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Drop-add can make or break your semester. Here’s what you need to know

Daniel Wilson and Emily Cadle study in the library.
Daniel Wilson and Emily Cadle study in the library.

One of the most important days of the academic year is the drop-add deadline, but it can be easy to miss for new students at Mercer.

This year it’s Aug. 27, the Friday of the first week of classes. Here’s everything you need to know about drop-add and how it can change your schedule and college experience.

What is drop-add?

Drop-add is the last day to drop or add classes from your schedule. Since it happens at the end of the first week of classes, you’ll have a chance to attend all of your classes before deciding whether or not you need to drop them.

If you do not drop a class before Aug. 27, you will only be able to withdrawal from the class later on. The key difference between these is that withdrawing from a class will leave a “W” on your transcript, indicating that you withdrew further into the course. If you drop the class instead, it will not show up on your transcript at all.

If you attend a class in the first week that doesn’t seem right for your major, doesn’t match what you wanted to learn or seems like too much for your workload, you can drop it before Aug. 27 without it showing up on your transcript.

You can also add a class if you discover there was a mix-up or you think there is another class you’re interested in. There won’t be another opportunity to add classes after Aug. 27 this semester, so make sure you do it before that Friday.

How do I fill out a drop-add form?

Drop-add forms can be accessed online via your MyMercer account.

How can this affect my schedule this semester?

Drop-add is important because a class that doesn’t fit your needs or interests can really hurt later in the semester. A lot of freshmen may get put in an elective class or a gen-ed class that they might not be prepared for.

For example, a potential English major may want to hold off on taking a science class. They can easily drop the class and add something else. They may want to get it out of the way early since it will always be required. This period allows you to drop or add a class without a penalty.

Semesters can get stressful, especially and a class you’re not prepared for can contribute to that.

If you begin failing a class and want to withdrawal, your transcript will get a “W-F” marked on it to indicate that you withdrew while failing. Drop-add gives you the opportunity to assess the class, syllabus, professor and content before committing and drop if you don’t feel ready for it.

How can this affect my schedule long-term, later in my college experience?

Once you declare a major, there will be certain classes you are required to take. Being familiar with drop-add can help a lot with this, since you may need to add a class in that first week that you didn’t realize was required.

Some required classes are only offered every other year or every two years, so it’s important to take them while they’re available. Your advisor should help you with this, especially once you’ve declared a major, but it can still be easy to miss.

With all this in mind, drop-add is an important date to remember at the beginning of each semester. It can sneak up on you if you’re not careful, so be sure to check your major requirements and your schedule.

Micah Johnston

Micah Johnston ‘22 is a journalism and media studies double major who has written for The Cluster since his freshman year at Mercer. He has written on and reported for Georgia Public Broadcasting, The Macon Telegraph and The Macon Newsroom on a variety of topics. He received the Center for Collaborative Journalism’s Junior Honors Award for the 2020-2021 academic year. Micah’s other interests include obsessively following Braves and Mariners baseball, constantly listening to all kinds of music and probably eating junk food.

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