FAQs for Grade Changes: Fall 2020 and Spring 2021

Last updated: December 9, 2020

  1. How will a W (Withdrawal) or NC (No Credit) grade affect my financial aid eligibility?

W, WU, and NC grades count toward the total number of attempted units for which a student can receive financial aid over their college career. Financial aid regulations state that a student is eligible for up to 150% of their program length (e.g., 180 units for an undergraduate degree). You may also have a hold on your financial aid for next semester if you completed less than 75% of the total units for which you received financial aid this semester. Please contact the SJSU Financial Aid Office if you have other questions about your eligibility.

  1. How will a W or NC grade affect my veterans benefits?

W, WU and NC grades are considered “non-punitive” by the Veterans Administration. Students receiving veterans benefits may be required to pay back benefits received for courses with grades of W, WU, and NC. If you are in this situation, please contact the SJSU Veterans Resource Center as soon as possible. You may be able to petition to change a W, WU, or NC grade to a letter grade under certain circumstances.

  1. I am an international student. How will a W or NC grade affect my F-1 visa status?

International students on F-1 visas are required to maintain full-time enrollment status (minimum of 12 units for undergraduates and 9 units for graduate students). A W grade may reduce your enrollment status below that minimum. If you are in this situation, please contact the SJSU International Student and Scholar Services office as soon as possible to discuss your options.

  1. How will a W or NC grade affect my GPA?

W and NC grades result in zero units earned, and zero grade points. GPA is calculated by total grade points divided by total graded units. Therefore, W and NC grades do NOT affect your GPA, either positively or negatively. 

  1. How will an academic integrity violation affect my grade?

In cases of academic integrity violations, NC and WU grades will be changed to F. See University Policy F15-7 [pdf].

  1. Can I repeat a class after receiving a W or NC grade?

Yes. Students with a W will be considered first-time registrants (not repeaters) when retaking a class, and can enroll on the normal registration schedule. Students with a NC grade will be considered repeaters and will be allowed to register three weeks before the start of the semester when retaking a class for the first time (see University Policy F08-2 [pdf]).

  1. Will I get grade forgiveness for courses I need to retake?

Undergraduate courses with NC grades may be repeated for grade forgiveness. Undergraduate students may repeat a maximum of 16 units for grade forgiveness (a combination of up to 9 units of lower division, and up to 9 units of upper division coursework).

Graduate coursework is not eligible for grade forgiveness, but graduate students may repeat up to 9 units with grade averaging (see University Policy F08-2 [pdf]).

  1. Can I petition to change a D grade to NC?

No, only F grades will be changed automatically to NC in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. No petition is needed for this change. Students will not be allowed to petition to change C- or D grades to NC, but are allowed to repeat courses with grades lower than a C for undergraduate courses, and lower than a B for graduate courses, per University Policy F08-2 [pdf].

  1. What is a WU grade? What is the difference between a WU and W?

A WU (Withdrawal Unauthorized) grade is assigned when a student has stopped attending class and turning in work, but has not petitioned to formally withdraw from the class. A WU grade results in zero grade points but is included in the GPA calculation; students are considered repeaters when retaking a class in which they received a WU.

A W (Withdrawal) grade is assigned when a student has been approved to withdraw from a class due to unforeseen and extenuating circumstances. A petition is usually required for approved withdrawals, but for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters all WU grades will be automatically changed to W with no petition required. W grades assigned in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 will be considered as category “WB” and will not count against the maximum withdrawal limit described in University Policy S09-7 [pdf].

  1. Can I request an Incomplete (I) instead of a WU or W?

Students may request an Incomplete (I) grade when “a clearly identifiable portion of course assignments cannot be met within the academic term for unforeseen reasons”. An Incomplete is granted at the instructor’s discretion, per University Policy S09-7 [pdf]. No additional work or extra credit assignments may be offered for students with an Incomplete, unless these opportunities were offered to all students in the course. Students may contact their instructor to discuss the Incomplete option, if these circumstances apply.

  1. Can I petition to withdraw from all my courses in Fall 2020?

Yes, students may petition to formally withdraw from all courses for a semester using the Late Drop/Withdrawal petition. This can be done retroactively for Fall 2020 or another prior term. Students may contact Academic Advising & Retention Services (AARS) with any questions about this process. Special consideration will be given to COVID-19 and wildfire disruption-related withdrawal requests for Fall 2020.

COVID-19 Academic Policy Updates