College students dread few words more than “dismissal,” and rightfully so. Most universities use steps like probation to issue wake-up calls to students struggling academically or behaviorally. If you're facing a possible dismissal, then your university is not messing around. And, because dismissal inflicts lasting harm on your reputation, it can serve as a significant roadblock to your professional and personal success.
If you're facing dismissal and you haven't retained a qualified attorney-advisor, then your next call should be to the Lento Law Firm. As you'll find, the fallout from a dismissal can linger through the rest of your life. With a strong defense now, you may avoid a dismissal altogether.
Offenses That May Lead to Dismissal
Universities may vary in the types of offenses they deem worthy of a dismissal. You may face dismissal from your school because of:
- Allegations of academic wrongdoing: Plagiarism, fabrication of data, unauthorized collaboration, and other forms of academic misconduct may contribute to a dismissal. Egregious allegations of misconduct, or repeated academic misconduct, may be particularly likely to result in dismissal.
- Alleged sexual misconduct: Those accused of sexual misconduct in a university setting do not always receive due process. The American Bar Association (ABA) explains that sexual misconduct issues are particularly challenging for universities. With Title IX regulations subject to change, do not expect your university to handle a sexual misconduct case fairly.
- Poor academic performance: If your university determines that your academic performance is unsatisfactory, it may request that you leave the school. Though you will generally complete an academic probationary period before facing dismissal, continued low scholarship could expose you to permanent sanctions.
- Any other rules violation: Universities generally take action when they believe that a student has violated their rules. If they deem your alleged offense as serious, the action they take may be to dismiss you.
The ripple effect of a dismissal from university can be indefinite. The consequences of your own dismissal could include:
Permanent Removal from Your University
There are different types of dismissal. In some cases, a university may leave the door open for a dismissed student to re-apply. In other cases, a dismissal may mean permanent removal from your university. Even if your university allows you to re-apply, your prior dismissal may be held against you during the application process.
Permanent dismissal from your school may:
- End your time at a university that you're psychologically and emotionally connected to
- Erase academic progress that you've made
- Render all tuition and fees you've paid to the university as wasted resources
- Put an end to any scholarships or financial aid that the university provided
- Require you to explore other colleges or universities if you want to continue your education
You chose the school you're attending for a reason. You should fight to stay there, and an attorney-advisor will help.
Financial, Time, and Energy Costs of Re-Enrolling
If you're dismissed and re-enroll in another university, then you'll face various costs—not all of them financial. The process of re-enrolling may:
- Require you to pay various fees (for transcripts, applications, and other enrollment-related requirements)
- Consume much of your time and energy
- Have a psychologically and emotionally draining effect, as you may invest significant time yet face rejections from one or more schools
If and when you re-enroll in another college, you may be starting from square one. You may need to take on additional student loans and pay the cost of a four-year education.
In 15 or 20 years, a dismissal from a university may have little obvious impact on your life. Nevertheless, harm to your reputation now could have an effect on your quality of life for the foreseeable future, even if the sting of a dismissal eventually wears off.
If you're dismissed from your school, then admissions boards, prospective employers, and other influential parties may view you as:
- Unworthy of admission, employment, or accreditation
While some parties may allow you to explain the circumstances of your dismissal, others may not. Even if you do have the chance to explain a dismissal, the explanation may not be enough to overcome negative perceptions of you.
Fair or not, this is what happens when a dismissal does damage to your reputation.
Denial from Other Universities, Graduate Programs, and Professions
Other universities, graduate programs, and prospective employers may see your dismissal as a disqualifying feature of your past. While you may gain admittance to a university or secure a job, the opportunities available to you may not excite you.
A dismissal may steer you towards a professional path that you find unfulfilling. Employers may see you as a risk due to your dismissal, and your professional opportunities may be limited. Your earning power and professional fulfillment may suffer as a consequence.
What to Do If You're Facing Possible Dismissal
If you're facing a possible dismissal, hire attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and his team as soon as you can. We will move quickly to prepare your defense. We can handle any necessary appeal and even negotiate with your school's Office of General Counsel (OGC), which may serve as legal counsel for your university. We can assist you by:
- Gathering all evidence that supports your defense
- Obtaining all information about your school's disciplinary proceedings
- Identifying witnesses who can testify on your behalf
- Reaching out to university officials to seek a resolution
- Accompanying you through the disciplinary process
- Handling the appeals process on your behalf if an appeal is necessary
Our ability to negotiate with your school's OGC sets us apart from other firms. The OGC may act on behalf of the university, agreeing to resolve your case in a manner that protects you from reputational harm. Before we resort to legal action, we will exhaust negotiations with officials from the OGC.
Call the Lento Law Firm Today
Call the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 to discuss your case. Nobody fights harder than we do to protect students' futures. Let us help you.