Higher education institutions have academic requirements that students attending their colleges or universities must meet. These standards, which are outlined in each school's code of conduct, dictate that students must maintain a good academic standing to graduate. Any student with semester grades or an overall GPA that falls below a school's expectations is placed on academic probation.
During a probationary term, a school obligates students to fulfill certain stipulations, such as routinely meeting with a school advisor and taking fewer credit hours than they usually would in a given semester. Academic probation essentially gives students a chance to take accountability for their poor academic decisions and performance and make improvements in an upcoming semester. If a student's grades have improved towards the end of a probation period, their original standing will be renewed. However, if their grades continue to suffer, they will be subjected to an academic suspension.
What is an Academic Suspension?
Students placed on academic suspension are prohibited from enrolling for a certain amount of time. This duration of time is dependent on the collegiate level a student has reached. Some schools deny a suspended undergraduate student from enrolling for a semester as a consequence of their first suspension, while others deny graduate and doctoral students for an entire school year in similar circumstances. But for students on every collegiate level, any amount of time suspended is detrimental and is considered a major setback in their plans to graduate.
Fortunately, the majority of schools give students the option of appealing this decision for academic reinstatement. Once an appeal is granted, students will be able to enroll in subsequent semesters without any restrictive provisions or obligations.
Grounds for an Academic Suspension Appeal
In order for a suspension appeal to be granted, you must base it upon a legitimate reason. This reasoning is referred to as the "grounds" for an appeal. Suspension appeals are typically granted on the permissible ground of extenuating circumstances.
Life happens. And when certain events occur in your life that inhibit your ability to stay on top of your studies, schools tend to give you another chance to meet its performance standards. Some examples of extenuating circumstances are:
Family crisis or unexpected death in the family: Maybe a member of your immediate family has fallen ill or has passed away, and you allocated time that you would normally use to study, to take care of them.
Psychological or medical issues: Perhaps you have depression or another debilitating condition that prevents you from maintaining a good academic standing.
Financial issues: You lost your job and are trying to figure out how to pay your bills and tuition. Having to bear a heavy financial burden could definitely be a distraction.
The Suspension Appeals Process
Each school has its own individualized appeals process that will require you to detail the grounds for an appeal and explain what you will do differently if this appeal is granted. Follow your school's process and be aware of deadlines.
Pennsylvania & New Jersey Student Rights Attorney
Being suspended from school for not maintaining a decent GPA is embarrassing. It also prolongs the time it will take for you to graduate. If you believe that you have reasonable grounds for an appeal, you can contest your school's decision to suspend you. With the help of a legal professional, you'll be able to determine if your reasons for your poor academic performance will be valid in the eyes of school authorities, and will help you create an appeal application that is compelling. Skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento has represented students on all collegiate levels in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide - Contact him today for help.