What is Academic ProbationIn post-secondary education, students may find themselves on academic probation when they fail to meet the minimum standards of academic progress set forth by their institution. Probation is usually instituted when a student falls below a certain overall GPA or when their grades within their major coursework are sub-par. Continue reading if you’d like to learn more about this punitive measure and how you can improve your academic progress.

About College Probation

Probation for scholastic reasons usually serves as a warning, more than a method of punishing. It’s unlikely you’ll be asked to leave your college or university due to poor performance in your classes. Students on probation are usually given a set period in order to meet certain requirements that demonstrate improvement and ability. Each institution sets forth its own set of criteria for probation related to poor performance, along with the requirements for moving past this academic setback. Examples of common requirements are obtaining a minimum GPA or receiving passing grades in all major coursework.

Understand the Terms of Your Probation

If you are placed on probation, you should receive a formal letter from your institution that outlines reasons for your placement, along with specific measures required to return to satisfactory academic standing. You should be aware of the time you are to remain on probation and exactly what you need to do in order to be released from this status. You also need to understand fully the consequences for remaining in this status, as it is possible continued poor academic performance could lead to having to withdraw from school and such penalties as loss of future financial aid.

Start With a Plan

It’s not a wise idea to try to get off of academic probation by yourself. While it is possible with hard work, chances are good that you wouldn’t have gotten in the position you’re in right now if you could handle it all by yourself. There’s no shame in seeking assistance. The first stop you make should be to see your academic adviser. These professionals are trained to be familiar with campus resources, as well as with the academic and financial policies that directly affect you. Your advisor can tell you how probation can affect your financial aid, future course schedule and other issues specific to your situation.

Seek the Help You Need

Your adviser can help you develop a plan of action, including the recommended resources for getting back on track academically. Now you need to seek out those resources. Sign up for a tutor if you are struggling in certain classes. Ask your professors about specific ways to stay on top of your trouble spots, and maintain communication with them throughout the semester. If your instructors can see you are trying, they will be more willing to work with you to successfully overcome academic obstacles.


Don’t forget to adjust your priorities so that your studies receive adequate attention. Your sacrifices will be rewarded once you’re back on track toward successful completion of your degree. Academic probation doesn’t have to be a disaster, as long as you treated it as the serious warning it is intended to be.

Related Resources: