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Appealing a Grade

The purpose of the grade appeal procedure is to serve the needs of graduate and undergraduate students who believe that they were unjustly awarded a grade by a faculty member through prejudice or caprice. The basis for a grade appeal is the student's charge that the grade was awarded through prejudice or caprice. The burden of proof rests with the student.

Students must initiate the appeal within the same time limitations that exist for removing a grade of "I" from a record (see Incompletes).

The policy applies to final grades in credit courses and does not apply to graduate and undergraduate examinations that are administered as part of the degree progression and certification processes.

Grade Appeal Procedure (complete information is available in the University Catalog)

  1. Student consults with instructor for an explanation of the method of evaluation and to determine whether an error has been made.
  2. If the student is not satisfied with the results of the conference with the instructor and wishes to pursue the appeal, the case must be presented in writing for a first-level appeal. The student's grade appeal letter should:
    • state specific reasons and give examples of faculty prejudice or caprice
    • show that prejudice or caprice affected the awarding of the final course grade
    • be presented as a complete package and include all supporting documentation.
  3. If it is concluded at the first-level appeal that there is no cause for complaint, the person to whom the appeal was submitted will notify the student in writing that the appeal is denied. The student may submit a second-level appeal in writing, requesting that the grade appeal package be forwarded to the next level, as specified in the University Catalog.
  4. If the person to whom the second-level appeal is submitted concludes that there is no cause for complaint, the student will be notified in writing that the grade appeal process is complete and no further appeal is allowed.
  5. If during the first- or second-level appeal process it is concluded that there may be valid cause for complaint, the person to whom the appeal has been submitted should consult with the instructor and student and attempt to mediate the dispute. If mediation fails, the person to whom the appeal has been submitted will offer to form a committee to carry out an independent investigation and a hearing will be held. Remedies at this level are specified out in the University Catalog.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is the official reviewer of student complaints after all institutional processes have been exhausted. SCHEV can be contacted at (804) 225-2600 or through the SCHEV Complaint Process website: http://www.schev.edu/students/studentcomplaintProcess.asp