Managing Your Health

At Accessibility Services, we believe in healthful living: a nutritious diet, plenty of exercise, quality sleep, and strong social supports. You've probably heard about the many benefits good health can bring to your body, but what about the benefits to your mind? Studies have found that students at their healthiest tend to perform better academically. (How's that for an idea to boost your GPA!)

Unfortunately, some students have difficulty managing their health. This is especially true when chronic or severe medical conditions are present or when persistent stress is involved. If your health could use some attention, schedule an appointment with Student Health & Counseling Services.

Student Health & Counseling Services offers free and low cost healthcare to students, including health education, HIV testing, immunizations, lab work, massage therapy, nutrition and fitness assessments, orthopedics, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, psychiatry and counseling referrals, radiology, sexual health and family planning, a sleep clinic, and a smoking cessation program.

Taking Time for Your Health

Let's say you've increased your fruit and veggie intake. You play basketball three times a week and meet regularly with a counselor. You're going to bed earlier and taking your prescriptions every morning. In fact, you're doing everything right to take care of your health - and you still have problems managing your symptoms.

Even with the best healthcare and self care, a medical problem can still plague us. It's not comfortable, easy, or fair. But it must be dealt with. If health problems have begun affecting you academically (dropped classes, withdrawals, poor grades) consider reducing your academic load while you focus on getting your health back on track.

Some students do this by reducing their course load from full to part time. Others take a quarter or two away from school so they can return later in better health and with better success. Students are permitted to take up to two consecutive quarters off without penalty. Once you're out for three quarters however, your status will be listed as "discontinued" and you'll have to reapply for admission to return.

What if your health problems are so severe or the treatment so lengthy that two quarters off won't be enough? In this case, you may request a Planned Educational Leave for up to two years off. To request this additional time, file a Planned Educational Leave Application.

Health, Academic Progress, and Financial Aid

All students, regardless of health status, are expected to attend, participate in, and successfully complete the requirements of their courses. Taking and completing courses is called academic progress. To maintain satisfactory progress, earn grades of A, B, C, D, CR, or RP. Grades indicating unsatisfactory progress include F, I, IC, RD, W, and WU. (The number of withdrawals and incompletes tends to be higher among students with severe medical conditions, so pay close attention to your progress.)

To check whether you're maintaining good academic progress, keep track of your grades each quarter. Count up the units you've passed (A, B, C, D, CR, RP) and divide this by the total number of units you've taken. Your goal is to maintain a completion rate of 75 to 100%.

What happens if you don't meet the 75% completion rate? Other than the frustration of not completing your courses, academic progress completion rates are used to keep you eligible for financial aid, including loans, grants, and work study money. A completion rate of 67 to 74% results in financial aid probation, while rates of 0 to 66% result in financial aid disqualification. As you can see, it's better to take just one or two classes per quarter and successfully finish them than to push yourself to take a full load if you can't maintain it.

For more details, read the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

It's also handy to keep in mind the minimum grade points used to calculate your academic standing: typically 2.0 for undergraduates, 2.5 for post-baccalaureates, and 3.0 for graduate students. Fall below these levels and you risk academic disqualification.

If you're having trouble managing your health, finishing classes, or keeping your grades up, talk to your disability counselor.

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