Five Steps You Can Take When Appealing a College or University Decision or Disciplinary Sanction

Appealing a College or University Decision

Whether you want to appeal a grade, dismissal, suspension, or disciplinary sanction at your Appealing a College or University Decision, you probably don’t know the right steps to take. A lot of students who are in the same situation may want to head to the University President to complain. However, this won’t help in your appeal. To make sure your appeal is strong enough to stand a chance, you must hire an academic appeals lawyer who has been there before. 

Identify the Official Appeal Procedure at Your School

Colleges and universities have an official policy for handling academic appeals on their student handbook. This policy spells out the deadlines and steps a student should take to make an appeal. After you find the policy, familiarize yourself with the potential avenues you can explore. In addition, ensure you find the handbook sooner because such matters are time-sensitive. 

Follow the Procedure

Your student handbook should outline the right people to speak to for your issues. Also, it should tell you the order in which you can speak to each of these people. Often, you will first have to talk to your professor, then the department chair, and perhaps the dean of academic affairs or the President. Your attorney can help you draft a written request for appeal.

Create a Paper Trail

To prove your case, you must have physical evidence to present. For instance, if you are disputing a grade, you must have old examinations, a syllabus, or rubrics to point out the discrepancy. In addition, you need to keep notes of conversations you had with faculty during the appeals process. You can keep document conversations and meetings in an email or word document you can easily refer to when necessary. 

Stay Respectful

Even you desperately want to win your appeal, do not forget your intention to stay enrolled in the school. As you deal with your appeal, try to be as civil as possible when you correspond with the college of the university and its faculty. You will never know that person you may fight within the Dean’s office could be your professor someday. 

Hire a Lawyer

Find a lawyer with experience in the type of issues you are dealing with. Once you hire a lawyer, give them all relevant records, facts, and paper trail, so they can study your case and effectively represent you at the hearing if your school permits. Also, your lawyer will draft letters to the school, mention related case law that can support your position, and negotiate with it. 


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