Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics

Deese COBE Student Grade Change and Appeal Guidance


Students should begin the process by first trying to resolve the matter with the instructor of the course by requesting a grade change. If the request for a grade change is elevated to a Grade Appeal Request, the Deese College of Business and Economics’ Appeal Board will conduct a formal hearing that includes both the student and the instructor and provide a recommendation to the Dean of the College. The Board does not have authority to change an instructor’s grade.

See the policy for full details [provide the link].

Determining Merit of the Grade Appeal – Student Guidelines

Given that the Grade Appeal process is used to specifically address grade-related questions, the following may be applicable to pursue a grade appeal if contained in allegation and supporting documentation.

  • Grades in the course were miscalculated and/or not clearly derived.
  • The instructor violated the grading policies outlined on the syllabus.
  • The instructor demonstrated bias in grading practices.

The following are examples of conditions do not merit an appeal for a course grade change.

  • The grade distribution of the course in question is lower than all other sections of the course taught at that time.
  • The student’s grade earned in this course is significantly lower than that earned in other courses.
  • The grade in question will lead to either poor academic standing or loss of financial aid.
  • Disagreements that the student may have regarding what constitutes “fair” grading.
  • The grading practices of the instructor were not equally applied across sections of the course.
  • The student’s grade does not compare well with grades of other students in the course.

Points of Procedure

A student appealing a final grade in a course is encouraged to take immediate action after final grades are posted during the given semester; and must take action no later than three days after the next semester begins, as identified on the relevant academic calendar. Please note that a separate appeal must be filed for each disputed course grade.

The first step in the process includes attempting to resolve the matter with the instructor of the course. It is recommended that the student should communicate, in writing, with the instructor of the course and clearly state why the grade received is believed to be incorrect. The student must present adequate documentation to the professor in question to support the claim that the final grade was miscalculated, violated the grading policies outlined in the course syllabus, and/or demonstrated instructor bias in the grading practices.

If the matter is resolved and if, indeed, there is evidence to support a change in grade, then the instructor must submit a change of grade request by the deadline stated on the given Academic Calendar.

If no resolution is reached, the student should then communicate, in writing, a request to have a grade changed to the instructor’s department chairperson. The student should provide the chairperson the supporting documentation of the change and all correspondences that have occurred with the instructor related to the matter. The chairperson will arrange to meet jointly with the student and the instructor.

If the student meets with the department chairperson and course instructor, and a decision is made to change the student’s grade, based on substantial documented evidence of the student’s performance, then the instructor must submit a change of grade request by the deadline stated on the given Academic Calendar.

If the grade dispute is not resolved after talking with the chairperson, the student will proceed with a formal grade appeal. The student will submit, in writing, a formal written appeal to the Dean of the College and include all supporting documentation. The student should also include all written communications that have been exchanged with the course instructor and department chairperson in regards to the grade change. The documents must also include a current address, phone number, and e-mail address for the student.

The Dean will review the formal written appeal, supporting evidence, and prior correspondences to determine if the appeal should be forwarded to the Deese College of Business and Economics’ Appeal Board for a formal hearing. Both the student and the instructor of record are required to attend the hearing. Neither the student nor the instructor may bring other persons to the hearing. The goal is to resolve the issue upon hearing evidence provided only by the two parties involved.

The Deese College Appeal Board (consisting of faculty and student(s)) will conduct a hearing and ultimately offer recommendation. The Dean’s office will notify the student of the final decision.