The information in this section refers to any changes made to a student's schedule after his/her initial registration in resident instruction, Continuing Education, and World Campus credit courses. Schedule adjustment includes adding, dropping, or late dropping a course as well as changing from one section of a course to another. Consultation with an adviser is recommended before students change their course selections. (See Schedule Planning for information on selecting courses.)
The period of time available for drop, add, and late drop varies depending on the length of a course.
- Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid
- Course Drop and Add Periods
- Section Change
- Course Add (controlled, credit overload, full, multiple campuses, part-semester, time conflict, or World Campus)
- Late Course Add
- Late Course Drop
- Impact of Reduced Credit Load
- Dropping Down in a Sequence of Courses
Schedule adjustments can be processed on eLion up to the time indicated as the deadline for the transaction. Occasionally students must contact the department offering a course to facilitate schedule adjustment.
Following a schedule change, it is critical that the student obtain a revised copy as proof that this modification was made. He/she should retain this copy until semester grades are received to make sure they accurately reflect the courses that were scheduled. A student may verify his/her schedule on eLion. Copies are also available from the student's adviser/advising center and from the Registrar's office at any campus.
Caution: If a schedule adjustment requires an exception by a department or the Registrar's office that overrides an established limit in ISIS (e.g., adding a course that is controlled or full), the system no longer prevents time conflicts, so students should check their schedules carefully.
Beginning with the first day of classes, students who drop below full-time or drop below their originally-registered credit levels may be assessed a tuition penalty. Adjustments for tuition will be determined on the effective date of the drop. Any adjustment of charges will be made according to Penn State's Tuition Adjustment Schedule (for the most current schedule, refer to the Tuition Adjustment Policy). Adjustments are only made on tuition. Information technology, activities, facilities, and international undergraduate student fees are non-refundable.
There is a $6.00 processing fee for each course late add and late drop. This fee can be paid via the student's Bursar Account on eLion, Office of the Bursar, or via the student's next billing statement on eLion. There is no processing fee for schedule adjustments during the drop/add period. Any adjustments of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Policy.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirement
Students who are considering reducing their credit load after classes begin should consult with staff in the Office of Student Aid. Each semester, the highest number of credits a student has on his/her schedule during the drop/add period is used when calculating a student's SAP for federal financial aid eligibility. Dropping courses, either during the regular or late drop period, withdrawing, or failing a class can all have negative impacts on a student's current and future financial aid status.
After registering, students may drop and/or add courses to change their schedules. The dates for the drop and add periods are listed on the Academic Calendar. The drop and add period for full-semester courses begins on the first day of classes, however the drop and add periods vary for part-semester courses (see Part-Semester Courses). Drop and add deadlines for all of the courses on a student's semester/session schedule can be found using the Course Drop Dates application on eLion. The drop and add deadlines are listed under "Last Day of Regular Drop." Authorized advisers can also determine the drop and add deadlines for part-semester courses by accessing the ISIS screen ARIRP and entering any course's start and end dates.
The add period extends eight hours beyond the end of the drop period. Students will be able to add courses on eLion during its operating hours. Following this period, students should follow the late add procedure.
There is no limit to the number of times a student can use the drop and add procedure. Drops are not reflected on students' records. Although there is not a fee for dropping or adding credits during the semester/session drop and add periods, the Tuition Adjustment Policy indicates cases in which a tuition penalty may result.
To drop all courses after classes begin, a student must withdraw.
When modifying a schedule, the student should follow the guidelines for Schedule Planning and consult with his/her academic adviser.
After the drop and add periods (see above), through the date that the course ends, a student may change from one section of a course to another by obtaining the signature of the new section's instructor on a registration drop/add form, obtaining departmental approval, and processing the change at the department offering the course or the Registrar's office at the student's campus.
There is no notation made on the student's transcript for a section change, late drop credits are not used, and no fee is charged unless the section change is processed as a course drop and a course add.
Advising Note: A student who missed class(es) prior to adding a course should contact the course instructor to find out what material he or she missed and discuss the potential to make up the work.
For instructions on how to schedule a course that is full, read Scheduling a Course That's Full.
Enrollment in a course may be controlled in order to reserve space for a special population (e.g., students in a particular semester standing and/or major). Controlled classes are identified in the Schedule of Courses with a Controls link in the Notes column. Use the Controls link to access information on who can schedule the course. A student who is not approved to enroll in the course must request an exception by taking a completed registration drop/add form to the department offering the course and requesting department head approval and processing. Authorized staff may use the ARURX screen on ISIS to determine which students may schedule a controlled course.
The University's computerized registration system will not schedule a student in classes that meet during overlapping periods. The student attempting to schedule classes that conflict may be able to make arrangements with the instructor of one of the classes to miss part of the class in order to report to the other class. Provisions may be made to make up missed class work. A registration drop/add form must be completed. The student should secure the signatures indicated on the form for course add (or late add) and the signatures of both instructors whose classes are involved. The form is then processed at the Registrar's office.
Students may not register for more than 19 credits (a credit overload) before the start of a semester. Effective fall 2013, students can add overload credit(s) in eLion on or after the first day of classes by using the Drop/Add service under Schedule. Before adding an overload, the student should read Considerations when Planning a Schedule and think through the decision with his/her academic adviser.
World Campus courses are available to all Penn State students, regardless of location, based on Course Registration Priorities.
Students may seek enrollment in course work at more than one Penn State campus in a semester or session by following the procedures for Multiple Campus Registration.
Course adds occurring after the add period are considered late adds. The deadline for a late add is the last day of classes in the semester/session when the course is offered. To late add a course after the end of a semester or session, the student must submit a petition to the University Faculty Senate.
A student considering a late add should consult with his/her adviser to weigh the impact of missed classes.
A late add requires the signature of the course instructor on a registration drop/add form. If the course is full or departmentally controlled, the signature of the department head of the offering department is also required. The student takes the completed form to the department offering the course or to the Registrar's office to process the late add. The student will be assessed a processing fee for every course that is late added.
A late add may be scheduled as an audit if the course was never scheduled by the student at any time during the semester.
After the drop deadline for a course, it is still possible for students to drop a course by using "late drop." For full-semester courses, the beginning of the late-drop period and the late drop deadline are on the Academic Calendar. To check the late drop deadline for all of the courses on a student's schedule (including part-semester courses), students and advisers can use the Course Drop Dates application on eLion. Authorized advisers are able to calculate late drop deadlines by entering any start and end dates on the ARIRP screen in ISIS.
A student can late drop a course by (1) using the eLion Late Course Drop application prior to the deadline for the transaction or (2) completing a registration drop/add form so that the drop can be processed on ISIS by an adviser, the department offering the course, or the Registrar's office at the student's campus . Students are charged a processing fee for every course they late drop. In addition, the Tuition Adjustment Policy indicates cases in which a tuition penalty may result.
Advising Note: Because the decision to late drop a course can have far-reaching ramifications, a student should consult with an adviser when considering late dropping a course: late drops can jeopardize a student's progress toward graduation. In addition, students should consider the impact of a reduced credit load.
The Late-Drop Checklist provides a framework for advising discussions about late-drop.
Beginning fall 2010, when a student late drops a course, the action will be reflected on his/her record with the symbol WN.
A student should not late drop a course being audited.
Baccalaureate degree candidates have a total of 16 late drop credits that may be used during their academic careers.
Associate degree candidates have a total of 10 late drop credits that may be used during their academic careers.
Degree-seeking provisional and nondegree students have a limit of 10 late drop credits. If the student becomes a degree candidate, late drop credits used while he/she was enrolled in degree-seeking provisional or nondegree status are subtracted from the total number of late drop credits available (as described above). If a degree candidate becomes a nondegree student, late drop credits that were used while in degree status are deducted from the 10-credit limit. For example, if the student used 10 or more late drop credits while a degree candidate, he/she will have no credits available while in nondegree status.
If a student re-enrolls for a sequential degree, the late drop credits that were used in his/her first degree program will not count toward the late drop credit limit in the sequential degree.
Students should be aware that certain programs or agencies require a minimum number of credits. Before dropping courses, students should understand the Definition and Implications of a Part-Time Credit Load.
Contact the Office of Student Aid to discuss the impact a reduced credit load may have on both current and future aid.
It may be possible for a student who began a sequence of courses at too high a level to drop down to a more appropriate course in the sequence after the drop period without using late drop credits. To discuss the possibility of dropping down in a sequence, the student should contact the department offering the courses.
Reviewed: July 2015
Last Update: July 2010