Freshman Probation Frequently Asked Questions

teacher in front of classWhy was I admitted on freshman probation (FP)?
To be regularly-admitted to NMU, the Admissions Office looks for your ACT Composite Score to be a 19 or higher (or 900 SAT Combined Score) and your High School Grade Point Average to be 2.25 or higherIf your ACT/SAT and/or your HSGPA are a bit below these standards, you would be admitted on FP.

How am I notified?
First, your admission letter would have welcomed you to NMU and noted that you had been admitted on freshman probation. Shortly after receiving your admission letter, you would have received a letter from the Academic and Career Advisement Center (ACAC) that briefly described the freshman probation program. You will also be notified about which "block" you are being placed in when you attend Orientation.

Am I being punished for something?
Absolutely not. The Freshman Probation Program is a support program. Because we do not personally know you or your study habits, all we can go on are the test scores and high school GPA that we received. Based on that information, we made a determination that we may need to provide you with some extra help and/or support to ensure that you become successful in college.

Will other students know that I am on freshman probation?
Other than program staff and your academic adviser, the only one who knows that you are on freshman probation is you and anyone you choose to tell.  It is very unlikely that the  faculty teaching your courses will even know--unless you tell them. We hold your academic status in strict confidence.

Will I be successful?
That is completely up to you. Our data shows that 70-75 percent of FP students will attain “good standing” and be off probation after only one semester. Prior to establishing this program, only 40-50 percent of FP students attained good standing after their second semester. If you work hard and accept our assistance, you have an excellent chance of being a successful college student and graduate.

boy taking testWhat’s different about FP students?
You will sign an FP agreement that outlines your responsibilities, you will be placed in a required “block” of courses and your freshman seminar (UN 100C) instructor will also serve as your academic adviser until you are free of probation. In addition, until you are free of probation, you will not be assigned to your chosen academic major.

What’s not different?
You will be enrolled in the same courses as other freshmen. You will not be placed in any "remedial" courses, unless you choose to be. You will be able to complete your degree on time and you will be treated as any college student.  Therefore, you will:

  • be held accountable for your actions
  • have to step forward for help
  • not receive any guarantees, and
  • be rewarded for hard work

How do I get off freshman probation?
As soon as you complete at least 12 credits (100-level or higher) and attain at least a 2.00 GPA (C average), you will be placed in good standing.

Under what circumstances would I stay on FP after my first semester?
If you fail to pass at least 12 credits (100-level or higher) or you earn a GPA of less than 2.00 (but at least 1.70) you will remain on FP for at least one more semester. We will not, however, place you in an FP block of courses after the first semester.

What happens if I do not earn the necessary grades to stay in school?
If you fail to earn at least a 1.70 GPA in your first semester or fail to maintain a 1.70 overall GPA after your first semester, you will be academically suspended for one calendar year. This suspension may be appealed, but unless there are extreme/unusual circumstances, you will not be able to attend NMU (or any other Michigan four-year school) for an entire year.

When do I sign the Freshman Probation Agreement?
During your initial class meeting in UN100C, your instructor/adviser will have you sign the agreement form.

What is a “block” of courses?
We place up to 25 students in the same “block” of courses – typically a UN 100C course (2 credits) and three liberal studies courses (4 credits each) – for a total of 14 credits.  We may, however, substitute a two-credit support course (EN101 or EN102) for one of the four-credit courses if your ACT score or high school GPA indicate some area(s) of weakness.  In this case the total “load” for the semester will be 12 credits. By participating in a block, it is easy for students to get to know classmates, share notes and form study groups.

students using microscopesMay I substitute courses within my block?
Typically, no. We may, however, be able to switch your entire block of courses. It depends on availability.

What about switching to a completely different block?
Maybe. If other blocks are available, we may be able to switch your entire block.

May I add a course to my block?
Maybe. If you’d like to add an HP or another one- or two-credit course, we may be able to accommodate your wishes. We will definitely not add another four-credit course to your schedule.

When may I take classes in my major?
We are quite confident that you will attain academic good standing after the fall semester.  We, therefore, will work with you to register for courses in your major for the winter semester.

Who may I speak with if I do have additional questions?
The coordinator of the freshman probation program is Jim Gadzinski, director of the Academic and Career Advisement Center, 3302 CB Hedgcock Building. He can be reached at 906-227-2971 and