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Fresh Start FAQs

How many years would a student have to be gone before they could apply for a "Fresh Start"?

The student would have to have been gone two years from the end of their last enrolled semester before they would be eligible for the "Fresh Start".

Is this an automatic process or will a student need to request it?

A student must apply for it in consultation with an Academic Advisor.

How will the courses affected by "Fresh Start" fit into the transfer process? Will these courses have grades when transferred out to other schools?

Other schools determine their own transfer credit policies and students must be aware that other colleges may not recognize the Fresh Start grade deletions from their GPA.

Does it matter if a student is coming back to the school in a different program of study?

No. A student does not need to enter new program of study in order to benefit from the Fresh Start program. However, if s/he is planning to remain in the same Program of Study, s/he may benefit more by retaking the courses applicable to his/her Program of Study. For any courses taken that are outside of his/her Program of Study s/he can apply for an F Waiver, Academic Advisors will be able to assist with this similar questions and decisions.

How will the Fresh Start option be activated and who will conduct the case by case review?

Students will complete the Fresh Start Application in consultation with an Academic Advisor from the Student Support Center and submit the form to the Enrollment and Records Office for review and processing. The form requires an advisor signature and the Enrollment and Records Office will confirm the student's eligibility for the "Fresh Start" and process the form accordingly.

Why does a student need to see an Academic Advisor in the Student Support Center prior to completing the application for Fresh Start?

An Academic Advisor can assist the student in deciding what the best course of action is depending on his or her circumstance. An Advisor can help with decisions about the most appropriate program of study, answer questions regarding Financial Aid eligibility and Satisfactory Academic Progress, explain Academic Probation and Suspension, and help the student develop an updated academic plan to help reach his or her academic goals. A student returning after a two year hiatus will not have an assigned advisor to work with so the advisors in the Student Support and Advising Center are most appropriate.

How does the "Fresh Start" plan affect financial aid eligibility and max credits?

The Federal Guidelines regarding financial aid require that the college consider a student's entire academic record, including Fresh Start courses.

The Fresh Start option is designed to provide students an opportunity to be academically successful; it is not designed to restore financial aid eligibility. Financial Aid regulations make no provision for the concept of academic amnesty or academic renewal. Students should work with their Academic Advisor and Financial Aid Counselor to discuss options for getting back in good academic standing for financial aid purposes (if possible).

How does Fresh Start affect Commencement Honors?

Commencement Honors will be calculated from the point of Fresh Start implementation. In order to be eligible for Commencement Honors, subsequent to the implementation of Fresh Start, students must complete 50% of required courses in residence at North Shore Community College.

Will Fresh Start replace the F waiver policy or will they exist side by side?

Both policies would continue to be available. The F waiver is for one to three courses taken during a student's first 30 credits at the college. Fresh Start requires a two year hiatus. Since they are designed to address different situations they would both exist, but once a student had applied for "Fresh Start" s/he would not be eligible to waive subsequent F's.

Will all prior academic history remain on the transcript?

The prior Academic History, including grades, will appear on the transcript but will not be calculated in the overall GPA. A clear indicator of when the "Fresh Start" occurred will be marked on the transcript.

Who could be eligible for a Fresh Start?

Students who have earned below a cumulative 2.0 GPA and who returned to the college after a hiatus of two years or more will be eligible to apply from the Fall 2012 semester forward.

Students are encouraged to apply for this during their first semester back. Requests made after the first semester will be considered on a case by case basis. Students can not apply for this retroactively after earning a degree or certificate.

Students can only exercise the "Fresh Start" option once.

Can current students take advantage of the "Fresh Start" option or will this only be an option for future returnees?

Current students who meet the criteria will be eligible to apply for this option.

If a student is eligible, is there a reason s/he wouldn't want to exercise the "Fresh Start" option?

In some cases, students may lose courses that might otherwise apply towards their graduation requirements (grades of D or C-, etc). If the student is returning to the same program of study and needs almost all of the courses they previously did poorly in, s/he may be better advised to simply repeat the courses.

If a student participates in non-credit courses during the 2 year period does this reset the clock?

No. Pursuing non-credit credentials is an appropriate use of a student's time. Even if the non-credit courses are later converted to credit, this time period could be considered part of the student's two years away.

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