How Do I Address a School Suspension Due to Military Duty?


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ADG 143: How Do I Address a School Suspension Due to Military Duty?

Session 143

After being called to Active Duty, this premed found herself facing 3 weeks of coursework and 5 finals within 24 hours. How should she address her suspension?

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[00:21] Question of the Day

“In my freshman year of college, I was called to active duty. And when I returned, I was put on suspension. There were more factors than just this. But ultimately, this was the tipping point that put me on suspension and maybe the reason I’m held back from going to medical school. So I’m hoping to get some insight on whether I should continue to fight it or just proceed with caution? I was on probation.”

[00:54] Our Student’s Situation

“I fell below a percentage because I withdrew from half of my courses the prior semester. That probationary term said you have to have above a 2.0. That semester, I had that. But when I went to active duty, I got all incomplete when I came home. One professor gave me an F. When they did my eval, it showed 0.0 GPA, which put me on academic suspension for being below 2.0. I tried to appeal it with the university, and literally every way I could think of, but I lost all of them.“

I would be going on orders before this semester even started, and I emailed all of the instructors prior to registering for the courses to ask if I can take my finals early and they all agreed. And then I was in a car accident in February and this was spring semester. I got told by a doctor that I was non deployable because of my injuries from a car accident. I missed a week of school. I didn’t hear back for probably three weeks or so.”

And this is where I will admit I made the mistake. I wrongfully assumed that my unit knew I couldn’t go when really they just never got the message or something happened. 

I told my instructors I don’t really need to take my finals anymore and I’ll take them with the rest of the students. A day later, after sending that email to the instructors, I found out if I wasn’t there, I would be AWOL. Unfortunately, I found out on a Thursday, and that following Sunday was when I was supposed to depart. 

So it gave me a day to take five finals and finish three weeks of coursework for five classes so I had to take incompletes.

And then the one instructor didn’t feel like I deserved to complete the course when I returned because of all the stuff that happened with a car accident. I feel like I was wrongfully brought about that situation because he penalised me for coursework I missed from the accident while I was in the hospital. And just from his perspective, I can see how a student being wishy-washy like that is frustrating.”

[04:10] Take More Classes and Crush ‘Em!

Our student explains that she met with the Dean of Academic Affairs. She submitted every type of appeal available but she ended up losing all of them. She says she felt like she was in a school that wasn’t veteran-friendly.

And so, this student has an institutional action, being suspended from school due to academic reasons.

She adds she was going to proceed with that but because more than 25% of her degree is made up by military transcripts, she doesn’t have a grade. So they don’t account for her GPA. Therefore, the three F’s she got that semester weighed heavier than a traditional student would. And that’s because she didn’t have as many grades on her transcript.

Now, there’s an easy remedy for this, which is to take more classes. She says she’s doing it, and based on her math, she would have an additional six. And she’s expecting a 3.3 GPA.

She plans on applying next cycle. And between now and next cycle, she’s taking 15 more classes. And the way her course is scheduled, she can get 24 credits done.

Ultimately, I don’t think this student has a problem. It is what it is. She has that institutional action. She’s going to have to write about that and she just has to own it. Now, her classes will have to speak volumes for her, provided she gets as close as 4.0 as possible.

Now, the GPA number may not look super sexy with a 3.3. But what’s important is being able to show that upward trend. Get the grades that you’re getting now and all the classes you’ve taken to show you’re competent. On top of that, she has to do all the rest of the application – clinical experiences, and do well on the MCAT.

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