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Policies and Procedures

3.21 Undergraduate Student Academic Forgiveness Program Policy


Thursday, December 14, 2017


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

Policy Statement

Students who have been separated from the university 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 the University of Northern Iowa.  

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


  1. Elgibility Eligibility for academic forgiveness requires that an individual
    1. is a former undergraduate student at the University of Northern Iowa for one or more semesters, and
    2. has been separated from the University of Northern Iowa (non-enrolled) for a four-year period (four consecutive calendar years or more), and
    3. has not already earned a degree from the University of Northern Iowa or another institution, andhas completed an application to re-enroll at the University of Northern Iowa, or is re-enrolled at the University of Northern Iowa following the designated separation and has submitted an application for Academic Forgiveness within one academic year of a return to the university, and
    4. is free from unresolved holds placed on enrollment by any University offices, and
    5. is seeking academic forgiveness for a semester in which an academic ethics violation of level three or higher was not founded.
  2. General Qualifications
    1. Academic forgiveness is a request to remove a semester of previously completed coursework from the university’s calculated grade point averages upon approval of the request.
    2. Academic forgiveness is applied to one identified semester of classes from the University of Northern Iowa, regardless of the number of credit hours in the semester, in the application for forgiveness.  All classes within the identified semester are included in the application of 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 of requested academic forgiveness must apply to the individual’s previous academic enrollment prior to reentry to the university.
    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 the university or the forgiveness approval will be void.
    8. Tuition refunds are not considered for an academic forgiveness semester.
  3. 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 through and undergraduate student request.
    5. A successfully completed sequence 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. Financial aid eligibility may be impacted. Contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships prior to submitting a forgiveness application to determine potential impact on subsequent financial aid eligibility. Eligibility for specific academic scholarships is determined by the requirements of each academic scholarship program, including how GPA eligibility decisions are determined.

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