Wave the waiver good-bye

The new course overload policy

By Bethanie Glover

   BC, until this year, has been waiving the overload policy under special circumstances. The overload policy is that no one may take over 18 credit hours in a semester without paying the overload fee. However, the rule used to be waived for students who participated in different, lower-credit courses that only put them slightly over 18 hours. 

   Activities such as choral and instrumental ensembles, the school newspaper, and others are no longer being waived for those who are registered for a little more than 18 credits. So, what are students wishing to take those activities, among other required courses, to do to avoid the extra cost? 

   Vice President of BC and Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Carol Scheppard, had some explanations and advice for students struggling to avoid the overload fee.

   “We were looking system-wide at ways to clarify all of our billing policies. One of the things that then-President Cornelius questioned was why we would have any policies that would offer credit towards graduation that students didn’t need to pay for,” Dean. Scheppard said.

   The overload waiver was eliminated to establish fairness among all students and to clear up any questions about payment. 

   “The rule now is very simple. If the credit counts toward graduation and you’re in an overload position, you pay for it,” said Dean Scheppard. 

   Students wishing to participate in choral/instrumental ensembles, Veritas, etc. are now more than welcome to negotiate with the chair of the department and decide whether the course should be worth credit at all. Also, students are able to still be involved in said activities, but for no credit value. 

   Dean Scheppard also recommends that students ask to receive credit the first year they take the course (choir, band, Veritas, etc.), and then only participate for no grade for their remaining years at BC. She hopes that student interest in these low-credit activities will not fade due to the change in the overload policy.

   “If people are genuinely interested in these programs, then how you count the credits is entirely up to you,” said Dean Scheppard. “[The new policy] allows for simplification in the system and it’s fair.”

   Although students with more than one major or who wish to take multiple smaller activities are facing a challenge to fit in all required commencement credits, the new policy is ultimately fair for all. BC is now on the road to making lower-credit courses work for all students.

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