What is Fresh Start?
The Fresh Start policy allows students to restart their CSU GPA while retaining credit for courses in which they earned a C- or better. Generally, it best serves students in a probationary or dismissed status who require more than 30 credits of course work to complete their degree.
Although Fresh Start allows for a change in academic standing once an applicant is approved to return, eligibility for a Fresh Start does not guarantee eligibility to return.
Who is eligible for Fresh Start?
Only students who are completing their first undergraduate degree are eligible for Fresh Start.
There are two types of Fresh Start.
1. Academic Fresh Start
The University’s general Academic Fresh Start is designed for students whose last term of enrollment as an admitted, degree-seeking student was at least two years prior (i.e., four fall/spring semesters). The two year interval starts AFTER your last term of enrollment (you’re considered enrolled in the semester if you utilize a University Withdrawal during your last term).
If you’re a dismissed student, you can enroll at CSU as a non-degree student during your two year (four term) break and retain eligibility for Fresh Start. (Students in a probationary status cannot enroll as non-degree students.)
In addition to demonstrating the necessary absence from CSU degree-seeking enrollment, candidates granted an Academic Fresh Start also demonstrate at least one of the following:
- Success in a job or volunteer experience, evidenced by strong letters of recommendation from an employer/supervisor (recommendations must not be from a family member or relative).
- At least 15 credits of academic course work with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA from another institution or through CSU non-degree enrollment (GUEST, Summer Only, CSU Online).
2. Freshman Accelerated Fresh Start
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 and do not enroll for a second semester. It allows students to return after just 1-3 semesters away from CSU (less than the two year Academic Fresh Start minimum).
To be eligible, students are required to submit supplemental documentation addressing 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.
A student can only receive one Fresh Start.
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 to determine whether Fresh Start is an option and its implications regarding your requirements for graduation. If you qualify for a Fresh Start, you must successfully complete at least 30 upper-division credits of course work in residence at CSU after the Fresh Start is granted in order to graduate. In some cases, students are closer to graduation without a Fresh Start.
- Visit with 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.
Within the application to return, you’ll be prompted to indicate whether you’re requesting Fresh Start. If yes, you’ll be required to write a statement of motivation on why you would like to return to CSU and why you think you are now ready to succeed. You’ll be asked to analyze your past behavior and provide evidence of change and success since you left CSU.
In your statement, include an action plan for academic success that you have researched and considered carefully. Describe specifically how you will utilize campus advising and resources. 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.
Your application and statement may be reviewed by a committee composed of representatives from Admissions, the Collaborative for Student Achievement, and the Committee on Scholastic Standards.
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.