What is Fresh Start?
The Fresh Start policy allows students to restart their CSU GPA and return in good academic standing while retaining credit for courses with grades of C- or better.
Generally, Fresh Start best serves students in a probationary or dismissed status who need 30 or more credits to complete their degree.
Who is eligible for Fresh Start?
There are two types of Fresh Start with different eligibility requirements.
1. Academic Fresh Start
To be eligible for an Academic Fresh Start:
- You must be pursuing your first undergraduate degree and
- You must have a break of at least two years (four fall/spring semesters) since your last term of enrollment as an admitted, degree-seeking student
You’re considered enrolled in the semester if you utilize a University Withdrawal, so time away from CSU starts after a university withdrawal term.
Dismissed students can enroll in non-degree options (GUEST, CSU Online or Summer Only) during the two-year break and retain eligibility for Fresh Start.
2. Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start
To be eligible for the Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start option:
- You must be completing your first undergraduate degree and
- You must have started your CSU enrollment as a first-time freshman and
- You must have finished your first semester at CSU with a term GPA below 1.000 and
- You must have a break of 1-3 fall/spring semesters away from CSU starting your second semester (immediately following your initial <1.000 term)
How do I apply for Fresh Start?
Before you apply to return to the University, you’re encouraged to have two important conversations:
- Visit with your academic advisor or academic success coordinator about your eligibility for Fresh Start and its implications for graduation. Students awarded Fresh Start must successfully complete at least 30 upper-division credits in residence at CSU after Fresh Start is granted in order to graduate. In some cases, students are closer to graduation without Fresh Start.
- Contact your admissions counselor to discuss the return process and your potential eligibility to return. Eligibility for Fresh Start does not guarantee the opportunity to return.
Once you’ve had these conversations, you can request a Fresh Start within the Returning Student application. On the Personal Statement tab, simply check the box to be considered for a Fresh Start and then include a personal statement that addresses the following topics:
- Why you wish to return to CSU.
- Factors that support your successful return – what you’ve learned about yourself, evidence of change/success since you last attended CSU.
- Your plan for academic success – tools and resources you intend to use when you return.
Students pursuing a Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start must also submit an action plan to an Academic Success Coordinator in the Student Achievement Outreach and Support Programs office before a decision can be rendered by Admissions. Instructions and the FAFS Action Plan form will be sent to you after you submit your application. The earlier you apply the more time you’ll have to complete this step in the process.
Finally, while it’s helpful to know whether you have completed additional academic work elsewhere since leaving CSU, additional course work is not required to be considered for either Fresh Start option.
You can only utilize one Fresh Start during your undergraduate degree.
More details are available.
For more information about Fresh Start, your permanent academic record, and your progress to graduation, be sure to consult your academic advisor/academic success coordinator and the University’s Scholastic Standard policy.
Please note that other institutions are not obligated to recognize our Academic Fresh Start policy and may not honor the new GPA.