How Do I Audit College Classes?
If you audit a college class, you can participate in lectures and assignments without receiving credit towards a degree program. Read on to learn about the registration procedures for students, college employees and their spouses, alumni and senior citizens who want to audit college classes.
Class Audit Overview
Auditing a course is a great way for interested students to discover new areas of study or for those who are struggling with the course material. Outlined below are aspects of auditing courses to consider before taking this route.
Important Facts About Auditing Classes
|Common Courses||Criminal justice, English, philosophy, sociology, accounting, economics, forensic science, art history, electrical engineering|
|Course Levels||Courses on the undergraduate and graduate levels can be audited|
|Prerequisites||Upper-level courses may still require potential students to complete prerequisite coursework prior to enrolling in the course|
|Online Availability||Fully online classes can be audited|
|Median Salary (2018)||$70,500 (for all accountants and auditors)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||10% growth (for all accountants and auditors)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Registration Procedures for Auditing a Class
If you're currently enrolled in a degree program, the registration process for auditing a class can be as simple as selecting your class status when you register. Other schools may require you to contact the college or university registrar's office to confirm that the class you want is available for audit. You'll also need to make sure there is space in the class. Once this has been determined, you'll fill out the class registration form. This may entail getting the instructor's signature. Some schools also require the signature of the college dean.
If you're a senior citizen, alumnus or other student not currently enrolled in a degree program, check with the school to find out whether or not you'll have to undergo a formal admissions process. Some schools require you to submit an application and fee while others do not.
If you're an employee of the college, check with human resources to see if you can audit a course. Some colleges and universities offer this added benefit to employees and their spouses. You may need your supervisor's approval to register.
In most cases, the fees for an audited course are the same as with for-credit courses. However, if you're an alumnus, audited courses might be offered at a discount. If you're a college or university employee or a senior citizen, you may be able to audit a course for free.
Things to Keep in Mind
Once you sign up to audit a course, keep in mind that you may be responsible for completing homework, participating in class discussions or meeting attendance requirements, just as if you were taking the class for credit. You might also be responsible for taking all quizzes and tests, but it's best to check with the instructor of the course to define what your responsibilities will be.
It may also be helpful to know that audited courses typically don't count toward your enrollment status for financial aid purposes. For example, if you need to maintain full-time status to keep a certain amount of financial aid funds, an audited course will not count towards your enrollment hours, according to the University of Georgia's website. You also won't be able to use financial aid funds to pay for an audited course.
Additionally, once you've begun taking an audited class, you probably won't be able to change your course status to receive credit. However, some schools may offer a week-long grace period during which you can change the status of your class, if you so desire.
You may choose to audit a course for enjoyment or to simply widen your academic horizons. Other benefits include the fact that you can take a class without affecting your grade point average (GPA). This may be helpful if you're trying to explore a discipline as a possible major, but you don't want to risk earning a low grade in the process.