3.21 Academic Forgiveness

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide an option for undergraduate students to seek one semester of forgiveness for past academic coursework, after separation from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), and subsequently delineate the prescribed process.

II. Policy Statement

Students who have been separated from UNI for four or more years and who have experienced academic challenges affecting their grade point average, may wish to seek academic forgiveness as a means to restarting their academic career in order to graduate from UNI.

Students seeking academic forgiveness are responsible for ensuring their eligibility, initiating the process, and understanding the impact this policy may have on their academic record.

III. Procedures

  1. Eligibility

    1. Eligibility for academic forgiveness requires that an individual:
      1. is a former undergraduate student at UNI for one or more semesters, and
      2. has been separated from UNI (non-enrolled) for four consecutive calendar years or more, and
      3. has not already earned an undergraduate degree from UNI or another accredited institution, and
      4. has completed an application to re-enroll at UNI, or is re-enrolled at UNI following the designated separation, and
      5. has submitted an Application for Academic Forgiveness within one academic year of a return to UNI, and
      6. is free from unresolved holds placed on enrollment by any UNI offices, and
      7. is seeking academic forgiveness for a semester in which an academic ethics violation of level three or higher was not founded.
  1. General Qualifications

    1. Academic forgiveness is a request to remove a semester of previously completed coursework from UNI’s calculated grade point averages upon approval of the request.
    2. Academic forgiveness is applied to one identified semester of classes from UNI, regardless of the number of credit hours in the semester, in the Application for Academic Forgiveness. All classes within the identified semester are included in the Application for Academic Forgiveness. Forgiveness is not applicable to individual classes.
    3. Major or program exit requirements (e.g. student teaching, culminating major/program field experience or internship) may not be eligible for forgiveness consideration depending on department/program policies.
    4. The semester requested for academic forgiveness must apply to the individual’s previous academic enrollment prior to reentry to UNI.
    5. Academic forgiveness can only be approved one time.
    6. Academic forgiveness is irreversible and final.
    7. Students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours within two calendar years upon or after reentry to UNI or the forgiveness approval will be void.
    8. Tuition refunds are not considered for an academic forgiveness semester.
  2. Academic Records, Standing and Financial Aid Awards

    1. All courses taken and grades earned during the semester of academic forgiveness remain on the student’s official transcript. They will be marked to show they have been removed from the computation of the GPA.
    2. The academic hours earned during the forgiveness semester will not count toward the number of hours required for graduation.
    3. Any courses in the forgiveness semester that satisfied departmental major/minor requirements should be reviewed with the corresponding department by the student at the time of forgiveness application. It is the decision of the department if a previously completed course will count as fulfilling the requirement in question. The acceptance of previously completed requirements for the major/minor is not guaranteed.
    4. Liberal Arts Core Category requirements satisfied by courses taken during an approved forgiveness semester are not eligible for waiver.
    5. A successfully completed prerequisite course in the major or minor impacted by academic forgiveness (i.e. during the semester forgiveness is requested) must be approved for waiver or substitution by the department for the major/minor degree requirements; all other courses must be repeated.
    6. Other universities and educational institutions may interpret transcripts and earned grade point averages differently. They may recalculate the grade point average to include all courses and semesters of earned credit.
    7. The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy is not impacted by receiving academic forgiveness. All coursework attempted will be included in evaluating a student’s satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes. Students placed on financial aid suspension as a result of not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress prior to academic forgiveness will continue to remain on financial aid suspension. However, students have the opportunity to appeal their satisfactory academic progress standing. Eligibility for specific academic scholarships is determined by the requirements of each academic scholarship program, including how GPA eligibility decisions are determined. Contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships prior to submitting an Application for Academic Forgiveness to better understand any impact on financial aid and the satisfactory academic progress appeals process.

** This policy is effective starting Fall semester 2018 **

Office of the Registrar and Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, approved January 4, 2018
UNI Faculty Senate, approved November 13, 2017
University Council, approved February 12, 2018
President and Executive Management Team, approved February 26, 2018