Frequently Asked Questions about Academic Probation

Frequently Asked Questions about Academic Probation

Q: I’m on Academic Probation. What does that mean? [Answer]

A: Being on Academic Probation means that you have not been passing enough courses with at least a C or better.  Even if your cumulative GPA is above 2.0, if your term GPA is between 1.5 and 1.9 (and you have been here longer than one quarter) you will be on Academic Probation. Academic Probation is a warning that you have fallen into academic difficulty and that you need to improve your grades in order to reach “Good Standing” status to avoid risk of disqualification from the university.

Q: How is academic standing determined? [Answer]

A: Academic standing is based on your term GPA and your cumulative GPA. 

GOOD STANDING: Term and cumulative GPA are 2.0 or higher.

ACADEMIC PROBATION: Term GPA is between 1.5-1.99 (cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher.)

SUBJECT TO DISQUALIFICATION: Term GPA is 1.49 or below and/or cumulative GPA is below 2.0.

Q: What should I do now? [Answer]

A: Your first priority should be to focus on improving your academic performance next quarter. Make sure you understand the conditions outlined on your academic standing letter (sent to your UCSC email). Then get started on your academic standing assignments and make any necessary changes to your schedule for next quarter.     

Q: How does being on Academic Probation affect my financial aid? [Answer]

A: Be aware that the financial aid satisfactory academic progress (FASAP) policy specifies that students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better AND pass an average of 12 credits per quarter to remain eligible to receive financial aid:  FASAP is reviewed at the end of each spring term to determine aid eligibility for the following academic year.  There is a second check at the end of summer for students who enroll in summer classes. For specific questions about how academic standing affects the aid you receive, contact the Financial Aid Office: 831-459-2963/205 Hahn Student Services. 

Q: What grades do I need to get next quarter in order to reach Good Standing? [Answer]

A: Using the GPA Calculator and your Statistics tab in the “Student Advising Summary” on the student portal ( is the best tool for determining what grades you need to earn. You can access the GPA Calculator at:

Q: What happens if my academic performance continues to decline? [Answer]

A: If your term GPA is poor again next quarter, but your cumulative GPA remains above 2.0 you will remain on Academic Probation. However, if your cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 or if your term GPA falls below 1.5, your status will be Subject to Disqualification from UCSC. Being on Subject to Disqualification means that your future at UCSC may be at risk.  If you are Subject to Disqualification in a future quarter the Academic Standing Committee will review your academic record to decide if you should be allowed to continue your enrollment at UCSC. 

Q: Why do I have to complete the Academic Standing Assignments? [Answer]

A: The Academic Planning Form and Academic Standing Essay provide an opportunity for you to reflect upon the factors that led to your poor performance, to develop a plan for returning to good standing, and to ensure that you are developing an achievable plan for graduation. The essay also provides an opportunity for you to communicate with your Academic Advisors and the members of the Academic Standing Committee should your academic record be reviewed. A clearly written essay will help the Academic Standing Committee make decisions about your eligibility to continue your education at UCSC should your academic performance continue to be unsatisfactory.

Q: Why do I have to meet with a College Advisor regularly next quarter? [Answer]

A: College Advisors want to make sure you receive the support and resources you need as you work towards returning to Good Standing status. We can answer questions that you may have, help you make good choices with your schedule, ensure that you are making adequate progress towards the completion of your degree, and inform you of processes such as major declaration, change of major, or extension of enrollment. We can also advise you on course selection, the repeat policy, summer school at UCSC or a community college, study abroad options, and how to access supplemental help such as tutoring, counseling, and other support services. 

Q: Why do I have to take all of my classes for a letter grade next quarter? [Answer]

A: Since your goal is to improve your GPA, you must take all of your courses for a letter grade, as P/NP courses do not affect your GPA. Additionally, repeated courses will be for a letter grade.    

Q: What is “Grade Point Balance”? [Answer]

A: Grade Point Balance (GPB) is the number of grade points you have earned from the classes you have completed. A negative GPB indicates the number of grade points needed in order to return to Good Standing. To determine what grades you will need in order to return to good standing select this chart.

Q: Can I repeat a failed course? [Answer]

A: Under the repeat policy students can repeat up to 15 credits of failed grades for grade improvement. However, failed courses may only be repeated once. Exceptions may be made through your College Advisor and Department Advisor.

Q: What if I have been disqualified from my major? What if I am ineligible to declare my major? [Answer]

A: If you have been disqualified from a major or are ineligible to declare a major, it’s time to start searching for a new academic plan. Research some of the fields of study online in the General Catalog and meet with a College Advisor to discuss your options.

Q: Where can I seek support as I strive to reach Good Standing? [Answer]

A: In addition to college and department advising, there are many other support services available to you:

  • Learning Support Services (LSS) and Modified Supplemental Instruction (MSI) – Group and individual tutoring is available to you! View the LSS website at, or visit LSS at the Academic Resource Center (ARCenter).
  • Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) – A variety of free services are available to you, including individual and group counseling. View the CAPS website at, or call 831-459-2628 to schedule an appointment. 
  • Disability Resource Center  (DRC) – If you are suffering from a learning, psychological, or chronic systemic disability, the DRC can help you! Visit the DRC in 146 Hahn, or view their website:
  • Career Center – Confused about choosing a major or finding a career path?  Visit the Career Center, located on the 3rd floor of the Bay Tree Building, or view their website:
  • Faculty Advising – Communicate with your Professors and Teaching Assistants regularly to make sure you are on track with your coursework.  Attend office hours regularly. 
  • Online Study Skills and Time Management Workshops – Tips, tricks, and tutorials are available!  Time management workshop: Study skills workshop:
  • Academic Standing Tutorial – Learn more about your academic standing using this online tutorial:

Q: Is my Academic Probation status noted on my permanent academic record? [Answer]

A: Academic Probation will not be permanently entered on your academic record.  However, it is noted on your unofficial transcript. 

Q: Is it possible to graduate while on Academic Probation? [Answer]

A:  Yes. As long as your UC GPA is a 2.0 or higher and you have completed all of your degree requirements, you can graduate while on Academic Probation.      

Q: I don’t plan to return to UCSC. What should I do? [Answer]

A: Get in touch with a College Advisor about withdrawing from the university as soon as possible to avoid incurring any fees. To return to UCSC you may be given conditions for readmission. 

Source: The Navigator (