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Credit or No Credit

Should I consider changing my letter grade to credit or no credit?

STEP 1 - Understand the potential consequences

First, you must understand the potential consequences. It may be tempting to switch to the Credit (CR) / No Credit (NC) option out of fear, stress or confusion, but doing so is risky. There can be very real and negative consequences associated with the CR and NC grades, that's why most classes don't use this grading structure. Some of the common challenges with CR/NC grading include:

Aid Eligibility. Are you a recipient of Pell grants, loans or scholarships? Your eligibility for these forms of financial aid can change with CR/NC grades. While credit can still be counted toward your degree in some cases, the financial aid office will be required to see what the grade would have been if you had received a letter grade during the grading conversion in Pathway (from a letter grade to the CR/NC option). This could have a negative impact on Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Program Requirements. Some programs and majors are not compatible with CR/NC grades and absolutely require a traditional letter grade.

Graduation GPA. How is your GPA? Are you just a little shy of the GPA requirement for graduation? While CR/NC grades do not hurt your GPA, they do not help it either. If you were banking on a GPA bump, that won't happen with CR/NC grading.

Prerequisites. Many courses have prerequisites that require a minimum letter grade. CR/NC grades are not letter grades. We'll do all we can to make this work, but registration for some future classes will likely be more difficult because of this. In addition, some programs have matriculation requirements (classes that must be completed before being fully accepted in the program) - CR/NC grades may not satisfy those requirements.

Course Transferability. We hope and want you stay at UMKC, but if you plan to transfer your coursework to another institution, CR/NC grades may only be accepted as elective credit or may not be accepted at all.

Grad School. Do you have plans for grad school? CR/NC grades may not be accepted, or may make you less competitive! While we'd like to think that schools around the state, nation, and world will be lenient for Spring 2020, no one can guarantee it. Also, if you have been conditionally accepted into a graduate program contingent on your completing a specific course with a minimum letter grade in order to be fully admitted into the graduate program, the CR/NC option may not work for you.

Student Athletes. Per NCAA requirements, all student-athletes need to maintain a set cumulative GPA to be athletically eligible. The NCAA provides student-athletes the opportunity to receive CR/NC for spring 2020 classes; the NCAA follows the guidelines of each member institution.

International Students. Are you sponsored by your home government? If so, you are not advised to change courses to CR/NC. However, you can consult with ISAO if you think your academic situation requires a change to CR/NC. As a general reminder, students holding F-1 or J-1 visas should be cautious about withdrawing from coursework. If withdrawing from a course would bring you below your minimum enrollment requirements, you would fall out of status and face possible termination of your immigration status. Please talk with an immigration advisor at ISAO if you are not sure whether one of these changes might affect your F-1 or J-1 visa status.

 

STEP 2 - Communicate with UMKC faculty and staff – we are here to help!

Let's be honest, this can be a tricky decision to make with very real consequences and each student's situation is potentially unique. We have some suggestions to help you make the most informed decision possible:

Communicate with your instructors!
If you don't already know, find out how you are doing in your classes. You may be doing better than you think!

Communicate with a Financial Aid counselor!
Making a change to your grade mode can change financial aid and scholarship eligibility. Make sure you understand what ramifications there could be for making a change. More information is available on the financial aid website.

Communicate with your academic advisor!
Some programs simply cannot be completed without traditional letter grades. It is important to know how this could impact your ability to complete your program at UMKC.

 

STEP 3 - Keep Up on deadlines for assignments in your courses and for electing options for grading reviewed above. 

Daily: Course Assignment and Exam Due Dates: Continuing to make progress toward the completion of your degree by focusing your efforts to successfully progress in each of your classes, even in this challenging time, is your best approach! Instructors are communicating with you about assignments and exams through Canvas. Be sure to be logging into Canvas daily so that you can do your best to meet these deadlines and complete your best work possible!

Friday, May 8, 2020: Course Withdrawal deadline (submitted online in Pathway – Drop Course)

Monday, May 18, 2020 thru Friday, June 5, 2020: Credit (CR) / No Credit (NC) Option period

This is ultimately your choice, but please be careful and thorough in your decision-making process. Take the opportunity to reach out to the faculty, advisors, and staff at UMKC. We're here to help and want you to have a successful spring semester and to have success as you continue pursuing your education