Academic probation is a term commonly used by universities and colleges as regarding students who don’t make the academic progress required by their high school for graduation. Besides, academic probation may also mean that a student’s grades or/and GPA (grade point average) aren’t high enough for them to stay in school, and unless their grades and GPA improve, they might be dismissed.

When first going to college, no student can imagine themselves landing with academic probation just as no parent expects this to happen to their children. But in reality, quite a few young people struggle with their academics enough to put their further staying in college under threat. However, with the right steps taken, dismissing can be avoided, and a student would get back on the right track. While parents’ support and actions can be of great help for the children, they may as well make things worse. That’s why students should try to solve this problem on their own with minimum interference from their family.

This post explains when and why academic probation may be assigned, in what ways it affects a student and what can be done to get out of it.

How Does Academic Probation Work?

By its definition, academic probation is a form of warning. It shows a student that they are experiencing an academic difficulty because their performance has gone below the “good academic standing” level required by their institution. The so-called academic standing is measured by grade point average – GPA; it usually is determined by one’s academic progress.

Probation is a rather serious step: by assigning it, a college officially acknowledges that a student’s college career is in jeopardy, and they might be dismissed. Probation doesn’t need to be punitive, it’s rather a wakeup call which means to spur students to change their attitude and work harder to improve their results.

What Does It Mean to Be on Academic Probation?

In many schools, students are expected to maintain an average ‘academic standing’ GPA level as much as at least C/2.0. All students who have been in their school for over one academic quarter and haven’t passed enough courses with the minimum grade point C/2.0 or higher are assigned to academic probation. As a result of low grades, their term GPA may drop down to 1.5 and 1.9 range.

Rules regarding academic probation may differ from school to school. In some colleges, students may have a proper GPA, but at the same time be either withdrawn from a college or have a lot of courses dropped throughout the semester.

What GPA Is Academic Probation Respective?

The academic standing level depends on one’s term GPA and cumulative GPA. Here’s what each level of GPA leads to:

  • Cumulative and term GPA are 2.0 or more – good academic standing.
  • Term GPA ranges between 1.5 – 1.99, cumulative GPA reaches 2.0 or more – academic probation.
  • Term GPA drops down to 1.49 or less or/and cumulative GPA is less than 2.0 – a student is subjected to disqualification.

How Does Academic Probation Affect Financial Aid?

Remember that FASAP – the financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy states that to remain eligible for receiving financial aid, a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 or higher AND on the average pass 12 credits per one quarter.

There are two FASAP checks each year. The first time it’s reviewed at the end of every spring term with the aim to determine a student’s aid eligibility for the next academic year. The second time FASAP check is held at the end of summer for the students enrolling in summer classes.

How to Get Off Academic Probation?

Students on academic probation have to work hard and take a number of steps, to get out of it.

Firstly, all students on probation receive an academic standing letter (a UCSC email) with a list of outlined conditions. It’s important to understand all of them to know what exactly needs to be done to get off probation.

Next, students need to complete their academic standing assignments. Usually, they are given an exact timeframe (often one semester) to improve their academic performance. A school may also require them to attend study skills workshops, or meet an advisor regularly until their situation improves.

If you are a student on academic probation, there’s no need to stress yourself out. Being a warning rather than a judgment, your current status will be taken off you when you are ready to prove that your academic performance has improved significantly. If you are determined, diligent, and responsible enough, be sure that this happens very soon.