written by: Mihir Shah•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 6/9/2010
What happens when the university-stamped letter hits your mailbox or inbox saying that you are on college probation? Although many people are unaware, appealing a college probation is possible, especially if you are going through extenuating circumstances that are out of your control.
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Have you Received the Dreaded College Probation Letter?
For college students, particularly freshmen, college probation is one of the hardest concepts to grasp. Appealing a college probation is even tougher depending on the severity and stage of the college probation. Probation usually rears its ugly head during the students' freshmen year as they are growing comfortable and getting accustomed to living away from home. While there are many reasons for appeal college probation, the student must usually be going through severe circumstances for the appeal to have legitimacy. College probation works in stages: academic probation, subject to academic dismissal, and dismissal.
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While it depends largely on the university, a student is placed on college probation when his grades fall below 2.0 for a single quarter or semester. A GPA of 2.0 is equivalent to a C average.
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Subject to Academic Dismissal
When the student falls under the 1.5 GPA threshold for any given quarter or semester period, he is automatically subject to academic dismissal. In this situation, the student must achieve a 2.0 GPA or better to avoid the last stage of probation: dismissal.
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Dismissal can occur in two ways and usually is very rare. Educators will take numerous steps to make it work for the student. A student is allowed to be on academic probation for three consecutive quarters until he is disqualified. However, if a student received a 1.5 GPA one quarter and failed to achieve the 2.0 GPA for the following quarter, he is disqualified.
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Appealing College Probation
Appealing a college probation is a daunting task because the university review board will scrutinize your every move. With that being said, the student is allowed the right to appeal his probation through a letter addressed to the university. The appeal, however, must be indicative of extenuating circumstances that clearly affected the students' ability to learn. When appealing college probation, the goal is to be clear about why the academic goal was not met and what the student will do in the future to avoid a repeat. There are events that are out of human control such as death that clearly are extenuating circumstances and take time to recover from.
The student will usually have one week to appeal the college probation and return it to the university. Once this process is complete, the academic review board will review the appeal and determine if there is merit. If the appeal is granted, the student will be issued a contract and will have to meet the requirements of the contract. In most cases, the contract outlines that the student will achieved a 2.5 GPA and will receive no grade lower than a C.
Unfortunately, not all appeals are granted. If your college probation appeal is denied, the university will recommend attending a community college and reapplying to the university after a minimum of one year. The bottom line is that appealing college probation is often a shot in the dark, and unless there are clearly adverse circumstances in your life, the chances are slim of successfully appealing college probation.