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Academic Fresh Start

Academic Fresh Start

What is Academic Fresh Start?

Your old grades don't have to count against you. If you're a Texas resident and apply for admission (or readmission) to Texas public colleges or universities as an undergraduate, you may be able to begin a new course of study with a clear academic record
If you have credits for college courses taken ten or more years prior to the planned enrollment date, those credits (and grades) can be ignored for enrollment purposes under the "Academic Fresh Start" law.

Please remember: this is an all or nothing option.
You cannot pick and choose which courses to ignore and which courses to count. If you choose the "Academic Fresh Start" option, you will not receive any credit for any courses you took over ten years ago.

This means that courses taken previously: 

  • Cannot be used to fulfill new prerequisite requirements;
  • Cannot be counted toward your new degree; and
  • Will not be counted in your new G.P.A. calculations.

Who determines your eligibility for Academic Fresh Start?

The Director of Admissions at the college or university where you are planning to enroll is the final authority on applying or interpreting your right to an Academic Fresh Start.

How does this affect your admission as an undergraduate?

Even if you choose the Academic Fresh Start option, you must still complete the usual admissions process. This includes providing information on all colleges or universities you previously attended, along with copies of transcripts from all schools you attended. However, if you invoke Academic Fresh Start, institutions are prohibited from considering your grades from over ten years ago as part of their admission decisions.

How does this affect your financial aid?

Academic Fresh Start clears only your academic record, not the number of semesters you have been in higher education. The maximum number of semesters for receiving federal Pell Grants is 12, which must include all of the time you have spent taking dual credit courses and community college courses, including those from over ten years ago. Contact the Director of Financial Aid at the school where you are enrolling for details.

What happens if you enroll under the Academic Fresh Start option, earn an undergraduate degree, and then apply to a postgraduate or professional program at a public university?

In order to use Academic Fresh Start for graduate admissions, you must have first used it for undergraduate admissions. Admissions committees for master's, doctoral or other professional graduate degree programs at public universities can request your full transcripts, but they can only consider your grades from course work you completed after enrolling in Academic Fresh Start as an undergraduate. Courses from over ten years ago cannot be used as transfer credits or prerequisites.

Institutions are the final authority on interpreting the Academic Fresh Start statute, so policies may vary.


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