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IMPORTANT Message on Exceptions

Dear Scholar Advisors,

Let us first thank you for all that you do – including assisting all of our Scholars who have requested an exception to our eligibility criteria because their GPA is under 3.0 or they need to go part-time or have a break in enrollment.

All requests have been approved – with the caveats set forth below.

NOTE:  The Scholars who fall in one of the 4 categories below do not need to submit an additional exception request or any proof of their academic plan to us or ISTS at this point.  We are instructing them to meet with you to ensure that you are comfortable with and support their academic plan for completion.  If you are not, please let us know.

  1. GPA below 2.0:  Any Scholar with a GPA below 2.0 will be advised that they are on Probationary Status and will not be allowed to renew the Scholarship or request an exception if their GPA remains below a 2.0 at the end of the 2016-2017 Academic year.
  2. Requests lacking academic plan and/or Scholar Advisor Approval: Several Scholars submitted forms that did not include an academic plan and/or the Scholar Advisor’s approval. We willconditionally approve these incomplete requests and advise the Scholars that they mustimmediately meet with you to develop a mutually agreed upon plan for completion of their degree.
  3. Incomplete Forms with no reason for request: A small number of Scholars started the form but did not complete it nor give any reason for requesting an exception.  This may have been a mistake on their part.  They will get an email recognizing this and instructing them that if they did intend to submit an exception request, they must immediately meet with you to develop a mutually agreeable plan.
  4. Failure to submit a request: 39 Scholars have GPAs below a 3.0 but did not submit an exception request. We will instruct them to immediately meet with you to develop a plan for accessing needed support services to help them raise their GPA. Anyone with a GPA under 2.0 will also be advised that they are on Probationary Status.

When we designed this exception process our program was relatively small and we believed that we would have a limited number of exception requests. This year we had 218 requests and an additional 39 Scholars with GPA’s under 3.0 who failed to submit a request.

Clearly, our current processes will not scale (at least with the limited staff and technology available to us). We will redesign the exception process and host a focus group of Scholar Advisors to give input into the new process.

For now, the major change we want to signal is that going forward Scholars with a GPA below 2.0 will not be allowed to renew the Scholarship except in the situations of truly difficult and extenuating circumstances.

Let us know if you have any questions.