. I will not be retaking Calc 2 after I withdraw because I found that I do not need it. It is not a requirement for medical schools or Physics 1 & 2. I was wrongfully advised that I had to take Calculus-Based Physics as a Freshman. *TLDR: Calculus is not my strong suit.

Relevant Information: This will be my first W and I am aware that one W will not keep me out of medical school. I also won't let this become a habit. My current cGPA is ~3.5 and sGPA ~3.4 in my spring semester Sophomore year. I believe I can being these up to a 3.6+ and 3.5+ by application time. I had a bad semester when I failed Calculus 1 with some Bs Freshman year, but have had an upward trend since.

Issue: I am taking 13 credits this semester. If I withdraw from calculus 2 then I will be at 9 making me part-time. Financial-aid aside, will this aspect raise red-flag higher? I took 15 credits in the fall giving me 24 for the year to solve the financial-aid issue.

If I withdraw then I can ensure As in my other courses while being able to better perform in my extra-Cs. As of now, withdrawing seems to be the best option, but I wanted feedback from adcoms and others who have knowledge of this area. Does a part-time semester seem like a red-flag? Does taking a W and not retaking the course seem like a red flag?

These are some questions I've had and some information on the situation. If I can elaborate anymore than please let me know. I'm open for any questions, comments, or concerns, and of course, advice.

Thanks in advance and for reading this,

Green Turtle :luck:


5+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2017
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There's no point in taking a class that you don't need. I didn't take Calc 2, and most pre-meds don't unless they want to take General Physics 2 (calc-based).

Drop it. The W won't hurt you. Another D will.

Edit: Just saw the part about becoming part time. Not sure about that aspect.... @Goro @gyngyn does dropping to part time raise a red flag?
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Back to the bottom of the totem pole.
5+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2017
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I think it’s a somewhat tough call.

As I was reading through, it was screaming at me that you should drop the class...
...then I saw that you said it would drop you to nine hours.

I think this would look the worst if you’ve already applied and have been accepted, then dropped to nine hours. It won't do you any favors from an admissions standpoint, but I can't imagine this one thing being the reason why you wouldn't be accepted to any school. I think some of the adcoms on here should be able to talk about this better than I can; I’m just taking a stab here.

The biggest concerning factor that I see when looking at your situation is your financial aid. My understanding is most, if not all, financial aid programs and scholarships require you to be a full-time student in order to continue receiving aid. If this is your last semester, or if there's recourse for delinquency in your hours (i.e. probationary status for not fulfilling 12 hours), then I recommend dropping the class.

If you drop the class and there is no recourse for your financial aid - as in, you are guaranteed to lose your aid if you drop the class and you are not in your final semester -, I do not think you should drop the class.

EDIT: Sorry for some spelling screwups, and extended a bit. iPad typing in bed is the worst.
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