Students whose term GPA is below 2.0, or cumulative GPA falls below 2.0

Group of students laying in a circle

Tips for Advising

It’s common for students to experience academic challenges at some point during college. Students might run into academic difficulty for a wide variety of reasons, such as financial concerns, study skills, mental health issues, transitions, family/social concerns, uncertainty with career or major, outside responsibilities, etc.

The academic probation policy at the University of Minnesota is not intended to be punitive. The University places a student on academic probation when their term or cumulative grade point average (GPA) is below 2.0. The probation policy is intended to be an intervention by the University to alert the student that certain adjustments need to be made to avoid continuing academic difficulty.

Students on probation benefit from structured intervention and thus have a registration hold placed on their record requiring the student to connect with their advisor. Practices for advising students on probation vary by college with these common practices:

  • Most colleges use a combination of a probation contract (required activities) and a success plan (recommended)
  • Advisors develop the referrals and recommendations in the success plan or contract based on students’ individual needs and situations.

Probation Appointments

During probation appointments, an advisor personally reaches out to their student, meets with them, helps them identify the circumstances contributing to their academic difficulty, helps them set goals, and refers them to campus resources to support their needs. Refer to the Framework and Sample Questions for Probation Appointments for further guidance.

Effective tips for advising students on probation include but are not limited to:

  • Individualize: Be empathetic and understanding in unpacking the variety of personal, social, and academic factors contributing to academic difficulty.
  • Connect: Encourage students to self-reflect on what they can change in order to meet their goals.
  • Leverage: Teach students how to find, utilize, and learn from campus resources to reach their goals.
  • Empower: Encourage students to choose components of a success plan suited to supporting their specific needs, identities, and goals.

Referring Students

Students in academic difficulty should consider engaging with campus resources that can support their individual circumstances. Examples include but are not limited to services, such as: 

The GPA Calculator through One Stop can also help students determine how many credits and what kind of GPA is needed to meet their GPA objectives.