Getting and Staying Off Academic Probation

As a student, staying off academic probation is relatively easy. Students who do find themselves on academic probation, if honestly examined, can see where a turn left rather than right would have produced different results.

Importance Of Staying Off Academic Probation
The main penalty to academic probation is the waste. The semester (or trimester) preceding probation is mostly a wash. Meaning the time and money spent will need to be re-spent to make up the D’s and F’s acquired. With the cost of living and the increases in tuition, these are no small amounts.

Also, most schools will have limits placed on probationary students- activities, number of classes, etc. This while adding additional requirements too, like counseling. Then there is the specter of the ax falling, that is if one does not make the GPA required, they may not return the next semester. Notice that most college applications ask if one is on or has ever been on academic probation, thus limiting potential possibilities to transfer. No use lying, as it will be on transcripts.

Still, There Is An Upside To Academic Probation
Being on probation brings into sharp focus why one is a student. Is it to pursue a dream or a passion? Is it to build a better life? These are laudable reasons, and should help reinvigorate one’s resolve to complete their program. However, should the reason revolve somewhere near “didn’t know what else to do after high school,” then school may not be the best option at the time.

Waiting until later for school is not a bad idea. Given time, one has more opportunity to decide what exactly they would like to do as a profession. Meanwhile, one preserves their academic record and financial aid. There have been many times I have seen students who later in life- after having children, experiencing dead end jobs, getting married, want to go back to school. They now have a clear idea of what they want to do, but defaulted student loans or academic suspension keeps them from returning. These students who do return to school later, often are the best students.

Getting Out Of Academic Probation, Staying Out of Academic Probation
The tips to getting out of academic probation are the same as staying out of academic probation.

  1. If a class is difficult, do not wait to get help. See if tutoring is available from academic advising.
  2. Sit in front of the class.
  3. Follow the rule of studying three hours for every hour in class.
  4. Study and revise notes immediately after class, if possible (one of the three hours of out-of-class study).
  5. Take care of the body, the body will take of the mind. Get some aerobic exercise everyday. Get plenty of sleep. Eat well, not neglecting any meals.
  6. Start papers early, no reason they couldn’t be done weeks before finals.

If You Want Just One Thing To Do
The king of all academic advice for higher education is “Go To Class.” Professors never (OK, rarely) flunk anyone who goes to class every time, on time, and participates. Sleeping in, making excuse, blowing off, etc. just infuriates professors. Especially at the end of the semester, when students who they have never seen come to their offices asking for help. Having been in class shows respect and desire to actually learn, some additional help to make sure one passes (and with good grades) will be more easily attained.