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Academic Fresh Start

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 scholarships and signals the initiation of a new grade point average (GPA).

Student Requirements

To be considered eligible for an Academic Fresh Start, a student must:

  • Have been separated from all regionally accredited collegiate institutions for at least four (4) consecutive calendar years.
  • 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 a bachelor’s degree previously.

Terms of Academic Fresh Start

  • 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.
  • The student's permanent record (including academic standing) will remain a record of all work attempted; however, the Academic Fresh Start allows for courses that 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" (C- for some majors) 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 performance.
  • 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 Accuplacer or COMPASS exam to determine eligibility for these courses. Previously satisfied assessment and placement program requirements (including Accuplacer or COMPASS) will not be forfeited.
    • Retained grades and credits will be calculated in the new GPA.
    • 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. 
  • Transfer or transient credit may be processed in the Academic Fresh Start. Any transfer credit posted afterwards will not be retroactively processed as part of the Academic Fresh Start.  
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 (University Student and Business Services), 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.

    The student’s advisor (or Student Success coach, etc.) will submit the Academic Fresh Start online form to the Registrar’s Office. The submitter of the form does not have to check or confirm eligibility at the time of submission. The Registrar’s Office will review the student’s record to ensure all requirements are met.

    If the student is eligible, the Academic Fresh Start will be processed, and the advisor will be notified by email. 

    If the student is not eligible, the request will be denied, and the advisor will be notified.

  • Academic Fresh Start will be formally applied after the census enrollment date at the University of Memphis.
  • The student's University of Memphis transcript will note that an Academic Fresh Start was granted and the effective date.