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What is Academic Standing?

Academic standing is the usual term we use to refer to the academic status assigned to students at the end of each term they are enrolled at Salem State.

At the end of each fall and spring semester, each student’s academic progress is reviewed to optimize that student’s chances for success. The university identifies students to be either in good standing or at academic risk depending upon each individual student’s grade point average (GPA) and satisfactory academic progress rate. 

Overall, to maintain good academic standing, students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.000 both overall and in the individual semester to remain in good standing.  Additionally, students must complete at least 66% of all credits they attempt either in the term or overall.  Classes that have been failed, withdrawn, repeated or in which you have received incomplete grades count as credits attempted but not earned. 

Salem State is committed to supporting your academic success, so if you find yourself struggling academically, we will work with you to find the best path forward.  We have many resources and student supports to help you along your academic journey. We also recognize that our students may have complicated lives that can impact their academic performance, and we are here to help.

The following are possible standing statuses you may see when you look at your grades for each semester:

GOOD ACADEMIC STANDING

If you see this standing assignment, you know that you are in overall good standing with the institution and have completed at least 66% of the credits you have attempted, and have at least a 2.000 for the last semester and overall.

ACADEMIC WARNING

If you see this standing assignment, it means that you either were previously in good academic standing or had no prior standing assigned to you and that you are either below the GPA or academic progress pace (credits attempted vs. earned) required to stay in good academic standing. Many students have had an academic warning assigned, and have been able to easily move forward successfully.

What should I do if I get an academic warning?

You should review your academic record and look at both your GPA and academic progress rate.  If you had to withdraw from a course or have failed a course, you may want to consider adding that course to your schedule for the upcoming term or taking a summer class to catch up.  You may also want to consider other support services such as tutoring, counseling, using the math lab or the writing center for help in your classes.  We also have a Student Success site in Canvas that has a large number of resources to support student success, with links to articles, past workshops and available future workshops in areas to support study skills, time management, adjusting to online classes and many more.

ACADEMIC PROBATION

If you see this standing assignment, it means that you were previously on academic warning and have still been having some struggles improving your academic record.  Probation is assigned when you have already been on warning and your cumulative GPA falls below a 2.000 or your overall progression rate (credits attempted vs. credits earned) falls below 66%, or both.  When this happens, you MUST meet with a professional advisor in the Center for Academic Excellence to complete an Academic Improvement Plan.  If you are on probation, you are limited to 13 credits for the next semester, and may not participate in the university's co-curricular activities.  You may also lose eligibility for federal financial aid under Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines. You will receive a notification from the financial aid office about your financial aid status after the end of the semester and may have the opportunity to appeal your loss of aid.

Academic probation can be stressful, but many students are able to use the opportunity to make a solid plan and work themselves back into good academic standing. If your financial aid appeal is approved, depending on your circumstances, you may have several semesters to get yourself back into good academic standing.

What should I do if I am on Academic Probation?

You should make an appointment immediately with a professional advisor in the Center for Academic Excellence.  Before you meet with them, you will need to complete a self-assessment, that will help you figure out areas where you could use some extra support or that you need to target for attention.  They will work with you on finding the best path forward given your specific circumstances, and creating an academic improvement plan to get back into good academic standing.  They can also help get you connected to our campus resources.  Please note that you must complete an academic improvement plan before you can appeal any loss of financial aid.

ACADEMIC DISMISSAL

If you see this standing assignment on your record, it means that you were on probation previously and then did not achieve a 2.000 semester GPA or a 66% completion rate in the semester, or both. This means that you are not eligible to progress to the next semester of your degree program. This does not mean that you can never return to Salem State-- it just means that you may benefit from taking a break from your classes to consider how to find the best path forward academically. Students who are dismissed must stay away for at least one semester, but can submit an appeal of their academic dismissal and be considered for immediate readmission.  Students who have been dismissed for a third time are not eligible to return for two academic years.

What should I do if I am academically dismissed?

If you want to return, you should make an appointment immediately with a professional advisor in the Center for Academic Excellence.  They can help work with you on evaluating your best options to get yourself back on track and ready to return to Salem State and be successful.  Even if you are questioning your future path and may not intend on returning, they can help talk through future options.

Should I appeal my academic dismissal? 

If you believe that the circumstances that led to you being academically dismissed have substantially changed, and you have a specific and detailed plan for academic improvement, you should meet with one of our advisors to discuss whether an appeal is your best option, or whether there are alternative choices such as taking courses at a local community college or taking one or two courses through Continuing and Professional Studies.

We have had many students who have experienced challenges academically and have gone on to graduate and finish up their degrees.  Don't wait to ask for help, we are here to help get you where you need to go!