No one wants to quit college, but sometimes dropping out is the only option. Illness, family issues, financial problems, or other hardships may make it impossible to continue with your classes. There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it when it comes to quitting college. Don’t just stop showing up and turning in your assignments. The long term consequences of a disappearing act may haunt you for years to come. Instead, use this time-tested advice. Talk to your teachers. Depending on your situation, professors may be able to cut you a bit of slack and make it possible for you to have an extension on your work instead of dropping out. Many colleges allow professors to create a contract with students, allowing them up to a year to complete late assignments. This might give you enough time to resolve outside issues and still stay on track. Extensions are less likely at the beginning of the semester. But there is a good chance your teachers will show leniency in case you only have a few weeks or one big project left. Meet with a counselor. College counselors can walk you through the steps necessary to withdraw from the university in case receiving an extension from your professors won’t work.

How to quit college

Be sure to ask about any tuition and fees that you’ve paid. Will you receive the full amount or a prorated portion back? Will you be expected to pay back any scholarships or financial aid in case you leave the university? Does a hardship situation change the way the school treats cases like yours? Don’t take your name off the rolls until you have solid answers. Try to get away with a clean record. Aside from getting an extension, the best thing you can do for your future college career is to make sure that your transcript stays spotless. You will probably receive an entire semester of F’s in case you simply stop going to class (or logging in to your assignments). That is bad news if you ever want to come back to college, enroll in another school, or become a grant student. Recovering from a semester of F’s is extremely difficult, and your college may even put you on academic probation or suspension. You may not care now, but it could become a problem years down the road. You may be able to get a special exception if you’re going through some sort of hardship in case you have passed the deadline for a clean record. If that doesn’t work, aim for a “W.” If you cannot get away with a clean record, at least try to get a line of W’s on your transcript in place of failing grades. A “W” means “withdrawn.”  They generally have no effect on your GPA while a lot of W’s may indicate unreliability on the student’s part. Your transcript won’t be pretty, but it’s better than being put on academic probation or having difficulty re-enrolling in college. Many schools have a program in place to allow students to leave for up to a year and return to the school without re-applying.