If you're dealing with dismissal (or potential dismissal) from a college or university in Arkansas, or someone you love is dealing with this situation, you don't have any time to waste. Help from an experienced attorney-advisor is available. You worked for years to get to the point where you are now. Everything you've done has been for your future.
To have that ripped away could have devastating consequences for the rest of your life. This is not the time to give up just because your Arkansas school has already given up on you. You can't let dismissal due to lack of satisfactory academic progress or dismissal due to alleged misconduct halt all the years of progress that you've made. You've come this far through many other challenges. It's important that you fight for your future by working with Joseph Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm so that they can help you make it through this process so that you can put this entire process behind you and work towards building your future.
Don't worry if your Arkansas school has already made a decision. You're probably not aware of all the ways that things could still be turned around. Joseph Lento and his team of academic legal advisors understand exactly what needs to be done in these types of situations. They have years of experience helping students deal with exactly this type of issue, and they can help guide you through it whether you're at the very beginning of the process or you've already been dismissed.
Challenging Academic Progression Dismissal
When you attend college or university in one of Arkansas's nearly 60 institutions of higher learning, there's an expectation that you are going to do everything you need in order to maintain satisfactory academic progress, also known as “SAP.”
From four-year colleges like Arkansas State University to two-year institutions like Arkansas Northeastern College, most universities throughout the state require a satisfactory grade point average of a minimum of 2.0. If you dip below that grade point average, you could be at risk of dismissal. In many schools, this is the case even if your cumulative average is 2.0. Depending on the school, having below a 2.0 in one or more courses can put you at risk.
In addition to a school's own academic progress rules, schools also need to follow federal rules when it comes to GPAs.
When a student takes out a federal loan for school, they do so with the understanding that they need to maintain a GPA of 2.0 or better. If they dip below that level, they will no longer qualify for the loan, and it will most likely be taken away from them. In fact, schools and universities are not allowed to extend federal loans to students who fall below the 2.0 threshold. For many students, the only way they're able to even attend school is because of federal loans.
In order to help students who find themselves in this predicament, many schools have probation or remediation programs that are intended to give students a second chance to bring their grade point averages up to acceptable levels. At the end of these programs, the professor will decide whether or not the student has satisfactorily passed the class.
While it is important that students maintain a specific average in school, there are extenuating circumstances that may make that impossible. For instance, a student could be dealing with any number of health issues, both physical and/or mental, or they could be dealing with the health issue of a close family member. They may be dealing with financial issues that are limiting their ability to focus on school. There are many reasons that the student may find it difficult to keep up their academic work, and schools have a lot of different options at their disposal in order to help these students.
Arkansas schools sometimes make mistakes. They may rush to dismiss a student before taking the full picture into consideration. They may also mete out punishment unfairly, giving some students harsher punishments than others.
As a student who's going through this issue, you're not going to be aware of all of the possible options that are available to you. Even if you are aware of them, you may not know how to fight for them. You don't have the experience you'll need to know how to defend yourself.
This is where Joseph D. Lento and his firm excel. They have years of experience defending students who went through these very scenarios, so they know exactly what to do to help you put your best foot forward. This is true whether you're at the beginning of the dismissal process or if the dismissal has already happened.
Challenging Academic Misconduct Or Misconduct Dismissal
In addition to being dismissed for subpar academic progress, some students are dismissed for academic misconduct or other types of misconduct. Arkansas schools and universities throughout the state are responsible for making sure that all students on their campuses are provided with a safe and fair environment in which to live and study. Schools have divisions like the University of Arkansas's Office of Student Standards and Conduct that list out exactly how students are expected to behave and conduct themselves. There are also state and federal laws that protect students.
Title IX is a federal law that is designed to protect students from sexual discrimination on campus. These laws work in tandem with Arkansas schools' own rules of conduct in order to provide a blueprint of behavior that students follow to help keep campuses across the state safe for all. If allegations of misconduct arise that threaten that safety, schools need to react swiftly and firmly. If they fail to respond quickly to allegations that violate federal laws, schools could be held liable.
In their haste to follow these laws, Arkansas colleges and universities sometimes bring down the hammer unfairly on accused students who are not able to defend themselves properly, denying them due process. These students may have been the target of smear campaigns, or someone could have made a mistake when accusing them of misconduct. In some cases, the accused students may be the victims of outright malicious intent. Whatever the situation, students can get caught up in the crosshairs of the school's determination to punish perceived misconduct.
Joseph Lento and his team have spent years defending students across the country with cases just like yours. They know what information to present, they know how to get information from the accused parties, and they know exactly what they need to do to provide you with a vigorous defense that gives you the best chance of preventing or reversing the dismissal.
This is not the time to spend on an attorney that has no experience with legal issues in academia. This area of law is extremely specific, and you need someone on your side who's used to speaking with universities and university counsel when it comes to these types of issues. Joseph Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm have that type of experience.
Consequences of Dismissal
Being dismissed from an Arkansas college or university can have life-altering consequences. This is not something that should be taken lightly. A dismissal can put a mark on your record that would be nearly impossible to erase.
- If you've been dismissed from school, it could be a years-long, uphill battle trying to find a new school to accept you. Most schools already have great candidates without blemishes on their records who are looking for spaces. You trying to come in and convince them that in spite of this dark mark, you're a great candidate will be something that will be extremely difficult to do.
- Even if you are able to get a new college or university to accept you and you graduate, the blemish from your first school will still be on your permanent record. This black mark will follow you if you are trying to get hired at top firms. Many of the top finance firms, security firms, government agencies, and other businesses have standards, ethics guidelines, and rules in place for potential hires that may actually prevent them from bringing you on board if you have a blemish on your record, especially ones like academic misconduct or other types of misconduct.
- You will also still be responsible for paying off any loans that you received to go to school as soon as you're dismissed. This could put you in dire financial straits if you're not in a position to do so. Without a degree, it may be difficult for you to get a position in your field, making finding a job even harder.
Protect Your Future
This is not the time to second-guess yourself. You need an experienced attorney-advisor on your side who will do everything that they can to fight for you to make sure that you have the future that you've fought so hard for. Joseph D. Lento and his team have the experience, the know-how, and the connections needed to make sure that you have the best chance of overcoming your situation. Remember, don't let the fact that you've already been dismissed prevent you from protecting your future.
Reach out to attorney-advisor Joseph Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 for help. Your future is at stake.