Both Your Term/Semester GPA and Cumulative GPA are reviewed to make sure you are on track

  • Each term, you have a term or semester GPA which reflects the average of the grades you earned for that semester only.
  • You also have what is called a cumulative GPA, which is the overall average of all grades you have earned throughout your Purchase College history. Grades earned at other institutions do not calculate into your Purchase GPA.
  • For a first semester transfer or freshman, your semester and cumulative GPA will be the same.
  • To find your GPA:
    • You have 24/7 access to track your semester and cumulative GPA
    • From MyHeliotrope, go to the Students tab, then choose Student Records. There you will see links to your Final Grades, Unofficial Transcript, and your Degree Progress Report, all of which show your GPA.

What does it mean to get an academic warning notification?

If your semester GPA falls below a 2.0 for one semester you will receive an academic warning via email from the Director of Student Advising and Academic Support. You will be invited to meet with an an academic recovery mentor to discuss strategies for getting back on track, as well as campus resources that can support your success.

What is academic probation?

If your cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 for one semester, OR if your semester GPA falls below a 2.0 for two consecutive semesters (even if your cumulative GPA is above a 2.0), you will be placed on academic probation. In order to clear your academic probation status, you must raise your both your semester and cumulative GPA to a 2.0 or higher by the end of your probationary semester or, you may face academic dismissal at the end the semester.

You will be notified of your probationary status by email and a letter to your home address within 3-4 weeks of the end of the semester. The letter, sent from the Director of Student Advising and Academic Support, will detail the reason that you were placed on academic probation, as well as strategies for improving your GPA. You will also be expected to meet with an assigned academic recovery mentor from our office at least once during your probationary semester to ensure that you are on the right track.

We want you to persist in your studies here, so it is important to carefully reflect on past practices, engage with the resources here to help you, and make immediate academic lifestyle adjustments.

How did I end up on academic probation?

Students find themselves in academic jeopardy resulting from one of a few primary categories of sources. Whether your main sources of poor academic performance were academic, personal, or some combination, it is vital that you reflect deeply on those factors and commit to reorganizing priorities (where possible) in order to repair your academic record.

Academic Habits — Not studying enough (quantity), not studying appropriately (quality), frequently missing classes, missing assignments or turning them in late, excessive socializing/partying to the sacrifice of academics, not checking Purchase email or Moodle for course content and due dates, misusing free time, excessive napping, media binges, or gaming.

Academic Skills — Major and/or courses is not suited for you, academic skills such as reading, math, writing, abstract thought are not sufficiently strong, amount of work is overwhelming, planning, organizing, and time management is not strong, not seeking or utilizing help and resources when struggling, poor note taking or attention or test taking.

Personal Issues — Medical or psychological issue affected your academic work, family or personal situation distracted your concentration, relationship involvement or drama became a focus, employment or extracurricular schedule was too heavy, substance use/abuse or other activities subtracted from your academic clarity, difficulty adjusting to a new place or a new culture, fears or uncertainties or discomfort.

What can I do to start my academic recovery?

Because the reasons for poor academic performance differ, the strategies to implement will vary accordingly. A series of suggestions to raise your GPA are listed below.  If this feels overwhelming, reach out to us in the Advising Center for more personal support.  You can do this!

8 Necessities to Get You Back on Track

Perfect attendance is the most fundamental behavior you’ll need to institute while on academic probation, regardless of the attendance policy. Going to class, remaining attentive, and taking good notes ensures that, at a minimum, you are receiving all of the information you need to do well. It is widely known that once a student starts missing classes, it is that much easier to continue missing classes. Of course, making it to all of your classes requires that you have a lifestyle that permits waking up earlier and remaining alert throughout the school day. Save your absences for times when you are legitimately ill or attending to other emergencies.

If you did not previously study much, you must carve out substantial amounts of time each day for academic work - and that includes reading course material and starting assignments even when there is nothing due tomorrow. If you studied some, but did so in a distracting environment (people and/or computer, cell phones, etc.), you must completely change locations to a place more conducive to focused work and/or silence text messages and social media notifications. If you tended to be a procrastinator or late night crammer, you must learn to do school work during the day, weekend, and/or in between classes instead of waiting until the middle of the night.

Especially if you know you have struggled with grasping course content or experienced medical/psychological difficulties in the past, it is imperative that you BEGIN your probationary semester with the resources you need. Waiting until midterm is simply too late to repair most academic or personal problems. Academic help may be sought from your instructors, your advisor, or Learning Center tutors; assistance with personal issues (medical, psychological, addiction, etc.) is available at Health Services and Counseling and Behavioral Health. If you have a documented learning disability, utilize accommodative services available through the Office of Disability Resources. If you are struggling with a current course that is not salvageable, it might be wise to withdraw from it — only after consulting with your instructor, advisor, and possibly financial aid. If you are struggling with school overall, you might consider a personal leave of absence or medical leave in order to avoid dismissal.

Did you know that repeating the same course that you failed (it has to be the same course, but can be a different faculty member) and getting a higher grade in it can raise your GPA?  For example, if you got an F or WF in College Writing and you repeat it and receive a B+, the F grade drops out of your GPA calculation and the B+ is calculated instead.  The F grade remains on your transcript, but it no longer affects your semester or cumulative GPA. 

Most of your instructors have a syllabus with the dates on which reading and other assignments are due. To keep all of this information centralized, transfer due dates into a daily planner or scheduling app so that you can “see” your whole week at one time. Knowing what is due when will allow you to better manage your workload and keep other commitments such as group meetings, tutoring appointments, and instructor/advisor office hours. More than that, fill in your non-class time with how you will use your time (e.g., gym, studying specific things, recreation, taking care of personal business).  Be aware of the College’s Academic Calendar, which shows withdrawal deadlines and other important dates.

If, in the past, you already attended classes, studied very hard, got extra help, and you still performed poorly in your major courses, it just might be that the major you chose does not speak to your strengths. We understand that you might have done well in the subject in high school/community college, or had your heart set on becoming a professional in that field. But the feelings of constantly climbing uphill, with little in the way of results, can be draining and discouraging. In these instances, you might seek an honest appraisal of your prospects with your faculty advisor; alternatively you may turn to our office or the Career Development Center to explore new and liberating options.

If all else fails, consider having a heart to heart with your family or trusted support network. Some students feel they are expected to go to college right after high school; even if you lack the health, desire, maturity, or self-discipline to fully embrace what college demands of you. If you are not “into” college, or if life is too challenging right now, you should reconsider if a full-time four year college education is right for you at this time. Sometimes there are personal/family tragedies and trials that provide constant or acute stress. If you experienced personal trauma or continue to face other major obstacles, you might not feel ready to undertake another semester right away. Returning later, when you are fully focused, can make all the difference in the long run. Our office of Counseling and Behavioral Health can provide resources to help you make these important decisions.