College proposes new letter grade

College+proposes+new+letter+grade+

Erick Pirayesh, News Editor

The Financial Aid office is proposing to start giving “FW” grades to replace the “F” grade students get when they stop attending class after the withdrawal date.

The “FW” grade will still count as a zero, like an “F,” and for students receiving financial aid it will identify them as having stopped attending the class after the official date to withdraw. These students are technically still enrolled in the course but since they are no longer attend class, they won’t be eligible to receive their full financial aid funds.

“If a student receives an ‘F’ right now its not clear if that ‘F’ was earned,” said Brad Hardison, director of financial aid.

Currently, the Financial Aid office will notify students that they must pay back financial aid but will give them the opportunity to prove that they attended the course past the withdrawal deadline. If they can’t provide proof, such as a graded paper or completed quiz handed in past the deadline, the college requires them to pay back their financial aid.

“This is something that should have been done a long time ago,” said Kathy O’Connor, department chair of physical education and health education, at an Academic Senate meeting Oct. 10.

The college must pay back the federal government regardless of whether or not students pay the college back. In Fall 2011, students were required to pay back a total of $106,940 in financial aid. In Spring 2012, the amount was $94,849.

According to the proposal, this is a large liability for the students and the institution.

The “FW” grade would also assist the college by providing additional information to counselors and faculty since the difference between an “FW” grade and an “F” grade would be identified on student’s academic records.

“[Support] has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Hardison.

The new grade would be implemented sometime in the summer or fall of 2013.