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Title: GPA Forgiveness

Subject: Academic Affairs

Policy No: AA: 2015: 07

Applies: University-Wide

Issuing Authority: Provost / Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Responsible Officer: Vice President for Academic Affairs


Last Revision: 12/03/2015

Last Reviewed: 12/03/2015



The purpose of this policy is to create a pathway for students whose initial academic performance was extremely poor to return to Rowan University without a prohibitively negative impact on their Grade Point Average.


Under direction of the Provost / Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall implement this policy and the University Registrar shall ensure compliance with the policy.


This policy applies to all undergraduate students of Rowan University.


  1. Undergraduate students who started at Rowan University as native freshmen, earned a cumulative GPA less than 2.0 during their first academic year at Rowan University, left the University after their first academic year, and have not attended classes at Rowan University for a minimum of two consecutive years may apply to have their grades forgiven and their GPA restarted at 0.0.
  2. Conditions and procedures:
    1. The maximum cumulative GPA that could be forgiven will be less than 2.0.
    2. The grades for a maximum of 36 attempted credits could be forgiven (based on the normal maximum number of credits permitted).
    3. A student requesting GPA forgiveness is subject to existing procedures and timelines for reregistering or reapplying as appropriate. In addition, the student must provide a written statement requesting GPA forgiveness and presenting evidence of readiness and/or continuing progress, such as successful completion of 24 credits at a community college or another accredited institution, regular employment, or military service. The student may be asked to provide documentation of the problem that contributed to the original poor performance and/or actions taken to remedy the problem.
    4. Rowan University courses in which the student received a C or better will automatically be accepted as transfer credits. The grades will not count toward GPA. The credits may count toward graduation, but will not count toward the required minimum of 30 credits taken in residency. No credit will be granted for courses in which a C- or lower was earned.
    5. Upon readmission or reentrance, students must successfully complete at least 12 credits and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 before the GPA forgiveness would be applied.
    6. The policy does not apply to graduate students.
  3. Additional provisions:
    1. The option provided by this policy is intended only for students in dire circumstances and should not be construed as desirable or advantageous. The criteria for transfer credits are stricter than for normal situations. The required documentation is similar to what would be required for students seeking reinstatement following academic dismissal. The policy is not intended to supplant existing policies and procedures governing academic performance problems that are resolvable by the student through a relatively minor correction or temporary hiatus. These other policies and procedures include:
      1. Retaking a course to improve the grade
      2. Academic probation
      3. Academic dismissal
      4. Withdrawal from a course or courses
      5. Leave of absence
    2. GPA forgiveness pertains to situations that are catastrophic and require a more intensive recovery period or growth process, such as:
      1. Extreme difficulty adjusting to academic expectations
      2. Severe illness
      3. Emotional or psychological trauma
      4. Substance abuse
    3. According to current University policy, conferral of academic honors at Commencement is based on the student's GPA at the end of the first term of the senior year. The GPA must be based on a minimum of 36 semester hours of course work completed at Rowan University. A student exercising the option described in this policy will have met this minimum if he/she successfully complete his/her studies at Rowan and is therefore eligible for academic honors at Commencement. The required 36 semester hours earned at Rowan do not include Rowan courses accepted for transfer credit as permitted by this policy.
    4. The student should be advised that although his/her GPA is being restarted at 0.0, his/her academic record remains intact. The complete transcript will show the grades that were forgiven, and it is possible that employers, licensing or certifying agencies, or graduate school admissions committees will use the student's "unadjusted" GPA for purposes of determining eligibility.
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