Caitlin Hernandez/Courier PCC's add/drop class screen from LancerPoint on Wednesday, April 29. 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Chancellor's Office is allowing community college students to take excused withdrawals with costs refunded.
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After the Chancellor’s Office temporarily suspended student withdrawal regulations due to the global pandemic, PCC students can now drop classes through excused withdrawals (EW) and have their enrollment fees refunded through June 14, according to the campus website.

Prior to the novel coronavirus shutting down campus life, students only had until the second week of the semester to drop with a refund. With this temporary change, refunds will be automatically allowed for each student that drops a course. 

Currently, classes can only be processed through the Withdrawal with W option, but this will be updated to an EW on transcripts by PCC staff, according to LancerPoint. Students should expect refunds to begin processing within two to four days after dropping.

“This is an incredibly stressful time for everyone, first of all, and it’s even more stressful to change your method of learning in the middle of a semester,” said Alexander Boekelheide, special assistant to the superintendent/president. “We want students to have as much flexibility as they can to do what is right for them and their families, and if that means they need to change their educational plans we want to reduce barriers to them fulfilling that need.”

Though Boekelheide cautions that students should be aware of how dropping courses can impact their financial aid or transfer expectations. It’s recommended that students contact a counselor with any questions prior to doing so.

While the campus has voiced frustrations over the $15.2 million it received federal CARES Act funding, these student withdrawal refunds won’t add to its financial woes for now. 

“We actually aren’t facing any financial costs for withdrawals, because the funding we receive for tuition comes from the Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento, and they have determined that colleges’ revenues are protected,” said Boekelheide.

But with the economic impacts of COVID-19, the campus may have funding issues in the future. PCC is preparing for a shortfall in categorical funding with the low enrollment it may see in the coming semesters, according to Carrie Afuso, the student affairs advisor last Wednesday at the Associated Students meeting. 

Have more questions? Students are encouraged to refer to the campus’s FAQ on remote instruction and the Courier’s coronavirus page.

Caitlin Hernandez

Caitlin Hernandez is the managing editor for the Courier, a student-run publication out of Pasadena City College. Currently, her focus is on increasing student engagement and multimedia implementation for the publication while preparing to transfer in the fall. Independently, she is an ardent protest documenter who frequently attends local rallies and official campaign stops to get "the shot." When Caitlin isn't reading the news, she can be found listening to a crime podcast with her child- who is definitely a dog- Leslie.

On the socials with @caitlinherdez.

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