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Allen Grove

Dismissed from College? Here's How to Appeal.

By December 18, 2013

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The consequences of a really bad semester in college can be severe: dismissal. Most colleges, however, provide a student with the opportunity to appeal an academic dismissal. An effective appeal can result in a student being readmitted to the college, while a bad appeal will accomplish nothing more than wasting everybody's time. An effective appeal has several qualities:

  • The appeal must be painfully honest, even if the circumstances for your poor academic performance are embarrassing.
  • You should appeal in person if you have the option.
  • You shouldn't try to blame others for your academic performance.
  • Your appeal should include a plan for future academic success.
To learn more, read these six tips for appealing an academic dismissal.


December 27, 2010 at 1:06 pm
(1) mama bear says:

S knows he messed up and will do whatever it takes to be reinstated. In your experience are students allowed back for the next semester if the appeal is granted? S does not have a specific grievance, but several factors that attributed to the poor performance. Made sports team in fall of freshman year as walk on and was not prepared for that time commitment. Tried to drop a class well before deadline, discussed with advisor & parents who thought this was best in order to give more effort in remaining classes. Thought all paperwork completed, to only later find he had to take another step-by then too late. Ended up with 1.25 GPA and since his AP and college in HS courses count him as being a transfer, dismissal is below 1.5 based on his credits. With the school on break cannot reach anyone to discuss. So his plan is to try to get into CC for spring and in the meantime make the appeal to current school. Any thoughts or suggestions?

December 27, 2010 at 11:23 pm
(2) Allen Grove says:

At the schools I’m familiar with, students can attend in the spring semester if they successfully appeal in early January. But you will want to get in touch with the school on January 3rd (when offices reopen) to see what the exact policies are. If the appeal is not successful, CC is definitely a good idea. If he can prove himself capable of doing well with college-level work at CC, he will be able to transfer to a 4-year college (possibly even the one from which he has been dismissed). I’ve seen students here at Alfred University fail out, take classes elsewhere, reapply to Alfred, and succeed nicely the second time around. Good luck to S — college isn’t always a smooth road!

December 30, 2010 at 4:59 pm
(3) mama bear says:

Thank you for the feedback and you are correct that this is not a smooth road! He has an appt with the Dean on Jan 6th-soonest they could see him. He is realizing that if he is allowed back in, living at home (we are within commuting distance) will probably be the best way for him to stay on track. After making some lists of what went wrong and what he needs to do to succeed, he now realizes that he needs to focus and work on better time management skills. The school actually requires a 2 hour a week non credit course in this area for those on probation anyway-so thats a good thing if this works out. Already have plans in motion for CC backup as well.

June 25, 2013 at 5:16 am
(4) hopeful one says:

I have been asked to withdraw ( dismissed ) from uni for the second time. The first time i appealed it and it did not work out.I had to spend a year outside my home faculty engineering. But this time around i have had severe health issues. First a lower back spinal injury and second, severe depression, anxiety and stress issues. I have obtained documentation from both the chiropractor and the psychiatrist.These issues were back to back and lasted 8 months.
Currently, Im registered in 5 courses in summer school and allowed to complete them, but my appeal meeting is set way before i get my summer grades. In your experience how valid are medical reasons for reinstatement into an engineering program(3rd year)?

June 25, 2013 at 11:04 am
(5) Allen Grove says:

Hi hopeful one. It’s hard to say. The appeals committee will certainly be sympathetic to your medical issues. But they may not be sympathetic to how you handled the medical issues. When a student finds that he or she is having difficulty attending class and completing work because of medical problems, the appropriate path is to meet with the Dean and apply for a medical leave of absence. I don’t know of any college that wouldn’t grant a leave when a student has serious medical challenges. However, if a student doesn’t apply for leave and simply stops doing work and attending classes, the situation is less sympathetic, even if the medical problems are very real. I imagine the committee will ask you questions about why you handled the medical issues the way you did: Did you discuss your problems with your advisor and professors? Did you ask about a medical leave? What actions did you take when you began struggling with your classwork? And so on. Definitely bring the medical documentation to the appeal–it could help your case. Best wishes.

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