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What Happens if you Fail a Class at College

By Publisher
| Last Updated May 12, 2022

If you have taken a college course, you have probably heard the term "failure" thrown around quite often. You may even be worried about failing your classes right now. But before we get into that, let's talk about what it means to pass or fail a class.

Passing vs. Failing a Class: What is the Difference?

When you take an academic class in college, two main things can happen. Either you will pass the class, or you will fail the class.

Let's explore this further.

The first thing to understand is that passing a class does not mean that you are good. It only means that you completed the work for the class. If you didn't do the work, then you failed the class.

The second thing to know is that failing a class doesn't necessarily mean that you aren't smart enough to succeed in life. Many people who fail their classes eventually become successful entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, or other kind of professionals.

So what exactly happens when you fail a college class?

You might think that failing a class would result in horrible negative consequences. However, most colleges don't punish students for failing a class. Instead, they make sure you understand why you failed and help you improve so you won't make the same mistakes next time.

Besides helping you understand why you failed, your professors will also advise you on how to achieve a passing grade next time to continue your academic progress.

It's not all easy, though. You'll have to pay to retake the class, which could mean visiting the financial aid office to secure additional student loans. You will also have to retake the course, thus extending your college career and putting your working life on hold.

Now let's explore some other things that happen when you fail college class.

You'll Learn From Your Mistakes.

Failing a class teaches you something about yourself because you must figure out where you went wrong and change your approach to studying.

It helps you grow as a person.

As you learn more about yourself by failing a class, you develop character traits like persistence, self-discipline, and hard work. These character traits are important for succeeding in any career path.

You'll get better grades next time around.

After you've learned from your mistakes, you will want to try harder next time. That's why you should always aim to pass every class you take.

Your grade point average (GPA) will likely increase because you have learned to put forth effort and study for your classes. Your GPA is one of the most important factors employers use to evaluate job candidates.

You'll receive valuable feedback.

Sometimes you need to hear the truth. When you fail a class, you get honest feedback from your professor, and they tell you whether you did well or poorly in each section of the class.

They also tell you which parts of the class you struggled with the most. By hearing this information, you can adjust your studying habits to focus on those areas of weakness.

Your professors will also provide you with additional resources such as study guides, practice tests, and sample questions. These materials will help you prepare for next time.

You'll find out what you're good at.

If you struggle with particular subjects, it may be difficult to excel. But if you do great in one subject area, you could end up chasing academic achievements instead of struggling to get by.

For example, if you're terrible at math but are excellent at English, you may choose to major in English instead of math.

That way, you can use your strengths to achieve success in the career of your choice.

You'll become a stronger person.

When you fail a class, it shows that you faced obstacles and may have a strength of character and resilience.

By overcoming these challenges, you gain confidence and learn to deal with adversity. You also become a stronger person.

Learning from your mistakes allows you to grow into a better version of yourself. And that makes you a more desirable candidate for any position you apply for.

What's the Best Thing To Do if You're Failing a Class?

The first step is to talk to your instructor during office hours. Ask them why you were not successful. If they don't know, ask someone else who might.

Next, look over the course syllabus and see if anything was missing or unclear. Did you miss a deadline? Was there too much work assigned?

Doing extra credit assignments can help you earn passing grades and keep up with your degree progress when you're struggling. However, make sure that you complete all required tasks before submitting them.

Finally, go back to school and review the material until you feel confident that you understand everything. Then, make sure you pay attention during exams and quizzes.

In conclusion, failure isn't always bad, and it's often necessary for learning and growth. So don't let yourself feel like a failure. Instead, use this experience to grow and improve.

Fast Answers - Frequently Asked Questions

Young female college student with blonde hair wearing a leather jacket and a jean skirt.

What happens if you fail a class in college and retake it?

If you fail a class in school, you can typically retake it at any point during the semester. You will be charged for the course, but you generally do not lose any credits.

How much will my GPA drop if I fail a class in college?

Your GPA will drop by 0.5 points for each grade below an A-minus.

How many times can you fail a class in college?

Typically, you can fail a class up to three times before being required to appeal to the school to try again. However, this depends on the college's policy.

Is it better to drop out or fail?

Dropping out is always an option, but failing is much more likely to lead to success because you have the opportunity to work harder and get it right next time.

What happens if you fail a class in college with FASA?

You won't lose your financial aid package if your GPA stays above the school's minimum for receiving financial aid (typically a "C" letter grade).

Do you get kicked out of college for failing a class?

No, unless particular circumstances also led to you being expelled from school.

Is it normal to fail a class in college?

Yes, it is pretty typical for a college student to fail the odd class in college. However, if you are failing too many classes, it may be time to consider changing your major or taking some time off from school.