Student FAQs about FAU


1. What should I do if I’m not doing well in a class?

First things first… DO NOT WAIT TO ASK FOR HELP . A college semester goes by faster than you can imagine. The longer you wait to ask for help, the less amount of time you have to pull up that grade. If you are having problems in any of your classes:

  • Make an appointment to see your professor and/or the teacher’s assistant anytime during his or her office hours. Please take advantage of their office hours – this time is set aside for you so do not take it for granted.
  • GO TO SI (Supplemental Instruction) - or form study groups with your classmates if SI isn't part of the class you are currently taking . SI is FREE and it really works! Students who go to regular SI sessions are much more likely to earn a higher grade in the course. Make the time to go to an SI session EVERY week. Your classmates might be able to answer some of the questions and concerns you may have. Click here to learn about SI and see the SI schedule.
  • Take advantage of any extra credit assignments or additional class study sessions . These opportunities can sometimes be the ticket to passing the class. Make sure you set aside time to attend.

2. How can I better manage my time with school, work and my personal life?

Time Management is something that many students struggle with in college. You are not alone. In an effort to stay on track and maintain some form of balance, consider investing in planner (You can pick up a free copy during Orientation or during the first week of classes at various locations on campus). A planner will help you keep a daily log of all your activities.

When keeping a planner, rank each "TO DO" item by its level of importance in your life. (e.g.: write down exams, upcoming projects or writing assignments, going to gym, going to work, spending time with friends and family, etc. and star or highlight things that have to be given priority).

3. There are over 200 students enrolled in my class. How is the professor going to know who I am?

College is definitely a different world and requires a certain level of independence and responsibility on your part. For example: Let’s say you are enrolled in History and Appreciation of Music this semester. Although there are over 200 students in your class, you will have to take the initiative to make sure your professor knows you.

How do you do that? Just a few tips:

·  On the first day of class, introduce yourself to your professor

·  Sit in the front of the class

·  Be a good listener

·  Ask questions if you don’t understand

·  Participate in classroom discussions and activities

·  Come to class consistently (although the class may be huge, the professor knows if you are coming to class or not…TRUST ME!!!)

Always remember, college is also about networking and making long time connections with friends and professors. Building a connection with your professor can also help if you ever need a recommendation letter or a reference for a job, internship, practicum, etc. You never know who you may one day need.

4. My teacher hasn’t told me how I am doing. How do I know if I am passing my classes?

There will be times when your professor will not return your paper nor announce or post your grade on Blackboard, via email, etc. Either way, it is your responsibility to keep track of your progress in your class.

How do you do that?

  • Make an appointment to see your professor and/or the teacher’s assistant (TA) anytime during his or her office hours. Please take advantage of their office hours – this time is set aside for you so do not take it for granted.
  • If you are unable to see your professor or TA during their office, try contacting him or her via email or by phone.
  • Keep track of all your assignments. DON’T THROW ANY PAPERS or PROJECTS AWAY. It is important that you keep a personal copy of your grades just in case you have a discrepancy about them  at the end of the semester.
  • Write down the grades that you get in each class - for each test or assignment on the course syllabus. Then you can see not only your grades, but how much each assignment or test was worth!

5. What’s better... to get an “F” or a “W” in class?

If you feel that you are really struggling and unable to turn things around and pull out at least a passing grade of "C" or better, it would be best that you make an appointment with your academic advisor BEFORE the semester drop/add deadline (typically mid October for fall semester and end of February for the spring semester). If you drop the course before the deadline, you will receive a “W” on your transcript indicating a withdrawal, but it will NOT impact your Grade Point Average (GPA). Receiving an “F” will impact your GPA and is liable to place you either on Freshman Warning, Academic Probation, or Academic Dismissal/Suspension. Make sure you make it to the advising office before it’s too late. Also, check with the Financial Aid office ( to see how dropping/withdrawing from the class will impact your scholarships or other aid.

6. Do I have to go to summer school?

All students are required complete a minimum of 9 credits over the summer, however all of the courses do not have to be completed at FAU. They DO have to be completed at one of the public state Universities in Florida (UF, FSU, FIU, UCF, USF, UWF, UNF, FAMU, FGCU, New College, or of course FAU) - NOT at a community college, state college, or out-of-state school! If you are interested in taking a course at another institution, please make an appointment with your academic advisor to complete the necessary transient forms and for course approval. Students who earned credits prior to starting at FAU (through AP tests, IB courses or high school dual enrollment) will be exempt for the summer credits - based on the number of credits you enter FAU with (if you come in with 9 credits combined between AP, IB and dual enrollment, you do NOT have to take additional summer courses).

7. I have been sick and I have missed a lot of school. I don’t want to get an “F” in all my classes. What should I do?

There so many things in life that we have no control over. If you run into an emergency, big or small, please make sure you contact your instructors and let them know what is going on. They are not mind readers and can not assume why you are not coming to class. Remember, their contact information is located on their course syllabus so please make sure you keep up with your copy.

If you have been out of class for a significant amount of time, you should consider filing an Exceptional Circumstance Withdrawal. All Exceptional Circumstance Withdrawal forms can be found in the Dean of Students Office (SS 226 – above the Breezeway). If you do this, you would withdraw from ALL courses for that semester. For more information on the process, please contact the Dean's Office at (561) 297-2656. All withdrawal applications must be received PRIOR to the end of the term in which you hope to withdraw.

8. Where can I go for tutoring?

There are places on campus that offer FREE tutoring or academic assistance for all FAU students. Here are just a few locations:

It doesn’t stop here. Make sure you contact your college for more information regarding weekly tutorial services and study session that are offered to students in your major!!!

9. There is never anything to do on-campus!  What’s going on at FAU?

There is always something going on at FAU. If you are interested in getting involved in a club or organization OR even considered starting your own, please visit the Student Involvement & Leadership (SIL) website at The great thing about the SIL website is they have the email addresses and websites for all the registered clubs and organizations at FAU! Don’t be afraid…email them if you would like additional information or would like to attend one of there meetings or upcoming events. The majority of these events are FREE and open to everyone.

Finally, check out for upcoming programs, events and workshops or for Weeks of Welcome events in the first two weeks of the fall and spring terms. Contact CLASS ( if you have ANY questions!

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 Last Modified 9/26/13