New York City, NY — by Sophie Moller
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
If a student withdraws from a course after the add/drop period, a W will appear on their transcript. According to guidelines from the NYU Division of Student Affairs, students cannot be exempt from this mark on their transcripts due to medical exemptions. The problem with this standard is that it implicitly encourages the prioritization of academic excellence over health. After graduation, grades will have little to no effect on a student’s life. However, if a student abuses their health — mental or physical — for these grades, they could be paying for it long after they leave the insulated bubble of academia.
In February, I went home for a few weeks due to a medical issue. I received multiple letters from three medical institutions, which I sent to Student Affairs.
One of these letters suggested that I lighten my course work for the remainder of the spring semester. My doctor felt that dropping a class could temporarily reduce stress-induced pain flare-ups.
I returned to school and took my physician’s advice. I dropped a course and got accommodations with the Moses Center for Student Accessibility. My advisers and professors were beyond accommodating, flexible and supportive.
When I did drop the course, however, I quickly discovered that the newly added W on my transcript from unenrolling could not be removed, regardless of the fact that it was there because of a medical issue.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.