Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start

Policy for first-year students who earn below a 1.0 cumulative GPA in their first semester at CSU

What is Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start?


Undergraduate (non-transfer) students who earn a GPA of less than 1.000 in their first semester at CSU will not have 3 semesters in which to earn a cumulative 2.000 GPA, and must make a choice:

  • Take 1 – 3 semesters off, reapply and return with a Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start (see below)
  • Continue attending the following semester and earn at least a term 2.000 GPA on 12 or more credits, and receive a third semester on probation; or earn less than a 2.000 term GPA and be academically dismissed.

The Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start opportunity is available for first-time first-year students who finish their first semester at CSU with a GPA below 1.000.

Students who meet these criteria will have the following option:

  • Leave the University for 1 – 3 semesters (the summer session is not included in this count)
  • Reapply/return to CSU and begin earning a new cumulative GPA (first semester grades remain on the student’s transcript but will not be calculated in their cumulative GPA)
  • To return, a student must complete a returning student application accompanied by supplemental documentation that addresses a combination of factors, including evidence of maturity and/or academic success at another institution as well as their strengthened preparation for academic success at CSU. (Details online at Office of Admissions).

Students are eligible for only one Fresh Start opportunity (regardless of whether it is a Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start or a standard Fresh Start)

Resources for Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start Students

Frequently Asked Questions

How is Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start different from Probation 1?

  1. Probation 1 is first semester of probation for all other cases (other than first semester <1.0 cumulative GPA for first-year students) where an undergrad student has a cumulative GPA below 2.0.  Students can take one fall/spring semester of courses with a Probation 1 academic standing, and if the GPA is not above 2.0 at the end of that semester, they move along to Probation 2 and have an additional fall/spring semester.  If their cumulative GPA is still below 2.0 at the end of the semester while their academic standing is Probation 2, they are dismissed.
  2. A student can only be eligible for Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start once – their first term.
  3. Students dismissed because of a low GPA at the end of their Freshman Accelerated Start academic standing semester are not eligible for dismissal appeals.

If I choose not to enroll at CSU after my first semester, what are my options to return?

Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start students who decide to take time away from CSU are eligible to return after 1-3 semesters of leave time. Returning students must complete an application with the Office of Admission and an action plan with the Collegiate Success Course as part of the return process.

If I continue at CSU after my first semester, what are my options?

  1. If you earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in your second semester: If you raise your cumulative GPA to a minimum 2.0, you are eligible to return to good academic standing and continue at CSU.
  2. If you earn a TERM GPA of 2.0 or higher, but your cumulative GPA is still lower than 2.0:
    1. If you completed 9 or more credits in your second semester, your academic standing is changed to 2nd Term Academic Probation.  Note: Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start policy asks students to complete 12 credits with 2.0 term GPA or better.
    2. If you complete less then 9 credits: You are academically dismissed from CSU and will need to explore options to return for dismissed students. There is not an option to appeal your academic dismissal with the Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start Policy.
  3. If you earn a TERM GPA BELOW 2.0: If you earn a term GPA below 2.0 in your second semester, you are academically dismissed from CSU and will need to explore options to return for dismissed students. There is not an option to appeal your academic dismissal with the Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start Policy.

What is the difference between Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start and the regular Academic Fresh Start option?

The Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start policy only applies to first-time, first-year students who earn a GPA below 1.0 in their first term at CSU. The Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start policy provides an opportunity for students to take a 1-3 semester leave of absence from CSU and have their GPA “reset” upon their return.

The Academic Fresh Start option is available to all former CSU undergraduate students. An academic Fresh Start may be granted after at least two years have elapsed since the student’s last term of enrollment as an admitted, degree-seeking student, regardless of the number of credits taken. Courses taken through the Division of Continuing Education, as a guest student, or the CSU Summer Session after being dismissed or ceasing enrollment as an admitted degree-seeking student will not count against the two-year interval required for a Fresh Start.

A student may be granted a Fresh Start (either Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start OR Academic Fresh Start) only once.

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