Students: Stop Before You Drop!


FAQ's on Facts About Dropping Classes

  • What is the six course drop rule?
  • Who does the law apply to?
  • What are the exceptions to the law (i.e. What are considered acceptable drops)?
  • How do I drop a course?
  • Can I drop online?
  • What happens if I totally withdraw from all classes in a semester?
  • Does a class cancelled by the college/university count against my six drop count?
  • How many drops do I have in my records?
  • When I transfer to another Texas public college or university, how will they know my drop count?
  • What happens when HCC receives my official transcript from a previous college or university?
  • What happens after I accumulate six drops?
  • How does a grade of W or F affect my grade point average (GPA)?
  • How do I appeal if HCC considered my withdrawal attempt as unacceptable?
  • How long do I have to appeal?
  • If I drop and add a course at the same time, will it be included in my six drop count?
  • Do I have to give a reason for dropping?
  • If I am enrolled in a course with a co-requisite, do I have to drop both?
  • Are there courses that, if dropped, do not count against you?
  • What is considered a college-level course?




What is the six course drop rule?

Under a new Texas law, first time in college students who enroll in a Texas public institution of higher education (including HCC) for the first time in fall 2007 or later will not be allowed to drop more than six courses during their entire undergraduate career. All college-level courses dropped after the official day of record are included in the six-course limit, including courses dropped at another Texas public college or university, unless the reason for dropping qualifies as an acceptable reason.




Who does the law apply to?
The six-drop law applies to any first-time in college freshman student who enrolls in a Texas public institution of higher education during the fall semester of 2007 or thereafter.



What are the exceptions to the 6 drop law? What are considered acceptable drops?
1. A severe illness or other debilitating condition that affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course.
2. The student's responsibility for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person if the provision of that care affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course.
3. The death of a person who is considered to be a member of the student's family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person's death is considered to be a showing of good cause.
4. The active duty service as a member of the Texas National Guard or the armed forces of the United States of either the student or a person who is considered to be a member of the student's family and such active duty interferes with the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course.
5. The change of the student's work schedule that is beyond the control of the student, and that affects the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course.
6. Other personal or family good cause reason that is considered catastrophic or beyond the control of the student and interferes with the student's ability to satisfactorily complete the course (as determined by the college official).
7. Total withdrawal of all courses for the whole semester (i.e. fall, spring, summer).



How do I drop a course?
You can drop or withdraw from classes in three ways:
1. Talk to the professor(s) of your class(es). He/she will help you explore alternatives to dropping the course(s). He/she will also assist you in requesting the drop and making certain what is the correct reason for the drop, if a drop is still desired.
2. See a counselor or advisor in the counseling office at your college. He/she will help you explore alternatives to dropping the course(s). He/she will also assist you in requesting the drop and making certain what is the correct reason for the drop, if a drop is still desired.
3. Go through the online withdrawal advising process (coming soon), which will walk you through the advising process online exploring alternatives to dropping and assisting you in documenting the correct reason for your drop, if still desired.



What happens if I totally withdraw from all classes in a semester?
If you withdraw from all courses in all sessions in a semester there will be no penalty, and those courses will not count as part of your six drop total.



Does a class cancelled by the college/university count against my six drop count?
No, a class cancelled by the college/university will not count against you.



How many drops do I have in my records?
Your current drop count will be reflected on your advising report or college transcript. You may access your advising report by logging in to your account.



When I transfer to another Texas public college or university, how will they know my drop count?
The number of drops that apply to the six-drop policy that you accumulate at HCC will be indicated on your official transcript issued by HCC. Drops from other colleges or universities will not be reflected on your HCC transcript.



What happens when HCC receives my official transcript from a previous college or university?
Each Texas public college or university's official transcript will list the number of classes you dropped at that institution only or your exemption status. All unexcused drop counts from previous institutions will be added to your drop count at HCC. If you have more than six drops, HCC will review your record, and you may receive a grade of F for any additional drops at HCC above six. A F will count in your grade point average (GPA) calculation.



What happens after I accumulate six drops?
You will not be permitted to drop courses after you have accumulated six drops unless the drop is for one of the exception or acceptable reasons listed above. In the courses where you wish to drop for an unacceptable reason, you will receive the earned grade in the class, which could be a F. A F will count in your grade point average (GPA) calculation. Any drop for a reason that qualifies as an exception will continue to be awarded a grade of W.



How does a grade of F affect my grade point average (GPA)?
A F would count in your GPA calculation. A grade of W (given for an acceptable reason) will not count in your GPA calculation.



How do I appeal if HCC considered my withdrawal attempt as unacceptable?
You can pick up a Withdrawal Appeal form online or from any HCC Admissions or Counseling Offices. Appeals will be conducted by a HCC Dean. Grade appeals are handled in a separate process found in the Student Handbook.



How long do I have to appeal?
There will be no time limit on a withdrawal/drop appeal, as long as you can show documentation verifying that your withdrawal/drop was for an acceptable reason.



If I drop a course during registration, will it be included in my six drop count?
Drop and add transactions during registration are processed before the official day of record and are not considered withdrawals. No grade is given and no record is kept on your transcript for a drop/add during registration. These drops before the official day of record will not be included in your six drop count. However, dropping a class after classes have started but before the official day of record might limit the refund you have due. See Refund Policy.


Do I have to give a reason for dropping?
Yes. Texas public colleges are required to keep track of acceptable and unacceptable drops for those students who attended a Texas public higher education institution for the first time during or after fall 2007.



If I am enrolled in a course with a co-requisite, do I have to drop both?
No, you will not have to drop both. However, co-requisites exist to insure your successful performance in both classes. By dropping one course with a co-requisite, you could be hurting your ability to pass the other course.



Are there credit courses that, if dropped, do not count against you?
Yes, the 6 Drop Law does not apply to Developmental courses, Intensive English, and Dual Credit courses.



What is considered a college-level credit course?
College-level credit courses earn college credit and count toward certificate and/or degree requirements at HCC. All college-level credit course numbers start with the number 1 or 2.


Back to the Stop Before You Drop! Page

If you have comments or suggestions, email the HCC Transfer Office at 

The Houston Community College System does not discriminate on the basis of
race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, or disability.