“Academic Fresh Start” is a plan of academic forgiveness which allows undergraduate
students who previously experienced academic difficulty to improve their academic
record upon returning to college after an extended absence. The Academic Fresh Start
allows eligible students to resume study without being penalized for past unsatisfactory
scholarship and signals the initiation of a new grade point average (GPA).
To be considered eligible for an Academic Fresh Start, a student must:
Terms of Academic Fresh Start
- Have been separated from all regionally accredited collegiate institutions for at
least four (4) consecutive calendar years immediately preceding the first term of
enrollment as a transfer student or re-enrollment at the University of Memphis.
- Be admitted as a degree-seeking student at the University of Memphis.
- Have an overall combined (cumulative) GPA below 2.50 at the time of application for
the Academic Fresh Start.
- Not have earned an undergraduate degree previously.
- Submit an Academic Fresh Start application and academic plan to the Center for Academic
Retention and Enrichment Services (CARES) within one (1) calendar year from the term
of enrollment or re-enrollment at the University of Memphis.
- The student may be granted an Academic Fresh Start only once during an undergraduate
career. This includes an Academic Fresh Start (or its equivalent) granted at other
regionally accredited institutions of higher education.
- Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institutions (including the University of Memphis)
will honor an Academic Fresh Start provision granted at another TBR institution, and
non-TBR institutions may not honor an Academic Fresh Start granted by the University
- The student’s permanent record (including academic standing) will remain a record
of all work attempted; however, the Academic Fresh Start allows for courses previously
failed to be excluded from the calculation of the new GPA. Courses with a “D” grade
will also be excluded from the calculation when a grade of “C” or better is required
in the student’s current major. The new GPA and credit hours will reflect courses
for which passing grades were earned and retained from the pre-Academic Fresh Start
a. Retained grades and credits will be calculated in the new GPA.
b. Courses with “D” or “F” grades must be repeated at the University of
Memphis when they are required for the student’s current major. All remaining courses
needed to satisfy the current degree requirements must be completed at the institution.
In accordance with Tennessee Board of Regents policy for Academic Fresh Start (Section
IV of TBR Policy 2:03:01:01), NO TRANSFER OR TRANSIENT CREDIT WILL BE ADDED TO THE
UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS ACADEMIC RECORDS FOR A STUDENT GRANTED THE ACADEMIC FRESH START
BY THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS.
c. The current major will be considered the major the student has selected
when the Academic Fresh Start is applied. Courses excluded from the calculation will
not be reviewed or reconsidered should the student change majors after receiving the
Academic Fresh Start.
d. Retained grades and credits will be applied toward major and degree requirements
in effect at the time the Academic Fresh Start is granted to the student. Specific
academic program and degree regulations must also be met.
4. Academic Fresh Start recipients who did not complete a college-level English
or mathematics course must meet current academic assessment and placement program
requirements before enrollment in these courses is permitted. Students may be required
to complete the COMPASS exam to determine eligibility for these courses. Previously
satisfied assessment and placement program requirements (including COMPASS) will not
5.The Academic Fresh Start is awarded independent of financial aid regulations.
Federal, state and institutional financial aid requirements at the time of application
will apply. Billing and debt requirements associated with previous enrollment are
not intended to be resolved with the granting of an Academic Fresh Start. Therefore,
an Academic Fresh Start applicant should consult the Office of Financial Aid, Bursar’s
Office, Scholarship Office, and/or Veterans Educational Benefits & Certification in
the Office of Registrar at the University of Memphis for proper guidance regarding
federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs; collection of student fees
and charges; payment plan options; scholarship eligibility; and/or educational benefits.
6. Academic Fresh Start requires approval by the appropriate college dean or
7. Academic Fresh Start will be formally applied after the census enrollment
date at the University of Memphis.
8. The student’s University of Memphis transcript will note that an Academic
Fresh Start was granted and the effective date.