Spring 2021 Academic Policy Changes: New Drop Deadline and COVID Grades

This massmail: https://massmail.illinois.edu/massmail/918565528.html was sent recently to describe changes to spring semester academic policies.

Here are the TWO big changes for Spring 2021:

1. Drop deadline is the LAST DAY OF THAT CLASS (not finals) for your classes. This is March 19 for first 8-week classes and May 5 for full-semester and 2nd 8-week classes. If you drop a class by this deadline, it is erased from your official transcript (no W).

NOTE: if dropping a class means you would go below full-time status, you need permission from LAS to do that. If you are an international student with a student visa, and you are not in your first or last (last=graduating) semester as a UIUC student, then you cannot be a part-time student unless you have a valid medical reason or you give up your visa/immigration status for now.

NOTE: If you have financial aid, you need to check with the Financial Aid office to see whether you lose (or must repay) some or all of your aid if you go below full-time status (12 credits).

NOTE: The deadline to sign up for grade replacement, if eligible and you are retaking a class, is also the new extended drop deadline.

NOTE: March 26 is the deadline to add a second 8-week class, no extensions.

2. Instead of Credit/No Credit, there is a sign-up for COVID grades after final grades come out:

          • Covid Pass = grades of D- and higher 
          • Covid No Pass = grades of F *that were not a result of a sanction for academic integrity violation*

NOTE: Students who receive an F in a class as a result of an academic integrity sanction will keep the F grade and it will be included in the GPA calculation. So–don’t cheat, plagiarize, or help another student to do so.

NOTE: Sign-up for COVID grades will happen May 22-27 only.

NOTE: Covid Pass grades will count for major, minor, and general education requirements.

Advisor Comments:

This COVID Pass thing looks like an amazing offer–you can pass any class with just a D- grade!! However, keep in mind:

      • you may need mastery of the class in order to succeed in later classes
      • future employers and graduate schools may interpret a COVID pass as being a C or D grade, so that students who keep A, B, and even C grades may be more competitive candidates than you if you choose a COVID grade
      • COVID pass has no effect on GPA, so grades you earn in earlier and later semesters will have a larger impact on your GPA–especially grades that are not good.
      • professional schools (medical/health/law) may not accept courses required/considered for admission which have a COVID pass grade (check with Pre-Law advising or with Career Center for pre-health advising)
      • Finally, Credit/No Credit is GONE this semester. The only choices are the regular course grade or a COVID pass/no pass.


This website will be updated soon with more details and an FAQ:


(Note: as of this writing, it shows Spring 2020 but not Spring 2021.)



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