2019-2020 College Catalog

Online Catalog

Academic Amnesty

Academic amnesty is designed to provide former credit students an opportunity to re-enter Howard Community College without the burden of previous poor academic performance (i.e., grades of D and/or F). The purpose of the policy is to make a fresh start possible. If a request for academic amnesty is approved, a student may have specific previously completed courses eliminated from the computation of his or her grade point average; these courses cannot be applied toward graduation.

The criteria for academic amnesty are as follows:

  • After a minimum period of five years without being enrolled in credit courses (ten consecutive major terms) at Howard Community College and after the successful completion of six or more credits in the first semester back with a term GPA of 2.0 or higher, a returning student would be eligible to request amnesty for courses prior to their re-entry, including those courses that may be applicable to the student’s current course of study.
  • A student requesting academic amnesty has the choice of applying the amnesty to all D and F grades or applying academic amnesty to the F grades only. All grades of A, B, or C will remain unaffected.
  • All courses and grades for which students have amnesty applied will continue to be a part of the student’s academic record and will appear on the student’s transcript. However, they will not be used in the calculation of the cumulative adjusted GPA. A notation will be made on the student’s transcript stating academic amnesty has been applied.
  • Attempted credits would be the sum of all attempted credits, including the original enrollment.
  • All “forgiven” completed credits will be calculated as 0. The sum of completed credits will start with the term in which the student successfully (term GPA of 2.0 or higher) completes at least 6 credits.
  • Academic amnesty does not override program-specific limits on re-admission.
  • A student may only utilize academic amnesty once.
  • Once academic amnesty has been applied to a student’s record it is not reversible.

To initiate a request for academic amnesty, a student, with the assistance of an academic advisor, reviews all previous coursework to determine which option best meets the student’s academic goals. The student submits a Request for Academic Amnesty form to the office of Admissions and Advising, and upon approval, the student’s amended record reflects the new calculation of the GPA and total hours earned. The initial grades will remain on the student’s transcript.

Financial Aid Considerations with Academic Amnesty

Federal financial aid regulations do not recognize academic amnesty (forgiveness), and instead require cumulative measures of satisfactory academic progress, including all attempted coursework.

  • Students who receive academic amnesty may automatically be placed on financial aid restriction. Students must submit a written appeal to Financial Aid Services, and academic amnesty will be considered as a factor in the appeal process.
  • Students who receive academic amnesty must still comply with all satisfactory academic progress requirements. For financial aid purposes, all students must comply with all satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements. All courses taken and grades received at HCC are used in this calculation regardless of a grant of academic amnesty.
  • The 150% maximum timeframe applies based on all attempted coursework, including any forgiven classes.
  • More information about financial aid is available in the Financial Aid section.

For further information, contact Financial Aid Services (RCF-222,, 443-518-1260).