There is much to anticipate in the month of December: holiday traditions, winter break, students traveling home to be with family. Something else students might be anxiously anticipating: the posting of semester grades. For students who earned failing grades this semester, it’s hard to think about moving forward. However, students are eligible to take advantage of the University’s Grade Replacement Opportunity which can help students get back on track.
The University of Arizona’s Grade Replacement Opportunity (GRO) policy offers students the ability to replace grades of C, D, and E by repeating the course, and only the grade from the repeat attempt will be used to calculate the grade point average. For example, if a student earns an E (failing) grade in the fall semester and they retake the same class in the spring semester and earn a grade of B, only the B grade will be calculated into their GPA.
It is important to note that retaking a class does not automatically enact the GRO policy. Students must apply for the GRO through their Student Center. A step-by-step guide can be found here: https://registrar.arizona.edu/academics/grade-replacement-opportunity-gro
There are certain restrictions as to who can access the GRO. For example, students must not have completed more than 60 UA units. Also, students are only allowed to use the GRO on no more than 10 units or three classes. The full GRO policy can be found at the link above.
“In a nutshell, the GRO policy is meant to help students who have not done well in certain courses during their transition to the UA,” said Michelle Ort, an academic advisor in the mathematics department.
Ort says that students should be careful about which courses they GRO because each student is allowed a limited number of opportunities to retake a class under the GRO policy. In particular, students should not use the GRO policy for a course unless they really expect to do better the second time.
“GRO can be particularly helpful for courses that are required in the student's major, that they need to repeat anyway,” Ott said.
Dava Jondall, an academic advisor in agricultural and biosystems engineering, says that in addition to talking about the GRO policy, it is helpful to talk about reasons why the student may not have achieved a desirable course grade in the first attempt.
“Students should develop a plan for obtaining a higher grade in their GRO attempt,” Jondall said. “The student’s plan may include attending tutoring, study sessions, office hours, advising meetings, or providing their parents with regular progress reports.”
Academic advisors should be the first academic resource a student contacts when it comes to discussing the GRO policy and issues regarding a failed grade. Advisors can help students create an action plan moving forward and even help students with feelings of guilt and grief over a poor semester performance. Visit www.advising.arizona.edu to get connected to an academic advisor today.