College can be an amazing experience for some students, but it's not right for everyone. For these college students who were expelled, maybe university wasn't the right fit. Or maybe their school wasn't the right choice. Dig into these tales of expulsion and find out why they got kicked out of school.
All The Information
“I made a search engine for our school teacher evaluation page. It absolutely blew up in popularity and a large portion of the school was using it (about 5k views per day). Essentially it was like rate my professors except it used the evals that they force students to do at the end of the class as data. I also added features that made it more desirable to students.
The data was all open to students, and in the past, it was open to the public. When creating the site, I had assumed that this data was still public information. The reason this was considered private information was because it was used to determine a teacher’s merit. I went to a public university, and teacher’s salary was already public knowledge.
It became so popular that it was showing up on the front page of Google for certain teacher’s names. Some of those teachers had low ratings and got annoyed and complained. I had unintentionally violated IP laws because the evaluations were under password protections and my site was not. The only reason I didn’t get expelled was because the dean of my department had my back. He did research and concluded the information should not have been private in the first place, then sent a public information request to make it so my project did not break the law. I definitely had people asking for my expulsion for a scary amount of time.”
Working Hard Pays Off
“I was expelled back in my 4th year of college. I’ve dealt with social anxiety since childhood and it came to a head in my 3rd year when I was having panic attacks frequently. I got help but by then it was too late for my grades because I had been barely passing classes by the skin of my teeth.
I was a 4th-year comp sci major who didn’t know how to program. At all. I tried to get back on the horse after going through therapy for my anxiety, but I felt so defeated that my grades slipped further into the hole I had dug for myself.
I think the quarter I got kicked out I had 2 Fs, 2 Ds and a C. The dean sent me a letter saying I was done with engineering.
I took the time to get my act together, got a part-time job, lived in a dumpy apartment with seven people living in a space meant for four people at the absolute max. I worked minimum wage and realized I needed to finish school.
I saw my undergrad counselor numerous times, who very graciously helped me. I needed to write out a contract addressed to the dean with my detailed plan on how I was going to prove I was worthy of being readmitted, and the classes I would take to qualify for graduation.
It took a while but I eventually managed to get readmitted by working my butt off, taking summer school courses which counted toward my major and getting a 3.0 average, then following up by getting good grades once they let me back in.
It was tough because I needed therapy for so many years but I didn’t want to accept it until my breakdown in my 3rd year. I wish I had gotten help sooner but I truly thought I could handle it all on my own and I felt ashamed that I wasn’t able to.
But I’ll say this, I don’t regret for a second that I ended up getting help. I was a little embarrassed about it first but I soon got over that. I still have some days where anxiety is in the back of my mind, but I’m a lot better now (and I graduated).
If you’re struggling in school, just know that even if you get kicked out that doesn’t mean it’s the end for you if you honestly want to finish.”
An Unfair Expulsion
“I was expelled three years ago from a small private liberal arts university two weeks before I was supposed to graduate.
I was in an upper-level algorithms course for my Computer Science major, and instead of a final, the professor assigned a large research project on an extremely niche area of the subject. I had other classes to worry about finishing as well, so admittedly I didn’t prioritize the paper as much as I should have. Three weeks before it was due, the professor required us to submit a rough draft so he could critique and help us. My topic was so niche that I was only able to find one text on it, but it was a really good source with a very long mathematical proof, like three pages worth, so obviously I was going to cite this proof as the fulcrum for my paper — there was no way I could do this sort of math on my own. I could only find a physical copy of this source from the library, there was no digital copy, so in order to use and cite it in my paper, I would have to transcribe three pages of mathematical proof by typing it in.
That sounds easy enough, but the thing with mathematical papers is they use a lot of symbols; it’s how the math is demonstrated. I used a language called LaTeX, which allows you to input things and make everything look nice, but it’s time-consuming. This took me nearly four hours, but I finally had a digital copy of my proof. I didn’t have time to write anything more than an abstract for my rough draft, and I cited my source in the works cited section, so I turned in this to my professor as if to say, ‘I don’t have much, but this proof was hard to acquire and I will be basing my paper around it.’
He calls me in the next day to inform me he has reported me to the academic affairs council for plagiarism. I am dumbfounded. I explained my reasoning for what I turned in and how I had no intention of plagiarizing work that I clearly cited, on a rough draft no less, to which his response was, ‘That is for the council to decide.’
I appear before the Council, try to explain everything in laymen’s terms, how I had no idea it’s even possible to be found guilty of plagiarism for an incomplete work, how I would never try to steal intellectual work two weeks before I’m supposed to graduate, how if I had known this was possible I would I have turned in nothing, but they are having none of it. I will never forget how they asked me why I, ‘didn’t just photocopy the textbook and submit that.’
Given that I had a derogatory mark on my record from my sophomore year when I (stupidly) cheated of my friend’s test, they found grounds to immediately remove me from campus. As in, they told me I had six hours to pack my things and leave or they would call the police and I would be found guilty of trespassing. I cried as I had to quickly pack my things and move back in with my parents who were beside themselves. I later saw a rumor on the campus YikYak that I had been expelled for assault, which really drove the dagger into my heart. My girlfriend left me later that week and the silence I received from friends was deafening. I had been deeply involved in the campus community, at one point serving as the Vice President of the Student Body, serving on the committee that selected the new University President, and many other groups on campus. I was to be one of the three students who spoke at the graduation ceremony, and I was to carry our class banner as we entered the ceremony.
Thankfully, my story has a happy ending (so far). By the time my classmates were crossing the stage, I had already found a job and was gainfully employed. Where I had been myopic about my future after college, I now suddenly had a fire to regain what was taken from me. I’m on track to finish my bachelor’s this year while also working at a Fortune 500. I’ve never shared this story with anyone who doesn’t know me closely, and I’m hesitant to speak to a professional counselor about my struggles with this and an abusive ex-girlfriend, and perhaps that’s something I should do. I hope someday I’m able to prove that you can lose everything and still persevere and rebuild. Every year on April 25th, the day they expelled me, I take myself out to a nice restaurant and promise not to let something like that happen again.”
“I was expelled my second semester at a northern US school; think Michigan, Montana, North Dakota. It was my second semester being an older transfer student from the mid-Atlantic. I ended up slipping on ice and fracturing my femur, my humerus and two fingers on ice outside my apartment. I spent three weeks in the hospital during that time recovering and doing physical therapy. I finally got home (my apartment was 30 minutes away from campus), since I couldn’t drive nor did they have cabs I could afford or public transit. I ended up failing everything and having to move back home.
Only a year later, I find out about an office that can help you out with getting tuition back and expunging your record of classes due to medical issues. I had to wait a year to get back in.
This year I’m finding myself in the same situation with a aplastic anemia but I only got diagnosed one week before my insurance expired. I’m 16 credits from graduation and I’m stuck with the bureaucratic processes of trying to take classes of the summer. It’ll probably take me to mid-July which means I have to come back in the fall to finish up. I’m about ready to give up.”
The Worst Night Ever
“Freshman year of engineering and I was all of three months in.
I had invited the RA over to play some Halo. As he walked through the hall, he noticed my dorm neighbor had his door open with cans everywhere. He shook his head and reluctantly told me he can’t game and had to write this guy up.
The night after, I wake up to a loud knock on my door, thinking it’s some prankster I mumbled, ‘I’m sleeping’ I then hear my RA’s voice ‘it’s no joke, open up!’
Adrenaline kicks in and I bolt out of bed. It’s the RA with two security guards. I was told that they were notified I had ‘made dangerous sounding comments’ and had to search my room.
They found a disassembled airsoft weapon (battery+spring) that I was…well….taking apart. A length of rope, and a standard toolbox, and an electronics kit.
This is where it got horrible. The length of the rope was wrapped neatly around a water pipe in my room. It was black and purple and my girlfriend at the time was kind of kinky and I was too lazy to put it away.
The security officers claimed it looked like a noose, despite no knots. The electronics kit they said looked like bomb parts, to which I gave them the exact name of the professor who was helping me with my project. They also took several of my tools from my toolbox.
I was immediately marched to the security office and at 2 am had to wait for my parents to pick me up. Talk about the worst car ride ever back home. I had no idea what had happened and I wanted to just throw myself out of the car.
A day later we went back to talk to the administration. It was recognized that I was thrown under the bus, but that was the extent of any sympathy given. I was faced with a full semester suspension or leave and have any judicial records sealed. I chose the latter.
That day, in front of half the dorm, my parents and I packed up the car and left.
I was able to apply and get into a different school for the spring semester. Though without the $35k scholarship I had previously received. But now I’m an employed civil engineer and life’s been going pretty well.”
A College Nightmare
“I was going to the Art Institute of Philadelphia, one of the few places I legitimately consider Hades. The school paired me up with various roommates who were had severe issues, such as refusing to shower for six months straight.
The entire dorm was terrible. People were constantly kicking or punching body-sized holes into and through walls. Elevators would drop multiple floors when you were in them. It was a nightmare. And then, one winter, a fire alarm started going off every single night around 2:00 am and we’d have to evacuate the building into the dead of winter. Nothing quite wakes you up like fire alarms and freezing cold.
I mentally started to lose it. My grades dropped, and I failed the semester because I could never sleep. Between the fire alarms and overwhelming funk, I was getting extremely worn down and stressed.
This continued on.
One of the deans calls me in one day and accuses me of credit card theft. According to the school, I had stolen a credit card from one of my roommates… and racked up a massive bill Lane Bryant and they had proof.
Lane Bryant, which I didn’t know at the time, was a women’s clothing store that specializes in plus size apparel. It was implied I was buying these for my girlfriend, but I had to point out to the school that I was gay. They changed their story to the fact that I must have been buying them for myself, implying I was a cross-dresser. I kind of lost it, and asked them to provide ANY shred of proof to back up their claims. They had none, but proceeded to harass me about this for weeks, demanding I pay back the money I NEVER took or they’d have to escalate things.
Then I ended up with a roommate who was caught stealing from other people in the dorm. He got caught, but the school decided that chaperoning the guy was NOT their responsibility, and the guy ended up stealing half my stuff, to which the school was like “Did you have insurance? No? HAHA! Not our problem. Please get out of my office.”
After that everything tanked. The stress piled on, and the plurality of terribleness that exuded from the school got to me and I failed out. As I said, I was able to appeal, get back in and later graduate.”
She Wasn’t Godly Enough
“My dad teaches as a Christian college.
I was forced to attend because hey, free tuition.
I lasted one year then got kicked out for not being ‘godly’ enough.
I was SO HAPPY.
It was a stressful environment. Not the classes or professors; they were some of the nicest people ever.
It was the students and RA/RD in my dorm that made it awful. I’m not social. At all. Or religious. I also don’t like being awoken at 2:00 am by other girls on my floor blasting pop music as loud as possible.
So I’d often get ‘confronted’ about my attitude, and why I didn’t want to sit with my dorm mates at meal times. And they took my anti-socialness as me being ‘not right with the Lord.'”
Become An English Major Or You’re Expelled!
“I was expelled because my GPA dropped below the competitive level for the engineering school at my college. I was given the option of transferring to a different school (they recommended I go into the humanities) or be expelled.
Well, thankfully I had a job from the previous summer that was willing to hire me on full time before this happened, so I took the expulsion and went to work full time. Since then, I’ve gotten my certifications and work in the trades doing fairly well for myself… So, yay?
I left with a 2.9 GPA. I needed to maintain a 3.25 in order to stay in the program I was in, as it was also providing a scholarship; I couldn’t afford school without it. I went into HVAC in the trades, with an emphasis on programming.
I highly recommend looking into the trades. Some people just aren’t meant for the university; some brains just aren’t set up to be sitting learning in a desk for 4+ years. There’s a stigma that it’s a lower class job, but don’t let that stop you! I paid off the student debt I had within a year and a half of working, and at 23 am looking to purchase my first house. The trades (assuming you get technical training or go into a highly sought trade) pay extremely well. I make a little over 48k a year after being in the trades for a little over 3 years. And that’s still as an apprentice.
Also, I’m not bashing the humanities one bit. My brother went that route, and he’s one of the most intelligent people I know. I just have a mechanically inclined mind, and it would’ve been wasted going that direction.”
“I wasn’t expelled but was suspended. Throwaway for obvious reasons, but I was prescribed antidepressants and Vyvanse together when my university’s psychiatric nurse practitioner stopped working for the university (she prescribed me with antidepressants, but not the Vyvanse as I had stopped taking them due to the side effects). Apparently, mixing these two meds is a huge problem, but my primary physician is:
- Not a psychiatrist and didn’t know this
- Has been practicing medicine since the dawn of time and didn’t even have to do a residency to practice medicine as this wasn’t required back then.
Anyway, mixing these together caused me to have a manic episode where I literally thought the masons were chasing/recruiting me to take part in their secretive master plan and proposed to a girl that I barely knew. I apparently banged on my roommate’s door for an hour straight but I thought it was only five minutes and was just trying to talk to her and see if she wanted to go out to eat, but apparently I beat on her door like for so long that she called the police and they took me to a mental ward. The mental ward held me for a day and released me while I was still manic, and I went over to my fraternity brother’s place to get help contacting my parents since the cops lost my phone when they took me in. My disposition scared them so much that they called the cops and had a police detail around the house just in case I showed back up (i didn’t know about this until I spoke to them when I was back to normal).
The police went to my university with this info, and the university’s judicial affairs met with me to discuss sanctions while I was still manic. What boggles my mind is that the JA representative who spoke with me specialized in mental illness and didn’t notice that I was manic. Anyway, being manic, I was kind of terrible to them and they suspended me for two years. This was especially frustrating because I was in my last semester of grad school and a month away from finishing all of my course requirements. I appealed the decision and got the suspension reduced to one year. Served out my suspension, and finish my Master’s in 30 days. While I feel ashamed and embarrassed about everything that happened, I’m glad to be healthy and back on track again.”
Oops, You’re Expelled
“I unintentionally got another student expelled. We were critiquing websites we had built when I noticed one that looked exactly like mine with a few tweaks. I popped open the source and noticed it was a line for line copy of my code with a few changes to the CSS.
We routinely critiqued work in class, most of our sites were built through code pen, all he needed was any students code pen username and he had access to the code. I am about 99.3% sure it’s how he did it.
I brought it up to the professor to protect myself in case he noticed them (though I doubt I would have been suspected, mine was more cohesive. The changes he did make didn’t make the site appealing. Anyway, apparently, it was his third time plagiarizing; after twice you go ‘on trial’ with the school. If you don’t get expelled then, a third time is the nail in the coffin.”
You Need A Chaperone!
“Not me, but a friend, let’s call him Ben, was expelled his sophomore year.
Ben came from a very conservative Christian family. His father and grandfather were pastors. Ben went to the same religious college they did. That college had strict rules about dressing modestly and fraternization of opposite sexes. If I recall, there were different levels allowed that depended on your age and role at the school.
Ben was caught off campus seeing a movie with a girl. Apparently, they should have had a chaperone. I think it was also not the first time he had broken the rules.
Ben was promptly expelled. His parents were so upset they sent him on a year-long mission overseas.”