Skidmore Lowers GPA Requirement for Off–Campus Study
Skidmore announced on Jan. 25th that the GPA requirement for off-campus study had been lowered from a 3.0 to a 2.75. This means that those that have a 2.75-2.99 will now be automatically eligible for off-campus study and will not have to petition for an exception to the policy with the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS).
Students with a 2.5 to 2.749 will still have to petition CAS if they want to participate in off-campus study. “Over the past several years, the Committee on Academic Standing has tended to support GPA petitions for students with a 2.5 or above,” said Cori Filson, Director of Off-Campus Study & Exchanges.
These changes have made off-campus study more accessible for approximately 9% of the Skidmore student body that has a GPA between 2.75 and 2.99. Filson states “that by removing the need to petition, by removing this barrier, this cohort of students will be encouraged to take advantage of the vital educational opportunity off-campus study represents.”
The original GPA requirement was created in 1991, but a shift in Skidmore’s goals regarding international education and intercultural learning spurred a change. “We have moved from viewing study abroad as a privilege to valuing off-campus study as an integral part of students’ education at Skidmore,” said Filson.
The 3.0 GPA requirement could be viewed as a barrier to off-campus study and is no longer in line with eligibility requirements at Skidmore’s peer and aspirant schools and the field of international education. According to Filson, “Strong programs that we have supported for years are now reconsidering the need for a 3.0 and are moving to 2.75 or 2.5 as their eligibility threshold. Therefore, a lower GPA no longer prohibits students from finding available programs.”
Data also shows that a student’s cumulative GPA prior to off-campus study is not an accurate indicator of their ability to succeed while abroad. “Students who have petitioned to study abroad due to lower GPAs are just as successful – in some cases more successful – than their peers who did not have to petition,” stated Filson.
Since Skidmore has a limited amount of data concerning students with GPAs between 2.75 and 2.99, this change in policy will be evaluated at the end of three years to determine whether students within this GPA range succeed in off-campus programs.
Photo courtesy of: Skidmore's Off-Campus Study & Exchanges Office