Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services
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“Academic Fresh Start” is a plan of academic forgiveness which allows undergraduate students who previously experienced academic difficulty to improve their academic record upon returning to college after an extended absence.  The Academic Fresh Start allows eligible students to resume study without being penalized for past unsatisfactory scholarship and signals the initiation of a new grade point average (GPA).

Student Requirements

To be considered eligible for an Academic Fresh Start, a student must:

  1. Have been separated from all regionally accredited collegiate institutions for at least four (4) consecutive calendar years immediately preceding the first term of enrollment as a transfer student or re-enrollment at the University of Memphis.

  2. Be admitted as a degree-seeking student at the University of Memphis.
  3. Have an overall combined (cumulative) GPA below 2.50 at the time of application for the Academic Fresh Start.

  4. Not have earned an undergraduate degree previously.

  5. Submit an Academic Fresh Start application and academic plan to the Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services (CARES) within one (1) calendar year from the term of enrollment or re-enrollment at the University of Memphis.
Terms of Academic Fresh Start
  1. The student may be granted an Academic Fresh Start only once during an undergraduate career.  This includes an Academic Fresh Start (or its equivalent) granted at other regionally accredited institutions of higher education.

  2. Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institutions (including the University of Memphis) will honor an Academic Fresh Start provision granted at another TBR institution, and non-TBR institutions may not honor an Academic Fresh Start granted by the University of Memphis.

  3. The student’s permanent record (including academic standing) will remain a record of all work attempted; however, the Academic Fresh Start allows for courses previously failed to be excluded from the calculation of the new GPA. Courses with a “D” grade will also be excluded from the calculation when a grade of “C” or better is required in the student’s current major.  The new GPA and credit hours will reflect courses for which passing grades were earned and retained from the pre-Academic Fresh Start performance.

          a. Retained grades and credits will be calculated in the new GPA.

          b. Courses with “D” or “F” grades must be repeated at the University of Memphis when they are required for the student’s current major.  All remaining courses needed to satisfy the current degree requirements must be completed at the institution.  In accordance with Tennessee Board of Regents policy for Academic Fresh Start (Section IV of TBR Policy 2:03:01:01), NO TRANSFER OR TRANSIENT CREDIT WILL BE ADDED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS ACADEMIC RECORDS FOR A STUDENT GRANTED THE ACADEMIC FRESH START BY THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS.

         c. The current major will be considered the major the student has selected when the Academic Fresh Start is applied.  Courses excluded from the calculation will not be reviewed or reconsidered should the student change majors after receiving the Academic Fresh Start.

         d. Retained grades and credits will be applied toward major and degree requirements in effect at the time the Academic Fresh Start is granted to the student.  Specific academic program and degree regulations must also be met.

         4. Academic Fresh Start recipients who did not complete a college-level English or mathematics course must meet current academic assessment and placement program requirements before enrollment in these courses is permitted.  Students may be required to complete the COMPASS exam to determine eligibility for these courses.  Previously satisfied assessment and placement program requirements (including COMPASS) will not be forfeited.

         5.The Academic Fresh Start is awarded independent of financial aid regulations.  Federal, state and institutional financial aid requirements at the time of application will apply.  Billing and debt requirements associated with previous enrollment are not intended to be resolved with the granting of an Academic Fresh Start.  Therefore, an Academic Fresh Start applicant should consult the Office of Financial Aid, Bursar’s Office, Scholarship Office, and/or Veterans Educational Benefits & Certification in the Office of Registrar at the University of Memphis for proper guidance regarding federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs; collection of student fees and charges; payment plan options; scholarship eligibility; and/or educational benefits.

      6. Academic Fresh Start requires approval by the appropriate college dean or designee.

      7.  Academic Fresh Start will be formally applied after the census enrollment date at the University of Memphis.

      8. The student’s University of Memphis transcript will note that an Academic Fresh Start was granted and the effective date.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to complete the Academic Fresh Start application, please contact the Center for Academic Retention and Enrichment Services (CARES) at (901) 678-2393 or cares@memphis.edu, or stop by 500 Wilder Tower.

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Last Updated: 12/4/14