Students fail courses and are dismissed from school every year. Some students may re-apply and be re-admitted to school after failing out if they meet certain requirements. Life-changing events like serious illness, accidents, family problems and other personal issues cause students to fail courses. Students may meet with admissions counselors, attend public colleges with open enrollment or apply for academic renewal to get back into school after failing out.

Meet with an admissions counselor at the school and appeal your dismissal from the college. Depending on your circumstances, the school may consider your application for re-admission. Personal reasons such as poor health, hospitalization, death in your family or another life-changing event will be taken into account when the admissions office is deciding whether to re-admit you to the school.

Enroll in a college with open enrollment for a semester. Most state schools and other public education colleges have open enrollment that allows anyone with minimum requirements to enroll in college. Minimum requirements for open enrollment schools are a high school diploma or a GED and payment of fees. Your successful completion of a semester at an open enrollment school may tip the scales in your favor when you attempt to be re-admitted to the school where you failed. Failure at an open enrollment school does not generally prohibit a student from enrolling in courses at the same school the next semester. You may decide to continue your education at the public school with open enrollment.

Apply for academic renewal. A student who successfully applies for academic renewal will have failing grades removed from their grade point average. The student's transcript will be noted that the student received an academic renewal. Academic renewal may be available to former students whose grade point average was below 2.0 and a designated number of years has passed since the student was last enrolled in college. Some schools require that the student be out of school for as long as four or five years to be eligible for academic renewal.

Related Articles


  • Consider auditing courses that you failed. Auditing allows a student to attend lectures and take part in the course work without receiving a grade for the class. A student must have the permission of the instructor and the school to audit a class.
  • If you are still enrolled in school and are failing classes, withdraw from those classes if you can. Some schools restrict a student's ability to withdraw from a course after a certain date without the instructor's permission. See your adviser for details about withdrawing from classes. A grade of “W” does not impact the cumulative grade point average.


  • Failing grades may affect your eligibility for federal financial aid. Consult with your financial aid counselor if you are failing courses.

About the Author

Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.