Students attending colleges and universities are expected to meet the minimum academic standards required for graduation. When their performance falls below a school's requirements, students are placed on “academic probation.” This term is used to notify students that if their grades and/or overall GPA do not improve during the probationary period, their education at that school will be discontinued.
Someone can be placed on academic probation for a number of reasons. In some cases, students may solely be struggling in classes within their major, or a student may have failed to meet financial aid standards. Whichever reason may lead to this status, the majority of schools allow students to appeal an academic probation in an attempt to reinstate their original academic standing.
Grounds for a Probation Appeal
Students with poor academic standing are allowed a probationary period to take accountability for their academic decisions in previous courses and correct them. If an improvement is not made, students are either suspended or expelled from an institution. However, students who have a valid reason, commonly referred to as grounds, for not maintaining a good academic standing may be able to appeal an academic probation. Probation appeals are ordinarily granted on the permissible ground of extenuating circumstances. A student must provide evidence that these circumstances were entirely responsible for their poor academic performance.
Students appeal on this ground when events occur in their lives that hinder academic progression. Some examples of extenuating circumstances are:
- Family crisis: Perhaps a person in your immediate family has fallen ill and has acquired a serious medical or health issue, and you need to help take care of them for awhile.
- Unanticipated financial issues: You weren't expecting to lose your job, or you are transitioning from one job to the other. Now, you are having issues with paying tuition and have not been as focused on your studies.
- Medical or psychological issues: Maybe you have depression or any other condition that makes it difficult for you to find the motivation to maintain good grades.
The Probation Appeal Process
The first step is to ask for an appeal application. You can either go to an academic advisor or access the form online on the college or university's website. With the help of a student rights attorney, you'll be able to thoroughly fill out the application in a way that will maximize the likelihood of a granted appeal. Although each school has their own specific procedures and policies, there are typically three components of an application:
- Letter of appeal: This is where you would present a compelling explanation of your academic performance. You would provide details of your extenuating circumstances and why you should be granted a probation appeal.
- Plan of action: This plan should include the steps you are planning to take to return to a good academic standing.
- Supporting documentation: This will consist of evidence that will make your appeal more compelling. Evidence like a doctor's note, a letter from the professor, medical bills, a resignation letter, or any other documentation that is relevant to your extenuating circumstances should be included.
Nationwide Student Rights Attorney
Being placed on academic probation is the first step towards a suspension or expulsion. Some students who are in this situation have had events in their life come up that inhibited their ability to perform well in school. Schools are merciful in these instances, as long as an appeal is compelling. Working with an attorney will increase your chances of being granted an appeal. Skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento is here to help students in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide. Contact him today at 888-535-3686.