Office of the Associate Provost

Dr. Lorraine Bernotsky
Philips Memorial Hall
Room 008
700 South High Street
West Chester, PA 19383
610-738-0492


Academic Probation and Dismissal FAQs

Academic Probation

What is academic probation?
When your cumulative GPA falls below 2.00 (the minimum standard for maintaining good academic standing), you are placed on academic probation.  You then have one full-time semester to raise your GPA back to 2.00.  For complete details on academic probation, please refer to the Undergraduate Catalog.

How will I be notified that I am on academic probation?
If you are placed on academic probation, a letter will be mailed to your home address to alert you to this change in your academic standing.  Be sure to make the Office of the Registrar aware of any changes to your mailing address, so you do not miss any important correspondence from the university.

Once on academic probation, how many semesters do I have to bring my GPA back to a 2.00?
You have one full-time semester to raise your GPA to a 2.00. Failure to do this will result in an academic dismissal.

How many times am I allowed to be on academic probation?
You may be placed on probation twice.  Placement on probation for the third time will trigger an automatic dismissal.

Will academic probation prevent me from scheduling classes?
No, academic probation refers to your academic standing; it is not the same as a hold. However, if you do not meet the deadline to have an Academic Recovery Plan completed, you will receive a hold on your account. An ARP hold will prevent you from scheduling.   

How does probation affect Financial Aid?
The rules about satisfactory academic progress for purposes of receiving financial aid and academic probation are very different. You must pass 67% of all attempted credits in order to continue to receive federal financial aid. After 4 semesters, you also need a cumulative GPA of 2.0, as well as the 67% to make progress. If you receive a state grant, you must pass 24 credits for every full-time academic year a state grant is received.  If you worry you will be placed on academic probation, it is a good idea to speak with the Financial Aid Office to determine how your aid will be affected.

If I’m on probation, do I have to be a full-time student?
No, if you wish to drop to part-time, you may do so.  In fact, if you are a full-time student on probation and you fear that you will soon be dismissed, you may wish to drop to part-time status.  Any full-time student on probation, who does not return to good academic standing, but instead, drops to part-time status before the end of the semester, will automatically be placed on continued probation.  Once you have been placed on continued probation, however, dropping to part-time will not protect you from dismissal.  Once you are placed on continued probation, you must return to good academic standing or face dismissal from the university.

If I’m on probation, am I allowed to withdraw from a class?
Yes, your academic standing does not affect your ability to make changes to your schedule.  Also, if you wish to withdraw from the University for a semester, you may do that, as well.  As long as you are only out for one semester, you will not need to reapply in order to return.  Keep in mind:  you will still be on probation once you return.


Academic Recovery Plans (ARPs)

I am on academic probation, and I was told I need an Academic Recovery Plan.  What is this?
An Academic Recovery Plan (ARP) is an online form, completed in a meeting with your advisor, in which you outline your plan to raise your GPA back to an acceptable level (2.00 or above).

Will my advisor let me know that I need an Academic Recovery Plan?
No, it is your responsibility to be aware of your academic standing.  If you are placed on academic probation, a letter will be mailed to your home address, alerting you to this fact.  The letter will also discuss the need for an ARP. It is then your responsibility to contact your advisor and set up an appointment to have an ARP completed.

Once I complete an ARP, will I ever need one completed again?
Yes, you will need to have an ARP completed each time you are placed on probation (this includes continued probation, as well as pending probation).

Why does Financial Aid need to see my ARP?
If you are applying for an appeal of the federal financial aid academic progress policy, the ARP must accompany the appeal request. It is important for the Appeal Committee (who decides whether or not to approve financial aid, if you are not making progress) to see that you have consulted your academic advisor and that you are making strides to recover a good academic standing at the University.


Academic Dismissal

What is academic dismissal?
Any student placed on academic probation, who is not able to raise his/her GPA to a 2.00 at the end of one full-time semester, will be subject to dismissal from the University.  For complete details on academic dismissal, please refer to the Undergraduate Catalog.

I was dismissed after my first semester, how is this possible?
Any full-time student, who earns a 0.00 cumulative GPA after his/her first semester at WCU, will receive an automatic dismissal.  (This policy does not apply to students scheduled for fewer than 12 credits.)

Is there any way to prevent being dismissed?
If you are a full-time student on probation, you may wish to drop to part-time status.  Any full-time student on probation, who does not return to good academic standing, but instead, drops to part-time status before the end of the semester, will automatically be placed on continued probation.  Once you have been placed on continued probation, however, dropping to part-time will not protect you from dismissal.  Once you are placed on continued probation, you must return to good academic standing or face dismissal from the university.

Can I appeal a dismissal?
Yes, a student who is subject to dismissal may appeal to the Special Assistant for Academic Policy. 
The Special Assistant may grant a semester on continued probation if (a) you have made progress towards good academic standing and (b) it is both mathematically possible and probable that you will be able to reach a 2.00, by the end of the additional semester.

Is there ever a time when a dismissal appeal is not possible?
An additional semester on continued probation will not be granted if (a) you were dismissed after receiving a 0.00 after your first semester or (b) you were dismissed because you were placed on probation for the third time.  Both of these situations trigger an automatic dismissal.

Can I still take winter/summer courses if I’m dismissed?
No, once you are dismissed, you are not eligible to take any further course work at the University for one calendar year.  At the end of one year, you may reapply to WCU.

I received a dismissal letter, but I still see classes on my schedule. Why?
Even though you have been dismissed, your schedule for the next semester will not be cancelled until you have had time to appeal, if you are eligible to do so.  Your classes will be cancelled the Friday before classes begin for the next semester.

I was dismissed, but I’ve already paid my tuition.  Will I get that money back?
Yes, you will receive a full refund for any tuition paid for the upcoming semester.

How will I be notified that I have been dismissed from the university?
If you are subject to dismissal from WCU, a letter will be mailed to your home address to alert you to this change in your academic standing.  Be sure to make the Office of the Registrar aware of any changes to your mailing address, so you do not miss any important correspondence from the university.

I was dismissed from WCU, may I take classes elsewhere?
Yes, if you are dismissed from the University, you may go elsewhere for coursework.  In fact, students who wish to eventually reapply to WCU are encouraged to take courses at another university, in order to show their ability to maintain good academic standing while doing college-level work.