Whether you get overloaded with school work, join too many clubs to make new friends, or can’t handle the load of university, being on academic probation is a serious problem. For any of those who may not know, academic probation is when the university takes action against a student who consistently fails to keep their grades above a certain overall average, according to their program. The average will range from school to school. For example, Wilfrid Laurier University defines it as, “An undergraduate student (registered in an Honours or General degree program) is placed on academic probation, in a general degree program (BA or BSc) without designation, when they achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) between 2.00 (D) and 3.99 (on a minimum of 4.0 credit attempts.” The University of Toronto Mississauga, on the other hand, describes it as “Students who have a Cumulative GPA (CGPA) of less than 1.50 at the end of an academic session after which they have attempted 4.0 credits, will be placed on academic probation.”
Academic probation leads to serious complications for university and college students. For starters, those on academic probation will need to adhere to strict rules and guidelines for completing their degree. For example, UTM requires that said students “who, at the end of a session during which they were placed on probation, have a Cumulative GPA of less than 1.50 but a summer sessional or annual (Fall-Winter Session) GPA of 1.70 or more shall continue on probation. Students who, at the end of a session during which they were placed on probation, have a Cumulative GPA of less than 1.50 and a sessional GPA of less than 1.70 shall be suspended for one calendar year.” Universities and colleges do this for students on probation; they monitor these students closely and should you fail to reach the grades the school asks, you get suspended.
One of the things you need to pay attention to as a student, especially a first year student, is that things are going to be different. Your grades will drop. Classes will be harder. There will be lots more people. The homework will pile up. It will be overwhelming. And, yes, academic probation is a scary but a very real thing to worry about. However, talking to your professors, the office of the registrar, and attending study groups (to name a few) are just some of the ways to keep those grades up without falling too behind. If you receive a poor mark on a test, don’t get so discouraged that you don’t ask for help. Take the blow and get help from your professors or your classmates. It’ll keep you in good standing and on the way to a smooth graduation. In the case of being on academic probation, you may need to stay in school longer with a lesser course load spread out to help you get the hang of things- even though it could help you focus better, you may not to stay in post-secondary longer than you have to.