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Academic Suspension Essay

Frequently Asked Questions about Academic Probation

Q: I’m on Academic Probation.  What does that mean?

A: Being on Academic Probation means that you have not been passing enough courses with at least a C or better.  Even if your cumulative GPA is above 2.0, if your term GPA is between 1.5 and 1.9 (and you have been here longer than one quarter) you will be on Academic Probation. Academic Probation is a warning that you have fallen into academic difficulty and that you need to improve your grades in order to reach “Good Standing” status to avoid risk of disqualification from the university.

Q: How is academic standing determined?

A: Academic standing is based on your term GPA and your cumulative GPA. 

GOOD STANDING: Term and cumulative GPA are 2.0 or higher.

ACADEMIC PROBATION: Term GPA is between 1.5-1.99 (cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher.)

SUBJECT TO DISQUALIFICATION: Term GPA is 1.49 or below and/or cumulative GPA is below 2.0.

Q: What should I do now?

A: Your first priority should be to focus on improving your academic performance next quarter.  Make sure you understand the conditions outlined on your academic standing letter (sent to your UCSC email).  Then get started on your academic standing assignments and make any necessary changes to your schedule for next quarter.     

Q: How does being on Academic Probation affect my financial aid?

A: Be aware that the financial aid satisfactory academic progress (FASAP) policy specifies that students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better AND pass an average of 12 credits per quarter to remain eligible to receive financial aid: http://financialaid.ucsc.edu/policies_appeals/Eligibility%20Requirements/sap/Index.html.  FASAP is reviewed at the end of each spring term to determine aid eligibility for the following academic year.  There is a second check at the end of summer for students who enroll in summer classes. For specific questions about how academic standing affects the aid you receive, contact the Financial Aid Office: 831-459-2963/205 Hahn Student Services. 

Q: What grades do I need to get next quarter in order to reach Good Standing?

A: Using the GPA Calculator and your Statistics tab in the “Student Advising Summary” on the student portal (my.ucsc.edu) is the best tool for determining what grades you need to earn. You can access the GPA Calculator at: http://www2.ucsc.edu/gpacalc/.

Q: What happens if my academic performance continues to decline?

A: If your term GPA is poor again next quarter, but your cumulative GPA remains above 2.0 you will remain on Academic Probation. However, if your cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 or if your term GPA falls below 1.5, your status will be Subject to Disqualification from UCSC. Being on Subject to Disqualification means that your future at UCSC may be at risk.  If you are Subject to Disqualification in a future quarter the Academic Standing Committee will review your academic record to decide if you should be allowed to continue your enrollment at UCSC. 

Q: Why do I have to complete the Academic Standing Assignments?

A: The Academic Planning Form and Academic Standing Essay provide an opportunity for you to reflect upon the factors that led to your poor performance, to develop a plan for returning to good standing, and to ensure that you are developing an achievable plan for graduation. The essay also provides an opportunity for you to communicate with your Academic Advisors and the members of the Academic Standing Committee should your academic record be reviewed.  A clearly written essay will help the Academic Standing Committee make decisions about your eligibility to continue your education at UCSC should your academic performance continue to be unsatisfactory.

Q: Why do I have to meet with a College Advisor regularly next quarter?

A: College Advisors want to make sure you receive the support and resources you need as you work towards returning to Good Standing status.  We can answer questions that you may have, help you make good choices with your schedule, ensure that you are making adequate progress towards the completion of your degree, and inform you of processes such as major declaration, change of major, or extension of enrollment.  We can also advise you on course selection, the repeat policy, summer school at UCSC or a community college, study abroad options, and how to access supplemental help such as tutoring, counseling, and other support services. 

Q: Why do I have to take all of my classes for a letter grade next quarter?

A: Since your goal is to improve your GPA, you must take all of your courses for a letter grade, as P/NP courses do not affect your GPA.  Additionally, repeated courses will be for a letter grade.    

Q: What is “Grade Point Balance”?

A: Grade Point Balance (GPB) is the number of grade points you have earned from the classes you have completed.  A negative GPB indicates the number of grade points needed in order to return to Good Standing.  To determine what grades you will need in order to return to good standing select this chart.

Q: Can I repeat a failed course?

A: Under the repeat policy students can repeat up to 15 credits of failed grades for grade improvement.  However, failed courses may only be repeated once.  Exceptions may be made through your College Advisor and Department Advisor.

Q: What if I have been disqualified from my major? What if I am ineligible to declare my major?

A: If you have been disqualified from a major or are ineligible to declare a major, it’s time to start searching for a new academic plan.  Research some of the fields of study online in the General Catalog and meet with a College Advisor to discuss your options.

Q: Where can I seek support as I strive to reach Good Standing?

A: In addition to college and department advising, there are many other support services available to you:

  • Learning Support Services (LSS) and Modified Supplemental Instruction (MSI) – Group and individual tutoring is available to you!  View the LSS website at http://lss.ucsc.edu/, or visit LSS at the Academic Resource Center (ARCenter).
  • Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) – A variety of free services are available to you, including individual and group counseling.  View the CAPS website at http://caps.ucsc.edu/, or call 831-459-2628 to schedule an appointment. 
  • Disability Resource Center  (DRC)– If you are suffering from a learning, psychological, or chronic systemic disability, the DRC can help you!  Visit the DRC in 146 Hahn, or view their website: http://drc.ucsc.edu/.
  • Career Center – Confused about choosing a major or finding a career path?  Visit the Career Center, located on the 3rd floor of the Bay Tree Building, or view their website: http://careers.ucsc.edu/.
  • Faculty Advising – Communicate with your Professors and Teaching Assistants regularly to make sure you are on track with your coursework.  Attend office hours regularly. 
  • Online Study Skills and Time Management Workshops – Tips, tricks, and tutorials are available!  Time management workshop: http://advising.ucsc.edu/success/online/time-management.html. Study skills workshop: http://advising.ucsc.edu/success/online/study-skills.html.
  • Academic Standing Tutorial – Learn more about your academic standing using this online tutorial: http://advising.ucsc.edu/success/online/standing-tutorial/index.html. 

Q: Is my Academic Probation status noted on my permanent academic record?

A: Academic Probation will not be permanently entered on your academic record.  However, it is noted on your unofficial transcript. 

Q: Is it possible to graduate while on Academic Probation?

A:  Yes.  As long as your UC GPA is a 2.0 or higher and you have completed all of your degree requirements, you can graduate while on Academic Probation.      

Q: I don’t plan to return to UCSC.  What should I do?

A: Get in touch with a College Advisor about withdrawing from the university as soon as possible to avoid incurring any fees.  To return to UCSC you may be given conditions for readmission. 

Source: The Navigator (http://registrar.ucsc.edu/navigator/index.html) 

Many colleges and universities offer early assistance to students who begin falling behind in their classes. Students who are unable to keep up for whatever reason may find themselves suspended from the college for a period of time. When petitioning the college for re-admittance, it is necessary for a student to compose an academic suspension appeal letter.

Format and Content
The reasons for a poor academic performance should be outlined in the academic suspension appeal letter format. It is important that the student take full responsibility for the poor performance and not try to blame the situation on professors or other people. Find out who should receive the appeal letter and try to make arrangements to deliver it personally. Also, attach any appeal forms or other documents required by the college in the appeals process.

This academic suspension appeal letter sample is from a student who has struggled with dyslexia her entire life. Although she was made aware of special services and tutoring available for students with learning disabilities, she opted to try to handle all of her classes with no help and was unsuccessful in her attempts to keep up with the work load on her own. Once she fell behind in all of her classes, she became overwhelmed and was unable to catch up and earn satisfactory grades.

Erin S. Ryan
654 West 87th Street
Apt. G-8
New York City, NY 11223
SSN 123-45-6789

Student ID
Dr. Jonathan L. Quincy
Director Academic Affairs
ABC City University
P. O. Box 12345
New York City, NY 11223
December 5, 2013
RE: Academic Suspension Appeal
Dear Dr. Quincy,
It is with great humility that I admit my mistakes and request a reconsideration of my academic suspension from ABC City University. I have struggled with dyslexia my entire life, but have worked very hard to learn how to read, study and comprehend my class work. I took special tutoring classes and employed techniques taught to me by experts in order to compensate for my learning disabilities. Throughout my elementary, middle and high school years I was able to make the honor roll and even graduate with honors due to the special help I received in coping with my dyslexia.
Once in college, I foolishly made the choice to refrain from attending special workshops and tutoring classes designed for students with my particular learning disability. I was determined that I could make good grades on my own, without any extra help. Although I am grateful for the services that have always been provided to me, I was tired of the time I had to invest in taking advantage of the resources for students with learning disabilities. This proved to be a gross error on my part as I was unable to keep up with my coursework this past semester. Once I fell behind in all of my courses, the situation snowballed into something I could not overcome.
I have learned my lesson and from now on will take full advantage of any and all services ABC City University provides for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. I ask that you please reconsider my academic suspension and give me the opportunity to show you what I can do with the right support. Thank you for considering my request.
Erin Ryan
Erin S. Ryan

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