Were your grades not what you hoped they’d be this past semester? If you’ve found yourself on or nearing academic probation, it’s important to take swift action so you don’t lose your financial aid. Other consequences may include losing the ability to pursue your major, or being dismissed from your college should your academic performance not improve. Staying off or being removed from academic probation may dictate you meet GPA requirements, earn a specified number of credits, and meet with academic advisors during your probationary period. Read on for a few tips to recover or continue receiving your financial aid.
Tip #1 Meet with your advisor
Meeting with your academic advisor regularly can provide you with the guidance and support you need to get back on track. They aim to help you identify obstacles and create a personalized plan for improvement. To aid your advisor, be honest about your situation. Let them know if you are finding it difficult to adjust to your college schedule, are feeling overwhelmed with the number of courses you’re taking, or if you’re facing medical or mental challenges. This will enable them to offer realistic suggestions based on your traits and experiences. Once you’ve made a plan, be sure to check in regularly so you can share updates regarding your progress and seek alternate solutions if need be.
Tip #2 Use your resources
Transitioning to college, or even between professors and classes, can be difficult! In order to thrive, consider utilizing support services available on campus. If your needs are academic based, check into tutoring services or assistance provided by the writing center. Many colleges also offer access to free or reduced counseling, childcare, food support, and medical services. To learn what resources are available to you, consider reaching out to your advisor or a representative from the student engagement.
Tip #3 Make or change your study habits
If studying has been a challenge for you, take some time to consider why. Is your study location optimal, offering limited distractions? If not, you may need a change! You might also give thought to joining a study group, which can also aid in creating a regular study schedule. Before joining or establishing a study group, make expectations clear, defining how often you’ll meet and what you plan to accomplish during each meeting. Creating these boundaries often supports a focused environment, facilitative of academic progress for both you and your colleagues.
Tip #4 Carry a lighter load
If your struggles might derive from registering for too many credits each semester, consider enrolling in fewer courses. Having less on your plate might allow you to be more devoted to your classes, resulting in better academic performance. Be sure, however, to discuss this option with your academic advisor. To continue receiving certain forms of financial aid, you may be required to take a specified number of credits each semester. If you’re on academic probation, you might need to successfully complete enough courses to effectively raise your cumulative GPA. Weighing out this option with your advisor’s help will allow them to review your plan and consider if it’s realistic, or if other options need to be entertained.
Tip #5 Follow up
Arguably, the most important step to trying something new is regularly following up with yourself and others to determine if a newly adapted procedure is effective. Many of us have heard the Einstein quote defining insanity as, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” When you are on or near academic probation, it’s important to determine the root cause(s) of your academic struggles and find solutions that work, FAST! If something isn’t working, revisit your options with the help of your support systems to determine what you could change to stay on track with your plan for improvement. Consider establishing check-in dates while formulating your plan for success to be intentional with monitoring your progress.