The drop fee proposed by the administration is a good first step to curving the dropping problem, but the current version needs to be adjusted before any final decisions are made.
The administration has been placed in a tough position by the state and the GRAD Act. Unless Baton Rouge can see immediate results and high completion rates, the University is going to be penalized. So ULM has no choice but to curve the dropping problem to both save money and get us out of here quicker.
Some students do make dropping problematic for the University. They take a big load of classes each semester with the intention of dropping some when the going gets tough. Obviously, this is a problem with the new state guidelines and the smaller budgets.
But this proposed rule goes too far. Not everyone abuses the drop system. What would be worse for both students and graduation rates is if people cannot drop classes they legitimately need to drop because they can’t afford the financial hit.
Rather than stick to the rigid two-classes-in-two-years rule, students should be evaluated on the percentage of classes they complete versus the number they drop.
No one knows what kind of circumstances a person may be facing and why that person may need to drop a class. It would be unfair to penalize them because others are being careless.
The University is on the right track. Something needs to be done to fix the dropping problem if it is hurting ULM. But before anything is final, ULM needs to reconsider the current version of the plan.