Too cool for school?

Northern Kentucky University has, for the first time in its history, ordered professors to drop students who do not attend class.

The Drop for Non-Attendance pilot has become a policy for all NKU faculty members. Between Jan. 30 and Feb. 12, faculty were required to report via Norse Express the students who were not showing up to their classes.

“In the past, they just had to report students who were not attending, this semester we required them to report attendance and non-attendance,” said Kim Taylor, registrar.

The Office of the Registrar e-mailed faculty guidelines for determining student participation and instructions for reporting any registered student who has not met them.

“If it was a situation where they didn’t take attendance, then there were other things they could evaluate to determine if a student was actually engaged: a quiz, a study group,” Taylor said.

The university has no official policy regarding absences. The Drop for Non-Attendance is an instrument for NKU to comply with Federal Financial Aid regulations.

According to the U.S. Department of Education Web site, a school such as NKU can lose its Title VI certification if it has an “excessive student-loan cohort default rate.” If a school isn’t a part of this program, then it cannot award additional funds.

In the Registrar’s e-mail to faculty it states, “To qualify for Title IV Federal Financial Aid Programs, institutions must maintain a policy that indicated if a student has begun attending class.”

By dropping students early enough in the semester, NKU saves money as Federal Financial Aid has to be refunded.

Even with the new policy, some students do not attend classes for which they register. Donelle Dreese, professor in the literature and language department, said she has dropped students for non-attendance.

“Most of the time, students who aren’t showing up just drop on their own accord, but I guess some try to receive the financial aid when they’re not attending,” Dreese said, “So the policy tries to stop students from abusing the system.”