As the semester comes to a close, it is important for you to make sure you are fully aware of what is expected of you come spring semester. One of the best ways to do this is by looking up your academic calendar.
What is an academic calendar?
Post-secondary intuitions publish an academic calendar detailing the schedule of important college events, deadlines, and timelines each semester. Savvy students need to be aware of this schedule so they don’t miss important cut off dates or other benchmarks.
What some key dates you will find on an academic calendar?
First day of classes:
How else are you supposed to know when to return to school? You have to check your academic calendar to know when class is back in session!
The Drop/Add deadline is the last day you have to add a class to your schedule or to drop one off your schedule without incurring financial penalties.
Spring Break and other observed holidays:
Spring break and three-day-weekends can be great opportunities to get away from campus. However, if you want to head home for a long weekend, you may need to consult bus schedules, figure out a carpool, or pick up a few extra shifts to afford gas. Look over your academic calendar to learn which days your campus is closed so you can plan accordingly. If you can’t afford to leave campus, spring break is a great time to pick up additional shifts at work. Ask your manager if there are any opportunities for you to earn a little extra while school is out.
Late Withdrawal Deadline:
This is your last day to drop a class without special permission from the dean. The course won’t impact your GPA, but you will be financially responsible.
When registration opens:
While there are multiple registration windows determined by the number of credit hours a student has, the general registration period is published on the academic calendar. Use this date to schedule your academic advising appointments in advance of registration.
Deadline to sign up for graduation:
Graduation is a major milestone! In order for you to participate in your graduation ceremony along with your family or friends, you need to be aware of your institution’s graduation timeline. You see, students who have enough credit hours and course requirements completed don’t just automatically graduate—they must submit an application before the deadline.
Additionally, remember there are certain costs associated with participating in graduation. Typically, students are required to have paid their final expenses (from tuition to library late fees) and to have paid for their cap and gown. Contact your College Completion Coach if you need help identifying what payments are due when so you can plan accordingly. You might even qualify for a free cap and gown to wear to commencement.
While you can check your individual syllabi for the exact date and time of your various finals, you should be aware of when your finals will take place. This way you can avoid overcommitting yourself with extracurricular activities during this week and give yourself all the time you need to study.
When grades are due:
It is helpful to know when your professors have to turn in their grades to the university. This timeline can help you know when your grades might become available. Of course, some professors might make you aware of your grades earlier via email or through your online portal, but it can be very helpful to know when you can expect to see all your course grades and your semester GPA.
Is your family planning on attending graduation? You can give them the date months in advance! Be sure to give anyone you want to attend plenty of notice so they can make any necessary arrangements.
Where can I find my academic calendar?
While the location can vary from college to college, most post-secondary institutions house their academic calendar on the registrar’s webpage, as well as through many advising offices. Just be sure you are referencing the correct academic; most colleges publish a few semesters at a time, so it is important for you to be sure you are looking at the correct semester and year.
There are lots of great information on your academic calendar. Be sure to look up these must-have dates in advance of each semester and jot them down in your planner or add them to your phone (with reminders). Staying on top of these dates can save your time and money, so remove the stress by being diligent.
If you have any trouble locating your academic calendar, reach out to your Take Stock College Completion Coach today!