Common Mistakes

Ten Most Common Mistakes Made by Students

1.  Failing to be an active participant in planning your course of study.  If you are not "making a list and checking it twice"
based upon the program curriculum for your major in your catalog of record, you have no right to complain when it takes a semester or two longer to graduate than it should.  Take note when the catalog specifies that a course is scheduled to be taught in Summer, Spring or Fall. 

2.  Grabbing any catalog, or the newest catalog, when making decisions about the courses you need.  Your catalog of record is your contract with RCC.  You and the institution need to abide by it. If you are confused about your assigned catalog year, check with the Records Office.  If you do not pay attention to this, it is almost a 100% certainty that you will take courses you do not need and lack others you do need.  (See mistake #1) 
Archive of Catalogs

3.   Failing to apply for graduation before your last semester or two.  Applying for graduation is not about reserving a seat in the auditorium.  This is to guard against unexpected disappointments and delays by coordinating your approach to the finish line with the Records and Registration Office.  See
Commencement Central.

4.  Failing to ask questions about transfer credits.  At RCC, we only award those transfer credits that are applicable to your intended major.  If you change your major, it is up to you to ask for a re-evaluation of your transcripts.  If you think you took a course at an accredited college that might satisfy credits in your new major, ask for a review of your record BEFORE you sign up for a class you have already taken.

5.  Believe it or not, repeating a course you have already successfully completed at RCC.  (See mistake #1.)

6.  Failing to register for classes as soon as you are eligible.  If you wait and stand in line during new student registration, the classes you need may already be full and there is NO WAY to get the schedule you want. 

7.  Signing up for courses that you know will conflict with your work or home schedule.  Holding a seat you don't want hurts other students.  (Is someone else playing this game with a seat YOU need?)

8.  Failing to apply for or renew your Financial Aid by March 15 of every year.

9.  Biting off more than you can chew.  Future employers and other colleges don't want to see your diploma, they ask for your transcripts.  What does your transcript say about your attention, dedication and ability?  Your future might be brighter if you take fewer courses and establish a respectable academic record.

10.  Not knowing that you might be entitled to a clean up of your transcript which includes:
  • The right to have a prior grade canceled when you have repeated and completed the same course.  A canceled grade will have a "*" beside it, such as F*.  This means that it will not affect your GPA.
  • The right to have grades from a prior major at RCC canceled.  (Only after completing 9 or more hours in your new major with a grade of "C" or better.)
  • A clean up may also involve canceling developmental course grades which are not a part of your major.  In some instances, this can have the effect of lowering your GPA.