Academic Bankruptcy Policy

The College's academic bankruptcy policy is intended to allow students who are pursuing a new academic program and who are currently maintaining good academic standing to repair their cumulative grade point average (GPA) by "bankrupting" certain course work taken while pursuing their former academic program. The record of course work taken and grades earned still appear on the student's official transcript; however, both credits and quality point values are removed from the record of credits earned and the cumulative quality point average, respectively. A notation on the official transcript will indicate which courses have been bankrupted. Academic bankruptcy is available only to undergraduate students (including students in combined BS/MS programs). The following criteria apply to the academic bankruptcy program:

  1. The student must have changed his/her major and maintained a minimum semester GPA of 2.50 for at least one full-time (minimum 12 credit hours) semester following the change of major. (Consideration may also be given to a semester GPA based on part-time attendance if the student's ordinary pattern of attendance has been part-time.)

  2. Application may be made no earlier than upon completion of the first full semester in the student’s new major and no later than the semester before the semester of anticipated graduation.

  3. Only courses required in the student’s former major may be bankrupted. Learning communities and other courses taken strictly for Core credit may not be bankrupted.

  4. No more than 18 credit hours may be considered for bankruptcy. Bankrupted course work must have been taken in no more than two semesters (including summer sessions) and the semesters must be consecutive.

  5. A bankrupted course may not be repeated. Therefore, if a specific course is still required in the student's new major, it may not be bankrupted.

  6. Regardless of the number of semesters or number of credit hours included in a student's petition for academic bankruptcy, a student may declare bankruptcy only once.

  7. A successful petition for academic bankruptcy has no retroactive effect on any academic determinations made prior to bankruptcy, including but not limited to: academic probation, suspension, or dismissal; determinations of ineligibility to pursue application to upper division/professional phase of College programs; Dean's List eligibility; financial aid eligibility; or tuition liability. A student with bankrupted course work is eligible for graduation and other honors which are based on cumulative GPA.

Procedure: The student must submit a written petition to the Committee on Academic Standards, clearly identifying the specific course work for which bankruptcy is desired. A letter of recommendation from the student's current faculty advisor should also be submitted. The Committee on Academic Standards will review the petition for compliance with program criteria and may, at its discretion, consider the entirety of the student's academic record in rendering its decision. Note well: Students receiving financial aid should meet with a financial aid counselor prior to petitioning for bankruptcy to determine the effects of the petition on one's present and future eligibility for aid.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. May I bankrupt a course regardless of the grade earned?
    In general, yes. However, bankruptcy is not applicable to courses in which no quality points or credits were earned--e.g., developmental courses, pass/fail courses, courses from which the student withdrew (W grade). Consult with your advisor on whether to bankrupt course work in which a satisfactory (C grade or better) is earned. 
  2. May a successfully completed bankrupted course still serve as a prerequisite?
    Yes. Remember, however, that a specific course required in the new major or courses taken for Core credit may not be bankrupted.
  3. May I bankrupt a course taken to fulfill a Core requirement? '
    No. The academic bankruptcy policy is intended to permit a “fresh start” in a new academic program. Courses that would have been taken regardless of your major may not be bankrupted.
  4. I do not intend to change my major but my performance last semester was poor due to personal problems. May I bankrupt that semester?
    No. The intent of the academic bankruptcy program is to provide a "fresh start" for students pursuing a new academic program. When exceptional circumstances, such as illness or other personal problems, have interfered with a student's academic performance, the student may petition the Committee on Academic Standards for late withdrawals (W grades), extension of Incomplete (I) grades, or other such considerations. Consult your advisor on how best to handle your particular situation.
  5. I have reached the maximum number of course repeats allowed for application to upper division and am no longer eligible to continue in my major. May I change my major, bankrupt course work, then file for a change to my original major?
    No. A petition for academic bankruptcy has no retroactive effect on previous academic determinations or sanctions, nor can a student repeat bankrupted courses. Academic bankruptcy is intended to provide a "fresh start" and cannot be used to "evade" program performance criteria.
  6. I repeated a course and failed it on both attempts. May I bankrupt the same course twice?
    Bankrupting the course is not necessary: a course repeat always replaces the previous quality points earned in the first attempt: i.e., there is only one “F” value included in your cumulative GPA based on the two F grades earned.
  7. Because of my low GPA, I am no longer eligible to receive financial aid. If I declare academic bankruptcy, will I regain my eligibility for aid?
    No. Academic bankruptcy has no retroactive effect. Satisfactory academic progress must be attained in the current and/or subsequent semesters to re-establish eligibility for financial aid. However, an academic bankruptcy declaration may help a student regain aid eligibility sooner. See a financial aid counselor to review your specific situation.
  8. I know someone whose cumulative GPA went from 1.7 to 2.8 after she filed for academic bankruptcy. I am a better student than she is, but my GPA is lower! Doesn't academic bankruptcy result in an inaccurate record of academic performance?
    No. All course work taken and grades earned remain on the official transcript; the fact that a student declared academic bankruptcy is clearly noted. Anyone reviewing the student's transcript, including graduate school officials and prospective employers, will see the entirety of the student record and is free to disregard a declaration of academic bankruptcy in making admission, employment or similar decisions. Academic bankruptcy may be viewed as an "internal transfer": in the same way that unsatisfactory grades are not accepted by a college or university to which a student transfers, the academic bankruptcy program provides a way for a student changing majors to have a fresh start here at Daemen.
  9. Does a change in specialization or area study qualify as a change of major?
    Yes. Please bear in mind, however, that only courses particular to the previous specialization or area study may be bankrupted. Other courses in the major that are taken regardless of specialization or area study may not be bankrupted because they are still required by your degree program.

Committee on Academic Standards
04/08

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