Academic Standards Regulations and Process
To maintain enrollment at Iowa State, undergraduate students must continue to make satisfactory academic progress. To help students maintain that progress, Iowa State has implemented standards that enable us to quickly identify students who may be struggling so that we can provide students with advising and academic resources. Academic standing at Iowa State University is dependent upon the total number of credits a student has attempted or earned, the student’s semester grade point average (GPA), the student’s cumulative ISU GPA, and the student’s transfer GPA (if below 2.00.)
A warning (W) is designed to serve as a red flag to students and to give them a heads up that they may be placed on probation if their GPA falls below a 2.00 in a future term. A student on warning status whose term GPA falls below a 2.00 will be placed on probation (P) the following term. Students who receive an academic warning are required to develop a plan for academic improvement in consultation with their academic advisor or the Academic Success Center. The academic warning is not a part of the student’s permanent academic record. Students will receive an academic warning (W) at the end of any fall or spring semester when they earn a GPA of 1.00 – 1.99 for that semester.
At the end of the next fall or spring semester of enrollment, one of the following actions will be taken for students on academic warning status:
- Students will be placed on academic probation if they earn less than a 2.00 GPA for the next fall or spring semester, or
- They will be removed from warning status if they earn at least a 2.00 semester GPA for the next fall or spring semester and they are not subject to academic probation based on cumulative GPA (over 75 credits).
See Summer Academic Standards Regulations section for how summer grades affect warning, probation, or dismissal status.
Iowa State places students on academic probation to let them know that they need to quickly take steps to improve their academic performance to avoid being dismissed from the university. While many students who have been placed on probation take steps to improve their grades, a failure to take those steps may lead to being dismissed from Iowa State. Academic probation is an indication of very serious academic difficulty. Students may be placed on academic probation as a result of either semester GPA, cumulative GPA, or both. Academic probation status is not a part of the student’s permanent academic record. Students on academic probation and warning are required to meet with their advisor and to complete the Academic Intervention Self Assessment form, which can be accessed here.
Students will be placed on academic probation (P) at the end of a semester/term for either of the following two reasons:
1. Semester GPA: Students who earn less than a 1.00 at the end of any fall or spring semester, or less than a 2.00 GPA two consecutive semesters, will be placed on academic probation. Students will not be placed on academic probation at the end of the summer term due to summer term GPA only.
2. Cumulative GPA: Students with 75 or more credits attempted or earned, whichever is greater, will be placed on academic probation at the end of any fall or spring semester or summer term when their cumulative GPA is less than 2.00. Students with 75 or more credits attempted or earned who have a transfer GPA < 2.00 will be placed on academic probation at the end of any fall or spring semester or summer term when their combined transfer/ISU cumulative GPA is less than 2.00.
At the end of the next fall or spring semester of enrollment, one of the following actions will be taken for students on academic probation status:
- Students will be academically dismissed if they fail to earn at least a 2.00 semester GPA.
- Students will continue on academic probation if they earn at least a 2.00 semester GPA but are subject to continued
academic probation based on their cumulative GPA (over 75 credits).
- Students will be removed from probation if they earn at least a 2.00 semester GPA and are not subject to continued academic probation based on their cumulative GPA (over 75 credits).
See Academic Dismissal Section for dismissal policy. See Summer Academic Standards Regulations Section for how summer grades affect warning, probation, or dismissal status.
Students who are newly placed or continued on academic probation (P) at the end of the previous semester may enroll for the summer term without being in jeopardy of academic dismissal from the university at the end of that summer term.
Summer Combined Term GPA:
All students who attend summer session will have their academic status reassessed at the end of the summer based on the combined (not averaged) grade summaries of their previous graded term of attendance and summer term. Academic status (warning or probation) after summer session will be based on the resulting combined term GPA. The academic status resulting from the summer combined term GPA supersedes the academic status at the end of the previous term.
For students who have remaining designated repeat credits, courses taken in the previous semester and repeated in summer will be calculated as designated repeats in the combined term GPA. The combined term GPA (summer plus preceding term) will not appear on the student’s grade report or permanent record.
Summer term GPA alone cannot determine academic status. Students who initiate enrollment at Iowa State during the summer will not be placed on warning or probation regardless of their academic performance.
Summer Cumulative GPA:
A student who was on academic probation (P) at the beginning of summer term based only on cumulative GPA, who raises his or her cumulative GPA to over a 2.0 at the end of the summer term shall be removed from probation status at the end of the summer term.
A student with 75 or more credits attempted or earned, whichever is greater, will be placed on academic probation (P) at the end of the summer term if his or her cumulative GPA is less than 2.00.
A student with 75 or more credits attempted or earned who has a transfer GPA < 2.00 will be placed on academic probation (P) at the end of any summer term if his or her combined transfer/ISU cumulative GPA is less than 2.00.
Students who do not meet the requirements of their academic probation are academically dismissed from the university. The final decision regarding a student's academic status will be made by the Academic Standards Committee in the student's home college. All appeals of academic dismissal actions are made by those college-level committees.
Once dismissed, students are not allowed to reenroll at Iowa State University until they have been academically reinstated. Academic dismissal is placed on the student’s academic record as a permanent notation. The official transcript of a student who has been dismissed includes a “Not Permitted to Register” notation.
The procedures in this section apply to students who were dismissed from Iowa State for academic reasons. If you left Iowa State University in good academic standing and seek to restart your academic career, please review the Reentry procedures found by looking at the Iowa State website index.
- Reinstatement is not automatic. If you were dismissed for academic reasons, please contact the Student Services Office in the college you seek to enter. That college's Academic Standards Committee will review each petition, as well as any other relevant information, and make a decision based upon that review. As part of the petition process, students must submit a plan for academic success that identifies the causes of their poor academic performance and demonstrates that they have taken actions to avoid or eliminate these causes.
- Students can only be reinstated after at least one academic semester has elapsed since they were academically dismissed. A summer session does not qualify as a "semester" for reinstatement purposes.
- Students who have been dismissed from enrollment two or more times are not eligible for reinstatement until at least two academic semesters have elapsed since their last academic dismissal. A summer session does not qualify as a "semester" for reinstatement purposes.
- Students who were dismissed by one college and subsequently reinstated by another college cannot transfer back to the original college unless permission is granted by the Academic Standards Committee of the original college. This procedure applies regardless of the student’s academic standing when the transfer is requested.
- To be considered for reinstatement to the university, students must submit a petition to the Academic Standards Committee of the college in which they desire to enroll at least 45 days before the beginning of the semester. Students who have not been enrolled for a period of 12 or more months or who are international students must also file a reentry form prior to their return. For more information see the Reentry website. (Students dismissed for the second time and requesting reinstatement in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must submit their petition 70 days before the beginning of the semester.)
- Juniors and seniors with extenuating circumstances may request a waiver of their required semesters of absence as identified in number 2 and 3 above. The petition requesting early reinstatement must be submitted through procedures specified by their college’s Academic Standards Committee.
- As a condition of reinstatement, students will reenter on academic probation and must accept whatever additional requirements are stipulated by the college Academic Standards Committee. Examples include full- or part-time status, specified credit hours, specific courses, specific GPAs, restriction on choice of major, and required counseling.
Students may appeal an academic status decision if they have new information or can document that extenuating circumstances exist which may have affected their academic performance. The appeal should be made in writing to the Academic Standards Committee of the college in which the student is enrolled. The written appeal must include the reasons for the appeal and the evidence to substantiate these reasons.
The student should initiate the appeal immediately upon receipt of Academic Standards committee’s decision, and at least 10 calendar days before the beginning of the semester. Student’s academic college will inform the student of the deadline for submission of written appeal, with instructions on how and where to submit appeal documentation.
Further information on the appeal process may be found here.
Students who are returning to Iowa State University to pursue an undergraduate degree after an extended absence may request permission to remove one or more of their complete academic terms from future degree and GPA considerations.
1. Eligibility. To be eligible for academic renewal consideration, students must meet these requirements:
- Students must not have enrolled at Iowa State University for four or more consecutive calendar years.
- Students must not have graduated from Iowa State University.
- Students must have demonstrated satisfactory academic performance as evidenced by earning a GPA of at least 2.00 over a minimum of 12.00 credit hours taken after returning to the university. If more than one semester is taken to reach 12.00 credit hours, the combined GPA of all semesters/terms of enrollment after returning to the university must be 2.00 or greater.
2. Conditions. Academic renewal is based on the following conditions:
- All courses and credits that were taken during the chosen terms will be removed from consideration for GPA and degree requirements. Students may not combine courses from multiple terms to comprise the semester(s) or quarter(s) dropped. Degree requirements met during the dropped terms will ordinarily have to be repeated.
- Renewal may be applied only to academic terms completed prior to the students’ extended absence.
- All courses and grades for the chosen terms will remain on the students’ academic record.
- Designated repeats, drops and P/NP options will be reinstated for the terms dropped.
- Students who have used all of their drop options will be given one extra drop.
- Students may be granted only one academic renewal.
- Students should discuss their desire to pursue academic renewal with an advisor in the college they wish to enter.
- The student must complete the Academic Renewal Petition Form.
- After the form is signed by the student and academic advisor, it is submitted to the Records area in the Office of the Registrar, 214 Enrollment Services Center.
How can I restore my financial aid?
Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid
Federal regulations require the Office of Student Financial Aid to monitor the academic progress of students. (Note: SAP is strictly a financial aid policy. Your academic advisor and/or college are monitoring your academic progress under the University’s Academic Probation Policy.) SAP standards apply to undergraduate and graduate students who wish to establish or maintain financial aid eligibility. The SAP standards apply to a student’s entire academic record at Iowa State (including transfer credits from other schools) whether or not you received financial aid during your prior terms of enrollment. NOTE: Not all financial aid programs require students to meet the SAP standards. For example, many scholarships have other eligibility requirements, and the student must contact the scholarship program to determine the specific eligibility requirements.
- Undergraduate students
- Graduate students
- Appealing financial aid suspension
- College of Veterinary Medicine
- Iowa State has resources to assist your academic success
- Removing Registration holds: Students with a registration hold may not register for classes until that hold is removed. Students with an active hold who attempt to register will receive an automatic message from the office that placed the hold. Students should contact those offices for help to resolve the hold. Prior to registering for classes, students may also check to see if they have a hold in AccessPlus.
- Academic intervention pathway flowchart
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Required Self-Assessment Tool for Academic Warning, Probation, and Financial Aid Appeals
1. Login to AccessPlus and select the “Student” Tab
2. Select “Grades&Transcripts” from the left-hand menu
3. Click on “Acad Intrv Slf-Asmnt” from the menu
4. Submit the self-assessment
5. Meet with your Academic Advisor after submitting the self-assessment