Academic Progression at Johns Hopkins University

If you're a Johns Hopkins University student, congratulations. You're attending one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the country. Few people manage to scale such heights, and the rewards—once you've completed your degree—can be enormous.

That's an important phrase, though: “Once you've finished your degree.” After all, not everyone does. Courses at Johns Hopkins can be rigorous, faculty unforgiving. And let's face it, over the course of four years, we're all bound to make a few mistakes. Maybe yours happened that semester when you put on the freshman fifteen and were too bummed to get out of bed for a month. Or maybe it was that six weeks during your sophomore year when you realized you didn't want to be an investment banker after all.

There's not a lot of room for error at university these days. Even temporary lapses can tank your grades. In the blink of an eye, you can find yourself on academic probation or even dismissed. If you should find yourself in this position, don't despair. You're not the first; you won't be the last. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get help. National Student Defense attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento knows what you're going through. He can't take your courses for you, but he can help you negotiate for higher grades and fight dismissal.

Johns Hopkins University's Academic Progression Requirements

Moving forward at Johns Hopkins means staying in good academic standing. What does that mean in concrete terms? There are basically two requirements.

  • Course Credits: First, you must complete at least 12 credits each term. Keep in mind that the courses you sign up for and later drop count against this total. Failed courses don't qualify as completed credits either. If, for example, you sign up for fifteen hours, drop three, and fail another three, you are under the required 12.
  • Course Achievement: Of course, succeeding at Johns Hopkins isn't just about taking the classes. The school expects you to do well in those classes. In addition to the hours requirement, then, JHU also demands that you achieve a 2.0 GPA every term.

Should you fail to meet either of these standards, JHU will put you on academic probation for the following term. Fail to meet them during that probationary period, and you'll receive academic suspension for a term. This means being barred from classes, living on campus, and receiving financial aid.

Students may be placed on academic suspension twice. After that, you are subject to dismissal from the school.

In addition, you should know that earning less than six credits in a semester, or achieving less than a 1.0 GPA, can get you immediately suspended without a probationary period.

Decision Processes

Each academic advising office reviews academic standing at the end of both the fall and spring terms. There is no “decision process” as such, however. Instead, the office simply determines whether or not you are meeting standards and assigns you a status—good standing, probation, suspension, dismissal—accordingly.

There are, however, some remedies for probation, suspension, and dismissal. Perhaps the most straightforward of these involves negotiating with an instructor for a higher grade. If you can convince an instructor your work deserves better scores, that in itself could have an effect on your hours or GPA and ultimately keep you out of trouble.

If you've been unfairly treated by a faculty member, that may require a different approach. You may have to appeal to the department head of the department housing the course or take your case to the dean of your college.

Joseph D. Lento can walk you through these processes and make sure you're prepared to handle them.

In addition, if you should find yourself suspended, Joseph D. Lento can help you prepare your Reinstatement Request, an important component of getting your academic career back on track. Joseph D. Lento knows what advisors look for in these letters, and he knows how to put together evidence to convince them you're ready to return to school.

SAP Standards

Academic probation, suspension, and dismissal may not be your only concerns as a Johns Hopkins student. If you receive financial aid, you'll also need to worry about a Satisfactory Academic Progress, or SAP, review at the end of each term. SAP reviews are required by the federal government to ensure that students can't abuse the financial aid system by needlessly prolonging their education.

All schools set their own specific SAP requirements. At Johns Hopkins, there are three.

  • GPA: First, you must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. Note that this is a somewhat different requirement than maintaining a 2.0 GPA for each term, as you must in order to remain in good academic standing.
  • Completion percentage: You must also complete at least 67 percent of all the courses you attempt. Obviously, failed courses count against this percentage. So, too, do withdrawals.
  • Degree completion time frame: You are expected to complete your degree within 150 percent of the published program length. If, for instance, your program requires 120 credit hours, you must complete it within 180 credit hours. Again, Fs and WDs count against this total.

Failing to meet one of these requirements won't by itself get you dismissed from the school. It could, however, cost you your financial aid. Aid is suspended any time you fail to meet one of these standards and only reinstated once you are again meeting them.

Unlike issues of academic standing, you can appeal your financial aid SAP status. This involves submitting

  • Grounds for appeal: a legitimate reason why you were unable to meet SAP criteria
  • Understanding of what led to the problem: An explanation of why you failed to meet criteria and what you will do to address that failure
  • A specific plan: Outline of exactly what you will do to make sure the problem does not occur in the future.

Successful appeals mean you will receive financial aid for an additional probationary semester.

Premier Education Attorney-Advisor

If it isn't clear by this point, it should be: academics at Johns Hopkins University is serious business. Academic standing is a matter of numbers, and you can find yourself on probation without ever having had a chance to explain your side of the story. If you should lose your financial aid, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to get it back.

Don't let these things happen to you. Making a mistake doesn't have to be the end of the line. A real human voice can often outweigh the numbers. Joseph D. Lento has represented hundreds of students just like you in academic progress cases. He knows the procedures, and he can offer suggestions for how to use them to your advantage. If you or your child is facing dismissal, or even if you have already been dismissed, you owe it to yourself to learn about what options might be available to you. To find out more, contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-555-3686, or use our automated online form.