The Freshman Rule

Policy Memorandum No. 69 (Clarified)

Recommended by the Commission on Undergraduate Studies: December 13, 1985
Approved by University Council: May 5, 1986
Approved by the President: May 5, 1986
Effective: First Summer Term 1986

BECAUSE OF REPORTED AMBIGUITIES IN POLICY MEMORANDUM NO. 69, WHICH WAS ISSUED MAY 16, 1986, THIS POLICY MEMORANDUM IS ISSUED TO REPLACE AND SUPERCEDE THE ORIGINAL POLICY MEMORANDUM NO. 69. THE CLARIFICATIONS ARE BOLD AND UNDERLINED. THE CLARIFICATION WAS APPROVED BY UNIVERSITY COUNCIL ON OCTOBER 27, 1986.

In the continuing efforts to provide an environment of more responsive academic advisement for students, the Commission on Undergraduate Studies recommended, and the University Council approved, a Freshman "Course Forgiveness" policy. The policy permits a student to select a maximum of six credit hours from among those he took as a freshman to be deleted from the cumulative grade point calculation. These must be courses in which the student received a D+ or lower grade, and the decision must be made NO LATER THAN the term in which 90 quarter or 60 semester hours have been attempted.

The purpose of the policy is to help freshmen in their adjustment to the University and not to penalize them for unwise choices on course selection. It is intended particularly to assist a student who is misplaced in courses because of a failure in the advising system or a student who makes a career choice after an unhappy academic experience in his earlier career choice at the University. Following is CUS Resolution 85-86C, Freshman Rule, setting forth the new policy:

WHEREAS, Virginia Tech is among the most selective land-grant institutions in the United States and it is the established policy of the University to retain that standing, and

WHEREAS, it is a fundamental goal of all highly selective institutions to retain quality students, and

WHEREAS, existing University policies concerning retention are significantly more stringent than policies at other highly selective public institutions, and,

WHEREAS, beginning students are sometimes placed into courses for which they are not sufficiently well prepared, and

WHEREAS, students sometimes change academic majors after having registered low grades in courses not required of their new major:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the present course repeat policy be supplemented by the following provision designed for freshmen:

This proposal is intended to assist students who, during their freshmen year, are enrolled in courses for which they are ill-prepared or are initially enrolled in majors that they subsequently change. Key points in administration of the policy are:

  1. A maximum of six hours (quarter and semester) may be omitted from the freshman student's QCA calculation. To be eligible for omission, a grade of F, D-, D, or D+ must have been recorded in the course and the course must have been attempted NO LATER THAN THE TERM IN WHICH the freshman student has ATTEMPTED 42 quarter (or 28 semester) hours. Grades "by committee action" are not available for consideration under the Freshman Rule.

  2. A decision to omit course(s) from the QCA must be made no later than the quarter (semester) in which 90 quarter (60 semester) hours have been attempted. The decision, once made, is irrevocable and unappealable. Course(s) omitted under this policy do not count toward graduation.

  3. For the purpose of applying this policy, the hours attempted will include all hours attempted at Virginia Tech, advanced placement credit, credit by examination, transfer credits and "omitted" credits.

  4. QCA calculations for all academic eligibility considerations will reflect the amended QCA calculation. However, all courses attempted and all grades received will appear on the student's academic transcript and on the corrected grade report.

  5. To delete a course from the QCA calculation, a "Freshman Rule Form" must be submitted via the student's advisor and college dean no later than the quarter (semester) in which the 90th quarter (60th semester) hour has been attempted.

  6. The Freshman Rule will become available for all students ENROLLED FOR THE FIRST TIME as freshmen in the first summer term 1986 and thereafter. A freshman is defined as any entering student who has not attempted 42 hours (28 semester) credits as defined in Item #3 of the policy.


President's Policy Memorandum

URL: http://purl.vt.edu/vtdocs/policies/ppm69