Mike Nemeth learned the importance of second chances.

Students may find themselves in need of assistance when it comes to their academics. Academic forgiveness is a program offered at Saint Joseph’s University that helps students get back on track. One of the policies and procedures offered by Saint Joseph’s University is the academic forgiveness program.

Undergraduate and graduate students returning from an absence may have past grades that they do not want to contribute to GPA calculation. The university will listen to the reasons that caused the poor performance, and also ask what the student applying has learned from their time away. Students taking a break from SJU academics can greatly benefit from the redemption offered. 

“The academic forgiveness program is a second chance for students who didn’t perform to the best of their ability and would like to eventually return to SJU,” says student Mike Nemeth. He found that using the program was an important step in coming back; “…I wanted to finish my education here, where I started it. I think it just makes sense for me to have gone through the process, realize what I did wrong, how to fix it, return, and then finish off strong.”  

Applying for academic forgiveness is easy. Students who are coming back to Saint Joseph’s University after a year can submit an application. It is accessible online at the Academic Advising’s online forms website. The form is then reviewed by the Associate Dean of the student’s College. Final approval will happen once a plan, including an outline of degree requirements, is made for the student.

Advising requires the application to be completed 4 weeks prior to the planned registration date of the student. Each grade of C- or below for undergraduate students, and B- or below for graduate students may be turned into the grade “AF” (as in Academic Forgiveness) and will no longer be counted for credit or GPA calculation.

The initial shock of being on suspension can be difficult. Mike Nemeth’s advice for anyone considering coming back to SJU using the academic forgiveness program is “…find someone to help you through the process. Leading up to academic suspension you’re pretty much digging yourself into a hole and the easiest way out of that hole is with help.” It is important to have a support network that includes friends and family, and to utilize the school resources.  

College can be a challenge for many. Sometimes even with help, students may still struggle. Programs such as the one Mike Nemeth applied to offer ways for students to redeem themselves and grow along the way. It is a special option that also pushes students to not give up, and proves that second chances are available. 

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