What Happens When You Fail A Class In College?

What Happens When You Fail A Class In College
What Happens When You Fail A Class In College
What Happens When You Fail A Class In College
What Happens When You Fail A Class In College

As a college student, chances are you would be wondering what happens if you fail a class in college. It could be a disheartening scenario. You might feel at crossroads and be overwhelmed with a sense of disappointment and failure. If you are faced with such, this article will show you what’s next. 

If you fail a class in college, your GPA will be affected and forced to reduce. Also, you could lose out on your financial aid and reduce your chances of entering into graduate school or graduating from college. 

Failing a class in college is not something one wishes for, but that is not the end of the road. Perhaps, you are in such a dilemma. I have explained all of the possible scenarios when one fails a class. Some are below aside from the GPA reduction and other factors I cited above. If you want to get all sides of what happens if you fail a college class, you may need to continue reading. 

It is quintessential for you to note that failing is not the end of the road. There are no favourites for success, neither is there for failures, and you have every chance to attain success even after experiencing failure. Ready to discover what happens if you fail a class in college? Leggo. 

Six Things That Happens When You Fail a Class in College (Watch Video)

The chances are that you are on the verge of failing a class in college or may have failed already. Although asking what happens if you fail a class in college is a common question, I will give you six things that happen when you fail in class. 

Your GPA will Decline

As a college student, you must have heard about grade point average (GPA). Your GPA is calculated from the numerical value to each letter grade you earn among your courses and dividing that by the number of classes you take. For instance, an A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, and E&F=0. At the end of the semester, the numerical value of each grade is added and divided by the number of classes you took. 

If you get an F in any course, it will impact your GPA negatively. You will have a lower GPA after each F. For some persons, a 3.0 college GPA is not a priority, but if you plan to get into graduating school, you must have a 3.0 college GPA. 

You Must Retake the Class

Retaking a class you failed is always the case when the course is a major. Although, schools differ in policies concerning retaking classes. You may find out that your school limits the number of times a student can retake a class. Additionally, your school may replace your F with the new grade you get. 

You May Lose Out on Financial Aid 

Financial aids are granted to college students based on their academic excellence. If your college GPA sponsors your financial aid, getting an F will reduce it, potentially affecting your financial aid status. 

In worst cases, you may have to pay a grant back or lose it entirely. Retaking a class may get your grant back, but some sponsors would not be patient enough to reinstate your grant. Scholarships may be merit-based or via the quality of grades, and if you fail, you could lose it. 

You May Be Dismissed From College

Colleges in the United States are very competitive, and they do not take failing lightly. Due to the admission acceptance rate in colleges, your school might consider dismissing you based on multiple failures. To the school, your repeated failure may mean you are not qualified for the major or you are unserious about schooling. 

A Bad Record 

Failing a class in college will appear on your college transcript. This can be detrimental to your chances of transferring to another college. It could prevent you from graduating or entering graduate school when you are supposed to. 

Moreover, the stigma, disappointment, and embarrassment accompanying failing a class are inevitable. Joining your juniors to retake a course when your mates have moved on is not a cool thing at all. However, that is not the end of the road. I will show you what to do after you fail a class. 

What You Should Do After You Fail a Course

What Happens When You Fail A Class In College
What Happens When You Fail A Class In College
  1. Seek help

It would be best to meet your guidance & counsellor or professor to help the next line of action. Do not sit back and just gloom over the F. Seek help from your school’s authority on what you should do to come back stronger

  1. Get extra credits

Several programs can help you add extra credits to your GPA. If you fail a course, you can enrol in these programs while you plan to retake the class to add credits. 

  1. Hire a personal tutor

For most persons, learning in a large class setting may be a challenge, and if you are in this category, it would be best to get a personal tutor. Hiring a personal tutor will help you grasp a course’s content if you can’t do so in the actual lecture period. It has helped thousands of students to pass seemingly difficult courses. 

  1. Study harder

There is no limit to what you can achieve, and if you are going to make your courses, you will have to study hard. Nothing good comes easy, and nobody said college was a piece of cake. After failing a class, the best advice you can get as you plan to retake it is to study harder for it. 

You should not expect a different outcome when you do the same things repeatedly. To pass a course after failing, you ought to do better in your studies than you did the last time. 


What happens if you fail one college class?

If you fail one college class, you will have to retake the class. Colleges allow you to retake a class when you fail, and if you are lucky, the school may replace F with a new grade. Whichever, the best thing to do if you fail one college class is to retake it.

Can I still graduate if I fail a class in college?

You can graduate if you fail a class in college. However, if you fail a class during your last year in college, you will not graduate. To graduate, you will have to come back and retake the class after your mates have gone. 

Is it normal for a college student to fail a class?

Failing a class is completely normal. Even the best students can suffer setbacks in their academic journey, and it is not a surprise to see a college student fail a class. 

Does failing a class ruins your life?

Failing a class DOES NOT ruin your life. It is only a class, and if you put yourself together, study hard, and retake the class, you will be on your way again. 

Is 60% a passing grade in college?

Yes. A 60% score is a passing grade in college. If you get 60% in a course, that is a D, and you would not have to repeat the class. It is often considered a narrow escape, and you are better off with a D than an F. 

Does failing a class affects your GPA in college?

Yes. If you fail a class in college, your GPA will be affected. While it is true that an F is 0 and would not be calculated in your GPA, your overall grade rating will be calculated, and it would give a product that is lower than the expected grade point average. 

Is it better to drop a class or fail?

It is better to drop a class than fail it. If you feel you may not get a passing grade in a course and you have the chance to drop it, I would advise dropping the course instead. For further clarity, speak to your school’s guidance & counsellor. 


What could be a promising future may seem ruined when you fail a class in college, but that is never the end of the road. While you may retake a course, suffer from a reduced GPA, lose out on your financial aid, or endure the shame of failing, you can rise from the setback and excel when you fail a class in college. 

Do not let a failure ruin your life. Dust yourself and aim for the sky again. 

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