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Question #91082 posted on 03/27/2018 11:51 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I might fail a class. I've been working SO hard all semester and I still might fail. It's a 3 credit class, and some weeks I've worked 20+ hours. I'm trying my best but it's still a distinct possibility that I might fail. I'm normally a straight A student, but this class is the hardest and most miserable thing I've ever done. I'm on a scholarship where I have to take a certain amount of credits each semester. If I fail, despite my best attempts, will I lose my scholarship? What else will happen if I fail?

-Sad and crying from discouragement


Dear Friend,

I'm sorry that this is so stressful. My heart goes out to you, because it really sucks to try your very hardest and still feel like you don't succeed.

As far as I know, failing a class might disqualify you for the scholarship depending on what it does to your GPA, but assuming you still took the required number of credits this semester, failing a class won't disqualify you on the number-of-credits basis. It might depend on the exact scholarship, but that's general information. In any case, I would recommend talking with an academic adviser from your college. It's literally their job to help you, so make an appointment and go see them! They can also answer questions about specific grades needed for your program.

If you fail a required class, you'll have to retake it. BYU's policy for retaking classes is that your new grade doesn't replace the failing grade. Instead, the two grades are averaged together. So if you get an E the first time you take Bio 100, and an A the second time, the grade on your transcript for Bio 100 would be a C.

If your semester GPA drops below a 2.0, you may get an academic warning from BYU. That just means you can't get below that GPA next semester, too, or they'll put you on academic probation, but other than that it doesn't really have an effect on your life. And again, these warnings are not given for just failing a class, it's only if your whole semester GPA is below a 2.0.

This may sound sort of trite, but in all sincerity, you're going to be okay. Even if you fail this class. Even if you lose your scholarship. Life will go on, and it might be really hard for a while, but you'll be okay. I had a scholarship for most of my time here at BYU, and I lost it at the start of this year. That was a blow, because I'm paying for my own education, but things ended up working out, so I do have some personal experience with what I'm saying here. Like Babalugats says below, the worst case scenario is usually not nearly as bad as we think it's going to be.

You can do this. First of all, you don't know yet if you are going to end up failing this class or not, but even if you do, that doesn't say anything about who you are as a person. It doesn't make you "worth less," or not a hard enough worker, or a bad student. The fact that you're trying so hard in it even when it's hard means that you are awesome, and I hope you know that. You're so much more than your grades, and whatever ends up happening, be proud of yourself for having tried something new and hard.

In conclusion, I leave you with this quote from Winston Churchill: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." You've got this, friend.



Dear you,

Honestly, I don't get the best grades but I've always been able to find a way to finance my education. Things slow down, but you'll be alright. When I haven't had scholarships I've slowed down my course load, gotten a job, or taken out loans (to be fair I am offered very reasonable subsidized FAFSA loans.) Even though I'm in debt, the amount I owe is minuscule compared to graduates of most other universities. Now the worst case scenario for me at one point was taking out loans. At this point, the worst case scenario is if I ever default on those loans. But you know what? By the time I default on my loans I will have a brand new worst case scenario. (This is not turning out as cheerful as I was hoping it would be.) My point is that there is always something you can do and the worst case scenario is never as bad as we think. 

It depends on what scholarship you're benefiting from, but I have noticed that for some scholarships the GPA standard is a bit soft. If they have the money and you're next in order of qualification they will likely give it to you, even if you're slightly below the line. They want you to succeed I promise.

Also, I am so insanely proud of you for doing so well in all your classes and for working so hard in this one. You're doing great. Don't give up. It's so hard to do what you're doing. I know it's hard because I haven't been able to do it lately, try as I might. But honestly, it's students like you that help me improve. If you can get A's, so can I. If I can take a bad grade on the chin, so can you. Keep it up!