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Authorized individuals (e.g., Registrar, Associate Deans for Undergraduate Education, Academic Affairs Officers, or Senior Directors or any of their appropriate academic designees) may place a temporary hold on a student's registration under limited circumstances related to compliance with Senate Policies such as 39-80 (Completion of Enrollment) and AAPP D-4; 14-10 (Limitations to Enrollment as a Nondegree Student) and AAPP I-6; 54-00 (Academic Progress) and AAPP I-1; and 58-50 (Re-Enrollment as a Degree Candidate) and AAPP K-1.

Academic registration holds will be placed on students as soon as they enter academic warning or suspension (see Senate Policy 54-00 and AAPP I-1). In addition, when all other attempts to enforce college or DUS policies have failed, and when a reasonable attempt has been made to contact the student to resolve the continuing issue, authorized individuals within five broad areas can place an academic registration hold on students:

  1. Academic (Registrar, College, Enrollment Unit, or Campus Designate) to help students fully understand the implications of their academic decisions and help them resolve outstanding academic issues.
  2. Conduct (Office of Student Conduct) as a consequence of a disciplinary proceeding and failure on the student's part to follow through with required actions for resolving an incident.
  3. Financial (Bursar, Housing) as a result of outstanding financial obligations with the university.
  4. Global Programs (International Students and Scholar Advising) for an international student to ensure that proper immigration documents are completed and filed with the office as required by Department of Homeland Security regulations.
  5. Medical (University Health Services) due to health-related issues including insurance.

Best Practices and Procedures must be followed when developing academic registration hold procedures to ensure that these holds act as a tool to help students succeed at Penn State.  Thus, authorized individuals must take due care when approving registration holds.  In particular, academic and other authorized units must develop procedures that afford due process while allowing the unit to effectively interact with a student to discuss or resolve legitimate academic concerns.

As noted in Senate Policy 34-30, the following steps are to be implemented by these units:

  1. Academic and other authorized units must post to their websites clear information that articulates the policy and procedure for registration holds within that unit.
  2. Academic and other authorized units must formally contact a student in advance of a registration hold detailing that a hold will be issued if defined steps are not completed by the student within a set timeframe. These defined steps will include the office with which the student may contact with questions about the process.
  3. Academic advisers must be notified of holds placed on their advisees.
  4. Academic and other authorized units must articulate a process for students to appeal the placing of a registration hold on their account.  This process will include the office with which the student may contact with questions concerning the appeal.
  5. Academic and other authorized units must articulate clearly whom the student must contact regarding the lifting of a registration hold.
  6. For students not on academic warning or suspension, academic and other authorized units must refrain from issuing registration holds during active registration periods (i.e., the activation of holds should be to prompt students to resolve issues before or after the registration period in an effort to minimize unintended disruptions to timely academic progress).  Active registration periods are defined as a) the regular drop/regular add periods at the beginning of the semester and b) one week before through one week after the student’s first date of registration for the next semester.
  7. Academic and other authorized units must have periodic reviews of their process to confirm that consistency, due process, and effectiveness are being achieved by use of registration holds.
  8. In limited cases, academic or other authorized units may reserve the right to impose a registration hold without warning during active registration periods when circumstances warrant immediate action such as to protect the campus community or ensure the safety of a student.

Note that a student may be disenrolled from a college or major under Senate Policy 54-56 Drops by Colleges (AAPP I-5) "for failure to meet academic retention standards of the major or the college."

Senate Policy: 34-30, Academic Registration Hold

(Ref: Senate Policies 39-80, 14-10, 54-00, 58-50)

Undergraduate Advising

Approved: ACUI (10-20-77) 
Revised: Editorial (10-6-10) 
Revised: ACUE (4-5-12)
Revised: ACUE (6-4-15); Effective Fall 2016

Previous Version of AAPP N-2