Is academic dismissal the same as expulsion?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2023 | General Education Law

Academic dismissal and expulsion are two of the most serious consequences a student can face while in college or university. Both have the potential to affect a student’s academic career, future job opportunities and more.

While some might consider academic dismissal and expulsion the same, various factors distinguish the two.

What is academic dismissal?

Academic dismissal occurs when a student fails to meet the minimum GPA requirements or other academic standards set by their school or program. This is a common consequence for students who have difficulty with their studies. Dismissal may result from missing too many classes or failing too many assignments.

In various instances, a student can appeal academic dismissal. The student usually has to demonstrate that difficulties arose from extenuating circumstances. The appellant would also present a comprehensive strategy for academic improvement. Some students may be able to prove that a computational error was the reason for a low GPA and that there are no grounds for dismissal.

What is expulsion?

Expulsion is a much more severe consequence than academic dismissal. This punishment involves permanently removing a student from the institution due to significant violations of school policy. Such infractions might include physical violence against another student, abusive behavior or another serious infringement.

In cases where a school expels the student, there may not be a chance for appeal, and the individual has no path to return to the institution. A student must make a strong case during an expulsion hearing to avoid permanent dismissal.

When parents and students understand the difference between academic dismissal and expulsion, they can take proper action to avoid facing either of these consequences. Whether struggling academically or facing serious charges, families can take steps to preserve a student’s academic career.