How to Expunge a Poor Academic Record

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Bad grades sometimes happen to even the very best of students. Whether you scored badly on one or more exams, turned an important project or paper in after its due date or simply weren't able to devote your complete attention to your coursework for a semester, the resulting blemish on your academic record can annoy and even upset you. Although policies will vary depending on your university or individual instructor, you can use several strategies to expunge -- or permanently remove -- a negative academic record.

Meet with your teacher or professor directly if the poor record stems from a single course. Ask the professor whether you can complete a supplementary assignment or project in order to gain extra points to raise your grade. If the grade was extremely poor, you might ask him to refile your grade as "incomplete" or "withdrawal."

Set up an appointment with your university's registrar to seek to have a larger part of your academic record expunged, or if a professor refuses to or is unable to expunge it. Explain your personal situation to the registrar and ask her to expunge the record in light of your otherwise excellent academic performance.

Petition your campus's judiciary board if your negative academic record pertains to an accusation of academic dishonesty with which you do not degree. Although the specific procedure will vary according to your university's policies, judiciary board staff members will be able to guide you through the appeals process.

See your college's academic dean if none of your other efforts are successful. Even if no official means of expunging a negative academic record exists at your institution, the dean may be able to leverage the professional powers associated with her position and personally expunge the record, should you be able to convince her that it doesn't belong in your file.

Robert Schrader is a writer, photographer, world traveler and creator of the award-winning blog Leave Your Daily Hell. When he's not out globetrotting, you can find him in beautiful Austin, TX, where he lives with his partner.