If you've been dismissed from college for poor academic performance, chances are your college gives you an opportunity to appeal the decision. If you can appeal in person, that will be your best approach. If the school doesn't allow face-to-face appeals, or if the travel costs are prohibitive, you'll want to write the best appeal letter possible.
In the sample letter below, Emma was dismissed after she ran into academic trouble because of difficulties at home. After reading the letter, be sure to read the discussion of the letter so that you understand what Emma does well in her appeal and what could use a little more work. You can also check out Brett's weak appeal letter for an example of what not to do.
Here's Emma's letter:
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to appeal my academic dismissal from Ivy University. I was not surprised, but very upset to receive a letter earlier this week informing me of my dismissal. I would like to urge you to reinstate me for next semester.
I admit, I had a very difficult time last semester, and my grades suffered as a result. I don't mean to make excuses for my poor academic performance, but I would like to explain the circumstances. I knew that registering for 18 credit hours in the spring would require a lot of me, but I needed to earn the hours so that I was on track to graduate on time. I thought I could handle the work load, and I still think I could have, except that my father became very ill in February. While he was home sick and unable to work, I had to drive home every weekend and some week nights to help out with household duties and to care for my little sister. Needless to say, the hour-long drive each way cut into my study time, as did the chores I had to do at home. Even when I was at school, I was very distracted with the home situation and was unable to focus on my schoolwork. I understand now that I should have communicated with my professors (instead of avoiding them), or even taken a leave of absence. I thought I could handle all of these burdens, and I tried my best, but I was wrong.
I love Ivy University, and it would mean so much to me to graduate with a degree from this school, which would make me the first person in my family to complete a college degree. If I am reinstated, I will focus much better on my schoolwork, take fewer hours, and manage my time more wisely. Fortunately, my father is recovering and has returned to work, so I should not need to travel home nearly as often. Also, I have met with my advisor, and I will follow her advice about communicating better with my professors from now on.
Please understand that my low GPA that led to my dismissal does not indicate that I am a bad student. Really, I'm a good student who had one very, very bad semester. I hope you will give me a second chance. Thank you for considering this appeal.
Now read the critique of Emma's appeal letter.