Most professors have witnessed dozens, if not hundreds, of students, fail courses at some point in their careers as educators. Some students blame the professor for failing them and typecast them as instructors who like failing students.
Contrary to what some students may think, professors don’t enjoy failing students as it lowers their GPA, can cost them a scholarship/financial aid/grant, or even result in their expulsion from the university.
Keep in mind that professors were once students like their students and understand the challenges they go through. Depending on the situation, the consequences of failing an examination could change the course of a student’s life.
As a result, professors take no pleasure in failing students when they’ve earned the corresponding grade. After all, simply passing a student who clearly doesn’t have a good grasp on necessary concepts could mean the difference between life and death in some professions like healthcare.
Why Professors Fail Students
While the reasons why professors might fail students vary, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most popular ones.
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Poor Academic Performance
Poor academic performance is the primary cause of students failing a class. A professor’s responsibility is to ensure that their students are adequately trained and prepared for the job market.
They leverage assignments, tests, examinations, and other forms of assessments to gauge their students’ level of understanding.
Students who are unable to meet the specified criteria would then have to redo the course. Unfortunately, it’s never easy for a student to fail a course and they sometimes blame the professor for this failure.
Missing Academic Work
Education goes hand in hand with assessment and professors employ various evaluation techniques. Even though exams may account for a portion of the overall evaluation, teachers also use other forms of assessment, such as assignments and other activities.
Some professors who hate students missing their classes may allocate points for attendance in their assessments. Even if they do well on their final exams, students who overlook these could end up with lower grades.
Professors are responsible for educating their students to get them ready for life after school. Unfortunately, some disruptive students would go out of their way to make the teacher’s job worse.
These students have a history of being blatantly disruptive in class and disrespectful to professors. In such cases, the professor is less likely to bump up the student’s grade even when an extra 0.5 points could mean the difference between passing and failing.
Breach Of Academic Integrity Policies
Institutions of higher learning take any problems with academic integrity very seriously. They require their students to be truthful in their academic work, and those who are detected plagiarizing face severe consequences.
Penalties can range from the cancellation of a paper to expulsion from the institution. The grade would be repeated for students whose papers are ultimately canceled. In most instances, though, this punishment might be on the milder side.
Can A College Professor Fail You For No Reason
No, irrespective of their personal biases, professors cannot fail students without justification. Professors who fail students without reason would most likely lose their job and possibly their licenses.
With their license on the line, no professor would purposely breach the policies of their educational institution for personal reasons.
Failing a class can have severe consequences for students, from a drop in their GPA to possibly losing their scholarships. Professors are aware of this and would refrain from failing a student for no reason as it could lead to dire consequences for the professor.
Consequences Of Failing A College Class
Let’s take a look at some of the consequences of failing a class in college.
Failing a class can decrease your overall Grade Point Average (GPA). Even in a pass/fail course, students who fail could be negatively impacted as the failing grade would be calculated into your GPA.
Depending on how much the class is worth, failing could significantly decrease your overall GPA.
Jeopardize Financial Aid
A fail is calculated as 0 points in the grade point average. This would significantly impact your overall GPA which may result in losing your financial aid. Scholarships and federal aids require students to remain in good standing.
Financial aid frequently has a condition attached that requires students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), which may differ depending on the college. Students failing to meet this criterion stand the risk of losing the much-needed financial aid.
Federal student aid, for instance, requires students to maintain a 2.0 Grape Point Average (GPA). Some institutions also have outlined GPA requirements to keep your scholarship.
Failing a course will end up on your academic transcript which could hurt your chances of getting into graduate school or graduating at the intended time.
Depending on the course or institution you’re looking to enroll in, failing a course would prevent you from getting admitted.
To make up for a failed course, you may end up graduating later than you originally planned. You may need to graduate a year later than you planned to make up for a failed course.
Failing at any point in school can be very embarrassing and can also affect your confidence making you unsure of your ability to succeed in college. Rewriting the course with your juniors can be very embarrassing.
Depending on the kind of job you’re searching for, a high GPA could prove to be an advantage. Failing a class would lower your overall GPA which could disadvantage you in a competitive role application.
Students are rarely kicked out of colleges for poor grades. Most schools work with academically challenged pupils who face expulsion. Colleges do, however, have the authority to expel students for disobeying rules or the conduct code.
Colleges have transparent policies about academic achievement. Academic probation is usually given to students whose GPA falls below a certain threshold, commonly 2.0. The college may dismiss pupils if they don’t improve or keep getting bad scores.
Is It Normal To Fail A Course In University
Depending on the pass rate for that particular course, failing may be seen as normal. Keep in mind that the majority of educational institutions have recorded and expected pass rates for each respective course.
And while there’s always a margin for error, any student failing a course is not abnormal. A typical example is a student failing a course that has a track record of 100% student passes for the past 10 years.
That said, educational institutions and their instructors are well aware of the possibility of failure. And while they hope all students pass, they also have procedures in place in case some fail.
You can also analyze this question from your personal perspective. While the university may consider a 20% fail rate for a particular course to be normal, you can look at it from your point of view.
Is failing normal for you? If it is, you should consider why this is the case. Did you neglect to learn, follow the professor’s advice, or other factors that may have resulted in multiple failures?
If it’s abnormal, you can look into why you suddenly failed this course. Did you neglect to learn, is it the right course for you, do you find the course difficult to understand irrespective of how much you learn?
If you need help determining this, you should meet the academic counselor at your school to help you identify where the problem lies.