FAQs — Academic Suspension

"What does "Suspension" mean?"
Academic suspension means that a student loses the ability to elect or drop courses, and to attend and earn grades for courses at U-M. Suspension lasts at least 14 weeks, the length of one full (i.e., Fall or Winter) semester.

"Why am I suspended?"
The LSA Academic Standards Board suspends students whose academic performance for a particular term or terms is significantly below average, or who fail to complete most or all of their courses within a term. While some GPA guidelines aid the Board in making suspension decisions, Board members make these decisions on a case-by-case basis and consider all available information about the student's history prior to making a decision. Suspensions are always committee rather than individual decisions.

The Board appreciates that there can be many and varied causes of students' poor academic performance, and hopes that suspension will compel students' scrutiny of these causes in order to minimize or eliminate them.

"How does suspension benefit me?"
Academic difficulty is most usually a sign of some sort of life disturbance be it illness, family or relationship conflicts, financial problems, inappropriate academic choices, or other troubling issues. Many times, these disturbances require a substantial amount of time and energy to resolve, thus making academic work very difficult to manage successfully. If you have been suspended because of such disturbances, then the required time away from school can allow you to devote your best energies to addressing them. Since you are not enrolled, you will not be further endangering your GPA by trying to complete courses successfully under stressful circumstances. Stepping back from participating in classes can also give you time to reassess your academic goals and realize new directions you may take when you return to school.

"What steps should I take to get back in school?"

  • Read the letter the Board has sent you regarding your suspension.
  • Meet with a Board member to learn what next steps will most favorably position you to being readmitted. He/she will need to hear what you believe interfered with your academic success including factors such as illness, living situation, finances, family issues, academic problems, etc.
  • Depending on the reasons you give for your difficulty, the Board member will recommend actions you can take to improve your chances of readmission to the College. For example:

Pursuit of a full term of courses elsewhere, or a combination of work and part-time studies. The Board often urges student to take courses elsewhere prior to petitioning for readmission. In order for the Board to grant a readmission request, the student would need to have earned grades of Bs or better at some other institution. Suspended students can attend a community college or complete on-line/distance learning courses.  In general, four-year institutions will not allow suspended students to take on-campus course, although they will usually allow them to pursue distance learning (i.e., online) courses.

Clinician's statement verifying readiness to return. Students who point to physical or mental health disorders as the reasons for their academic difficulties will need to submit a statement of good health from their clinician. Returning to complex academic work before you are completely well is a way to ensure mediocre or poor grades.

Financial plan. If you were unable to succeed academically because you had to work too many hours at a job in order to pay your rent, then the Board would require you to develop a reasonable plan for financing your education. The Board encourages you to use the counselors at the Office of Financial Aid to help you construct this plan.

Schedule a readmission interview with a Board member at least 8 weeks (10 weeks for international students) prior to the start of the term you'd like to return. During this interview, the Board member will give you guidelines for writing your readmission petition. It is very important that you follow these guidelines in your written petition. The Board member will also tell you what kind of documentation you should include with your petition to support your request.

  • Submit your petition and the accompanying documentation at least 6 weeks (8 weeks for international students) prior to the start of the term you'd like to return. During your readmission interview, the Board member will give you a deadline for submitting your petition to the Board.
  • In a week to 10 days from the receipt of your petition, you will receive a decision via e-mail.

"How can I prevent being suspended again?"
The Board recommends that you take the following steps to ensure successful future semesters:

  • Meet with your academic advisor and a Board member to determine a plan of study and term course elections that not only interest you, but will best allow you to use your talents.
  • Use the study help courses may provide (office hours, GSI meetings, on-line study guides) and frequent the appropriate learning centers (Math Lab, Science Learning Center, Sweetland  Center for Writing, etc.).
  • Ask for help when you need it. Meet with your advisor and course instructors to assess your performance in your classes. Ask about tutoring, if appropriate, or about the wisdom of staying in classes in which you are struggling.
  • Write in your planner the dates of your major tests and assignments AND the deadlines for dropping classes.
  • Read your umich.edu e-mail daily.