EduShare - Higher Ed Blog & News


Supporting Students On Probation

An Educator’s Perspective - Hear From Dr. Saundra McGuire


National data on academic probation rates are not tracked.  However, we know that many students struggle academically, especially in the first year.


  • One study found that about 20% of students at four-year institutions will end their first year of college in academic jeopardy.
  • At Michigan State University, first-year students who go on probation are only half as like to graduate as those who don't.
  • Being placed on academic probation increases the likelihood that a student will choose to drop out.
  • For men, academic probation doubles the likelihood that they will drop out of school.
  • Being on probation can have a tremendous emotional impact, especially for minority and first-generation students.
  • Community College Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Pell recipients indicates that approximately 25% of students fail to meet the GPA requirement.


  • Poor academic preparation
  • Not going to class
  • Taking too many classes
  • Taking too hard of a schedule
  • Poor study habits
  • Poor time management
  • Personal issues (stress, anxiety, depression, roommate issues)
  • Major life event 
  • Homesickness
  • Too much socializing
  • Too many distractions
  • Overscheduled (school, work, family, athletics, etc.)
  • Differences between high school and college
  • Poor test-taking skills
  • Lack of organizational skills


  • Help is available
  • Complete an honest self-assessment
  • Re-evaluate all priorities
  • Understand exactly what you need to earn to get off probation
  • See an advisor & discuss all options (class selection, reduced load, retakes, forgiveness policy,etc.)
  • If on financial aid, see a financial aid advisor and make sure  you understand SAP
  • Take advantage of skill development workshops (study skills, test-taking, note-taking, time management, etc.)
  • Go to class every day
  • Complete all readings
  • Take notes
  • Complete all assignments
  • Form study groups
  • Prepare for tests early
  • Get organized & plan ahead
  • Track your grades throughout the term
  • Seek out tutoring if available
  • Speak to your professors & participate in class
  • Take advantage of office hours
  • Build on the successes you have had
  • Continue to check-in with your advisor, professor, mentor throughout the term



What are your students experiencing? What are some other reasons students struggle? Do you have other tips to help students succeed academically?  We want to hear from you!


August 7, 2019


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