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Can someone look over my appeal letter for academic suspension

  1. Dec 28, 2015 #1
    I am writing to appeal my academic suspension from XX University. I was not surprised, but very upset to receive a letter earlier this week informing me of my suspension because of failure to maintain adequate GPA. I would like to urge you to reinstate me for next semester.


    The failing grades and consequent low GPA that I received this semester were not a result of outside strife and interference, but rather a result of my poor decisions at a critical time. A bad decision I made was that I looked down upon the rigorousness of my class. Switching my major from Physics to Math this March was a lot different for me and I did not adapt well at the very beginning. Although the grades at the end of that semester were not good, I talked with my advisor Dr. XX and Dr. XX to help me better adapt to the Math track. With their help and my reflection upon my learning habits from previous semester, I retook the class(math class that I failed) during summer and received an A for it and an overall semester GPA of 3.xx. The joy and sense of achievement blinded me of recognizing the rigorousness of this semester’s course. I did not give my classes enough attention that they required, stupidly thinking that these classes are easier and I will do just fine. Another poor decision I made was to over commit to my first relationship. I spent much more time than I should wooing her and sometimes even sacrificed my precious study time.


    XXX has always been my dream place and I would do anything to graduate with a degree from this school. I abhor the decision I have made that led me to this situation and I have learned my lessons. I have the determination to prove that I am more than capable of what is expected from me. If I am reinstated, I will focus more on study. I would start to make week plans for my study and decide in advance what my goal for that week is so that I can better manage my time. I would also review the contents from previous week every weekend so that I will not cram before exams. I also learned from my math class last semester that dividing homework into smaller tasks and then conquer them is more efficient than to do it at one sitting (as you may see in an increase in math assignment grades). By implementing these techniques I will make sure that I finish my homework in time and be well prepared before exams. I also gained a lot of experience balancing between my study time and personal life over the past semester as the relationship stabilizes. Study would always be my priority. And in order to achieve this I would stay in library after class everyday until ten o'clock to insure that I devote enough quality time to my study. Free time during weekend could be used for personal life.


    Please understand that my low GPA that led to my suspension does not indicate that I am a bad student incapable of doing better. I have never stopped reflecting and changing to adapt since the day I was here. I’m not one of those people who adapt quickly. But once I get used to it I will do better than most people. I have learned from my mistake, and I know that I’m getting used to my math major environment. I am ready to show that I am good student who can achieve academic success here at XXX, but only with a very very rough start. Please give me a second chance, or one month to let me prove to you I have been making changes and I have the ability to do well at XXX this coming semester. Thank you for considering this appeal.


    Sincerely,

    P.S.
    Here is an outline provided by my school:
    If you plan to appeal your academic suspension or drop, your letter must contain the following:

    1. Be specific about the nature of your academic problems.
    2. Identify the causes of your problems.
    3. Articulate the specific strategies that you will employ to address the causes of your problems.
    4. Indicate your academic and non-academic support systems (e.g. parents, friends, Academic Development, advisors, etc.).

    I feel like my essay is a little bit long? Should I shorten it? If so which part should I eliminate and which part should I emphasize? Open to all thoughts! Thanks!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2016
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  3. Dec 28, 2015 #2

    symbolipoint

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    Your essay is not very clear. Low GPA in one semester alone should not be too much of a problem, but maybe you would not be able to increase it enough during the following semester, depending on the values. In case your appeal does not work, and you still have the same goal, restart at a community college and when ready and keep a good or strong average grade, then apply for transfer to the/a university.
     
  4. Dec 28, 2015 #3

    mathwonk

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    forget it.

    forgive me, that was my first impression based only on a few paragraphs of your appeal.

    to try to actually help you, i will say my opinion is not changed at all, i.e. your appeal has zero chance of success, but you have much chance of success at making a good go of your career if you will accept the suspension and get your situation in gear.

    I.e. take suspension, follow the rules, and learn more about how to study and discipline yourself.
    good luck! the fact you were accepted in the first place means you do have the potential to make this work.

    (I also did it; i worked in a factory for a year and got very convinced i did not want to continue that way.)

    as sylvanus p. thompson said: "what one fool can do, another can." (just a joke, i hope you appreciate how i meant it.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  5. Dec 29, 2015 #4
    The first two semesters of my freshman year I have a gpa of 2.xx and 1.xx respectively. Then I took some summer courses provided by our school and earned a gpa of 3.x for summer sessions. But this year my gpa dropped to 1.xx. I have a cumulate GPA of 2.xx. But according to our school policy this semester's grades were too low and thus received a suspension. I did not receive a probation but a suspension instead.
    Also could you be more specific about the parts that are not very clear to you? I really appreciate that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2016
  6. Dec 29, 2015 #5

    symbolipoint

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    Sure, about this last part of the quote, none of the essay was very clear.

    You told us about problems in keeping a good grade average, but what were the courses with your low grades, and what happened in each of them which hurt those grades? When you understand these questions, then you will know what to do to rebuild yourself academically.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2016
  7. Dec 29, 2015 #6
    Thank you for your thoughts. I went to a top 20 college in the nation and I have shown my potential to succeed during summer classes. And the fact of going from a top notch school to a community college makes me very very upset. I would like to know which part of my essay makes you feel that I have no chance at all? What are some changes could be made to my essay that will increase my chance?(although I understand the chance is very low). Is there any other approach to this that will save me from a year's suspension from my college? Maybe like ask for a probation instead of suspension or postpone the the suspension for one month and see how I do? I'm very confident I can have a GPA of 3.xx. But I have been making silly mistakes at the bad time. And I wasn't aware of my school's academic action policy (I had a cumulated GPA of 2.xx which is above the 2.xx minimum but our school also took separate semester GPA's into account)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2016
  8. Dec 29, 2015 #7
    So you are suggesting a more detailed future plan about each course will be helpful here?
     
  9. Dec 29, 2015 #8
    Here's what I don't understand. You did well during the summer, earning a 3.xx. But then the following year you got a 1.xx? What happened? Clearly you were doing something right over the summer that you stopped doing in the fall.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2016
  10. Dec 29, 2015 #9
    I thought this semester's classes were easier so I did not pay much attention during class. And I did not study until the very end. It worked okay at the very beginning but as the course moved on it didn't seem to work anymore. And I was not aware of the fact that single semester GPA was also considered when academic actions were taken. Do you think I should explain this in my appeal?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2016
  11. Dec 29, 2015 #10
    In my opinion, no. That's like getting pulled over for speeding and telling the cop "But I didn't know you were there!".

    Weren't your grades bad in the fall as well?

    I'm also confused here, but on a technicality. Your GPA you said was 1.xx this past semester. That sounds like more than just one bad course. It sounds like a pattern. Also, it's very good that you have shown very concrete steps to improvement - talking with advisors, and retaking a course and getting an A.

    Please get someone else's opinion on this, but why mention the girl?

    Why say this? You sound desperate.

    Will the committee have access to your math assignment grades? Or just your transcript (more likely)?

    I really dislike this. Study should not always be your priority. A healthy work-life balance should be. They aren't looking for you to stay in the library until ten o'clock everyday; this is a sure-fire way to burn you out and make your GPA fall even further. I would just leave this out... other opinions?

    Do you have proof that "once you get used to it you will do better than most people"? Maybe here bring up again that you have gotten a 3.xx GPA for one course.

    "Please give me a second chance" also sounds desperate. It may be wise to acknowledge that the decision may go either way.

    The people who have posted on this thread and encouraged you to accept the suspension are pretty knowledgeable, but I still think it's worth a shot. Your essay has some grammar/spelling issues and is a bit fluffy (maybe more concise would be good), but you have clearly identified the issue and are taking steps to resolve it, so I don't see why it's a lost cause.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2016
  12. Dec 29, 2015 #11
    @Dishsoap Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate it! Yes I feel very desperate as I just found out this today (technically yesterday). I would do anything I can to keep myself in a pure academic environment. But thank you for doing this at such a late time!
     
  13. Dec 29, 2015 #12

    Vanadium 50

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    You need to completely start over. As it stands, this will not be convincing.

    First problem: this is not college-level writing. It doesn't even have the right number of paragraphs. It should have six. (Do you know why?) It has too much flowery language that does not help you make your point, and it looks like it is there to make you look smart. Instead, this will have the opposite effect.

    Next problem: the content. This says, in effect, "I got poor grades because I didn't take things seriously. I improved for one summer, but then went back to my old ways. Oh, and I met a girl. Anyway, I'll make some minor changes to my study habits - things I should have done since high school - and this will work because I am smarter than those other turkeys you admitted." Is that really the message you want to send the committee?

    Oh and don't ever say "I would do anything to graduate with a degree from this school." You had that opportunity in the past and didn't take it. It's not going to help you make your point. Talk is cheap.

    Next problem: nowhere does this letter discuss the alternatives. Why is it better to let you continue now rather than in a term or two? Wouldn't it be better to give you a term or two to get your act together? If the answer is "no", you need to say so and be prepared to explain why. What's in there now is little more than "suspending me will make me sad". This won't work - the committee already knows that this will make you sad.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  14. Dec 29, 2015 #13

    Samy_A

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    As he asked for second opinions, I agree with @Dishsoap .

    Your letter is not very clear and too long.

    Leave out the girlfriend, the staying in the library every evening, the desperation. As a student you are supposed to be able to balance studies and private life. What you are conveying in your letter is that you are not able to do that. If I was on that committee, and read the letter in the OP, I would refuse your appeal, and see it as doing you a big favor.

    Explain clearly what went wrong academically, how you plan to remedy it without becoming a recluse, mention your strengths, admit your weaknesses. You can include in the letter that you like the university, but no desperation: that really doesn't come over well.

    Your chances may not be great, but sure give it a shot.
     
  15. Dec 29, 2015 #14

    ZapperZ

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    There are a couple of things here that I want to say, and both of which do not address your main question of this thread, which is your letter of appeal.

    1. The whole point of an academic suspension is for you to go away for a semester, or a year, and rethink what you want to do. This is due to your low grades for 2 consecutive semesters (summer session doesn't count). If I were to just look at your grades and the pattern, then no, you have not shown any change in behavior that will significantly improve your grades. All we have to go by is what you tell us in the letter, and nothing else. The pattern of poor grades appear to be the common thread in your academic life so far.

    2. Why do you wish to continue? What exactly is your goal here? If you want to get a degree in Math, then maybe apply or transfer to another school. This is because with your cumulative GPA already shot, so your chances of going on to graduate school is minimal. So if you wish to be a mathematician, you may have to seriously evaluate your realistic chances of achieving that. Maybe it is time to start thinking of pursuing another career even if you continue at another school with your math degree.

    Zz.
     
  16. Dec 29, 2015 #15

    mathwonk

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    Markleeee. I have no comment on improving your letter. The point is it seems to me that a suspension is indeed warranted by the facts and therefore no letter of appeal can make any difference. Indeed as in my own case, I think a successful appeal would be a bad thing for you since you would then continue to spin your wheels uselessly for even longer, wasting valuable time in your career preparations. You need to change your behavior and you probably won't do that if you succeed in convincing the administration and yourself that you are doing ok. In my case, I stayed in school another semester after things started going badly, and this only meant that when I returned with a better approach, I had one less semester to get my training in. Good luck.
     
  17. Dec 29, 2015 #16
    Thank everyone for your comments. The thing is that my college is very hard to get in(16% acceptance rate) and I do not want to waste such an opportunity. Say that my letter does not do anything and I go to another college to take some transferrable units and do well, what are my chances of getting back(readmit)?
     
  18. Dec 29, 2015 #17

    ZapperZ

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    How about you do well FIRST and then ask this question again? This is because based on your history, doing well is not as certain as you think.

    Zz.
     
  19. Dec 29, 2015 #18
    What is the point of getting back to where you got hurt pretty bad while you can do well at the current place ? Doing well in school I suppose means you have a high GPA and full support from your supervisors. The better you do the more chances there are for you to land a job after school.
    Begging shows you're too cheap (sorry for the word use but I am truthful).
    I have been in and out of multiple jobs myself, from which I have learned to deal with pretty many liars and a-holes, so I decide to walk on my path to be a kind and gentle person (hihi :DD).
     
  20. Dec 29, 2015 #19

    Vanadium 50

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    I'm afraid that ship has sailed.
     
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