Unsatisfactory Scholarship

Unsatisfactory scholarship is defined as having a cumulative grade-point average below a 2.00 (C). Grade-point deficiencies reflect how far a student is from this average. The number of grade-point deficiencies a student has accrued determines whether or not he/she receives an academic warning or drop action.

Sometimes advisers are asked to verify whether or not a student is in good academic standing on a student recommendation or application. According to the Registrar's office, a student is considered to be in good standing if he/she has not been dropped for poor scholarship.

Grade-Point Deficiency (Senate Policy 51-70)

A grade-point deficiency exists when a student's cumulative grade-point average is below a 2.00. In other words, total grade points are less than cumulative credits scheduled times two. (For implications, see Academic Warning and Drop Action.) If grade-point deficiencies exist, the student's semester grade report says, "ALERT: Because your cumulative GPA is below 2.0, you are in danger of being dropped from degree-seeking status. This may impact your academic standing as well as financial aid. Please consult with your academic adviser and refer to this page for more information." Cumulative credits include the number of credits scheduled at Penn State for a letter grade (even if an F was earned). For more information, see Cumulative Credits/Total Credits.

Example: By the end of the second semester, a student who has 36 cumulative credits and 66 grade points has 6 grade-point deficiencies.

Example of how grade-point deficiency calculations.
Number of Credits Determine Deficiency Descriptions
36 cumulative credits x 2 = 72 grade points needed for 2.00 cumulative grade-point average
  -66 grade points earned
  6 grade points deficient

Note: Deferred Grades (DF) and No Grades (NG) are ignored in this calculation.

Removing Grade-Point Deficiencies

Deficiencies can be removed by earning a grade of C+ or better in courses offered by Penn State through any mode of delivery (see Course Delivery Systems).

A simple way to explain how to remove grade-point deficiencies: Every credit of A removes two grade-point deficiencies; every credit of B removes one grade-point deficiency. When a grade of C is earned, deficiencies remain constant. Every credit of D adds one grade-point deficiency; every credit of F adds two deficiencies.

The chart below shows you how to determine the grade and credits that must be earned to remove grade-point deficiencies.

How to remove grade-point deficiencies.
Grade Grade-point Equivalent   Course Credits   Grade Points Acquired   Grade Points For a 2.00   Deficiencies Removed

A

4.00
4.00
4.00
4.00
x
x
x
x
1
2
3
4
=
=
=
=
4
8
12
16
-
-
-
-
2
4
6
8
=
=
=
=
2
4
6
8

A-

3.67
3.67
3.67
3.67
x
x
x
x
1
2
3
4
=
=
=
=
3.67
7.34
11.01
14.68
-
-
-
-
2
4
6
8
=
=
=
=
1.67
3.34
5.01
6.68

B+

3.33
3.33
3.33
3.33
x
x
x
x
1
2
3
4
=
=
=
=
3.33
6.66
9.99
13.32
-
-
-
-
2
4
6
8
=
=
=
=
1.33
2.66
3.99
5.32

B

3.00
3.00
3.00
3.00
x
x
x
x
1
2
3
4
=
=
=
=
3
6
9
12
-
-
-
-
2
4
6
8
=
=
=
=
1
2
3
4

B-

2.67
2.67
2.67
2.67
x
x
x
x
1
2
3
4
=
=
=
=
2.67
5.34
8.01
10.68
-
-
-
-
2
4
6
8
=
=
=
=
.67
1.34
2.01
2.68

C+

2.33
2.33
2.33
2.33
x
x
x
x
1
2
3
4
=
=
=
=
2.33
4.66
6.99
9.32
-
-
-
-
2
4
6
8
=
=
=
=
.33
.66
.99
1.32

Academic Warning

Student Notification

An academic warning notifies a student that his/her cumulative grade-point average is below a 2.00. Students who have grade-point deficiencies will receive this message on their eLion semester grade report:

**ALERT! Because your your cumulative GPA is below a 2.0, you are in danger of being dropped from degree-seeking status. This may impact your academic standing as well as financial aid. Please consult with your adviser and refer to the information found on this page to learn more.

Adviser Notification

Advisers receive email notifications from the Registrar listing advisees with cumulative grade-point averages below a 2.0. Spring semester notifications are sent the third week in May; summer session notifications are sent at the start of fall semester; fall semester notifications are sent at the start of spring semester.

Academic Drop for Poor Scholarship

The following standards are applied to baccalaureate and associate degree candidates. (Academic standards for provisional students and nondegree students are presented in Classification of Undergraduate Students and Adviser Assignment.)

Baccalaureate Degree Candidates

Unless a baccalaureate degree candidate has earned at least a 2.00 in the most recent semester, he/she is automatically dropped from degree status for poor scholarship if:

Student dropped from Baccalaureate Degree for poor scholarship if the following apply:
Cumulative Credits are: With Grade-Point Deficiencies of:
24 - 39.5 21 or more
40 - 69.5 18 or more
70 - 99.5 15 or more
100 and above 12 or more

A baccalaureate degree candidate will not be dropped from the University for poor scholarship if he/she has acquired fewer than 24 cumulative credits, regardless of his/her grade-point deficiencies.

Associate Degree Candidates

Unless an associate degree candidate has earned at least a 2.00 in the most recent semester, he/she is automatically dropped from degree status at the University for poor scholarship if:

Student dropped from Associates Degree for poor scholarship if the following apply:
Cumulative Credits are: With Grade-Point Deficiencies of:
20 - 29.5 16 or more
30 - 49.5 14 or more
50 - 59.5 12 or more
60 and above 8 or more

An associate degree candidate will not be dropped from the University for unsatisfactory scholarship if he/she has acquired fewer than 20 cumulative credits, regardless of his/her number of grade-point deficiencies.

Notification

The Registrar sends a notification letter and email to any student dropped for poor scholarship. This mailing includes references to relevant websites, Faculty Senate policies, and the handbook; addresses the change in the student's enrollment status to non-degree conditional and the limitations associated with that status; and refers the student to an adviser/advising center.

Scheduling

A student dropped from degree candidacy for poor scholarship is automatically changed from degree status to nondegree-conditional status (NDEGC). Any courses that the student scheduled for an upcoming semester or session are cancelled. If a student elects to attend as a nondegree-conditional student, he/she may schedule a maximum of 12 credits per semester. NDEGC students schedule courses on a space-available basis according to the Registration Timetable for nondegree students. If the student maintains continuous enrollment, an application for registration in this status is not necessary. However, if the student does not maintain continuous enrollment, in order to schedule course work in resident instruction or Continuing Education, he/she must submit an undergraduate nondegree enrollment application to the Registrar's office. To register for World Campus course work, students should contact the World Campus registrar (814-863-4922 or 800-252-3592). If the student would like to attend a different Penn State location, he/she should submit a nondegree application to the Registrar's office at the desired campus.


Last Update: January 2012

Reference(s): Senate Policies 51-70, 54-00, 54-20, 54-50, 54-52