“Six-Drop” Rule per TEC 51.907 (SB 1231)

Effective with the Fall 2007 semester and thereafter, all undergraduate students enrolling for the first time in a Texas public college or university are not permitted to drop more than six courses throughout their undergraduate career. This policy does not apply to courses dropped on or before the census date for which a grade is not entered on the student’s transcript. All college-level courses dropped after the official course census date are included in the six-drop limit to include college-level courses dropped at CTC or another Texas public college or university, unless the reason for dropping qualifies as an exception. The purposes of the rule are to motivate and encourage students to successfully complete their courses and degree in a timely manner, and with less financial loss to all parties concerned. Students should carefully select their courses and minimize the likelihood of dropping a course.

Course Drop Definition and Penalty

For purposes of clarification, a course drop applies to CTC college-level courses in which the student is officially enrolled in the course as of census date and the course will be reflected on the student’s transcript with a non-punitive grade of W. Courses with grades of A B, C, D, F, IP, N or P are earned and are not included in the six-limit course drop.

Once a student has six (6) withdrawals that do not qualify for an exception the student may not be permitted to drop future courses, and the student will receive the grade earned in the course. If a CTC course was dropped that exceeded the six-drop limit, the drop will be removed and the faculty member of the associated course will be contacted to issue the appropriate grade.

Courses Excluded from the Six-Drop Limit

Drops from the following types of courses are exclude from the six-drop limit:

  1. Courses taken by students while enrolled in high school or early college high school for dual credit or for college credit only (early admissions).
  2. Courses taken at private and out-of-state colleges and universities.
  3. Remedial, developmental or other courses such as continuing education courses that do not apply to a degree.
  4. Drops that require co-requisite enrollment such as a lecture class with a required laboratory are counted as one drop. This does not apply to accelerated instruction in which student is enrolled in a co-requisite developmental course with an intensive reading, mathematics or writing college credit course.
  5. Complete withdrawal of all courses in a semester in a single transaction, constituting withdrawal from the institution.
  6. Courses not submitted for state funding such as third-course repeats and developmental courses that exceed the 18 semester credit hour limit. This includes CTC courses offered at CTC locations outside Texas and online courses taken by students located outside of Texas whose legal state of residence is not Texas.
  7. Courses dropped as a result of documented college error.
  8. CTC courses which were dropped for good cause as listed in the Course Drop Exceptions.

Six-Drop Rule Exceptions

Courses dropped for one or more of the “good cause” reasons below are excluded from the six-limit course drop. Students must indicate the reason for the drop on a completed CTC Withdrawal form at the time the withdrawal request is made. If a student does not indicate a reason on the withdrawal form, the course drop will be included in the six-limit course drop unless the drop constitutes a complete withdrawal from CTC. College officials may require documentation.

  1. A severe illness or other debilitating condition that affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete a course.
  2. The student is responsible for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person if the provision of that care affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete a course.
  3. The death of a person who is considered to be a member of the student’s family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person’s death is considered to be a showing of good cause.
  4. An active duty service as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or family member of the active duty service member or another individual who is otherwise considered to have a significant close relationship to the active duty member such that the person’s active duty military service is considered to be a showing of good cause.
  5. A change in the student’s work schedule that is beyond the control of the student and subsequently affects the student’s ability to satisfactory complete the course.
  6. Other good causes as determined by CTC such as Peace Corps or church mission service, institutional academic advisement error, or natural disaster that affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete a course.

Note: SB 165 of the 87R-2021 Legislature prohibits a Texas institution of higher education from counting courses toward the number of courses permitted to be dropped if the courses were dropped by a student during the 2020 spring semester or summer or the 2020-2021 academic year because of a bar on in-person course attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill is retroactive.

For purposes of this section, definitions are provided below:

  • Family members include spouse, child, grandchild, father, mother, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, first cousin, stepparent, stepchild, or stepsibling. Also, a person who is otherwise considered to have a significantly close relationship to the student.
  • A sufficiently close relationship refers to a relationship with any other relative within the third degree of consanguinity, plus close friends, including but not limited to roommates, housemates, classmates, or other persons identified by the student for approval by the institution on a case-by-case basis.

In February 2018 the limitations on the number of courses dropped was amended permitting a seventh-course drop if the student:

  • reenrolled at the institution following a break in enrollment from the institution or another institution of higher education covering at least the 24-month period preceding the first class day of the initial semester or other academic term of the student’s enrollment; and
  • successfully completed at least 50 semester credit hours of coursework at an institution of higher education that were not exempt from the limitation on formula funding before that break in enrollment.

Appeal Process

Once a student has reached the Six-Drop limit and is requesting to be dropped from one or more classes (not withdrawn from all classes) for the semester, the student must request an exemption from the six-drop rule and provide appropriate documentation to the Associate Dean, Admissions, Registration and Records. Students who do not agree with the Associate Dean’s decision must submit their request for an appeal within 30 days of the Associate Dean’s decision. An appeal request will not be accepted without supporting documentation attached. The Appeal must be submitted to the Associate Dean, Enrollment Services, who will convene the Drop Review Committee. The decision of the Drop Review Committee is final.