Grade Appeal Process

This is a summary of the Official Grade Appeal Rules, which can be found in Section E of the Purdue University Student Regulations Governing Student Conduct, Disciplinary Proceedings, and Appeals.

When to Appeal a Grade

You may only appeal the final grade for a course. You may appeal if:

  • You are able to demonstrate that "an inappropriate grade was assigned as a result of prejudice, caprice, or other improper conditions such as mechanical error, or assignment of a grade inconsistent with those assigned other students."
  • You wish to challenge the reduction of a grade for alleged scholastic dishonesty.

Remember that the burden of proof is on the student, except in cases of academic dishonesty, where the burden of proof is on the instructor.

Note: Appeals regarding the decision of a graduate examination committee, acceptance of a graduate thesis or the application of professional standards relating to graduate student retention should be directed to the Graduate Council (Young Hall, Room 170).

When you should NOT appeal:

  • If you feel the course was poorly designed or you received poor instruction — these may be legitimate concerns, but are more appropriately addressed by the department head.
  • If you feel that students were graded too severely, provided that all the students in the class were graded in the same fashion.

Process of Filing a Grade Appeal

(These must be completed in the following order)

1. Informal Attempt

  1. Contact your instructor to request a grade change
  2. Contact the department head to request a grade change

2. Formal Attempt (if step 1 fails to resolve the issue)

  1. Prepare and submit a written appeal, within 30 calendar days after the start of the following regular semester (excludes summer session), to the Grade Appeals Committee chair of the college or school in which the course originates
  2. It will be reviewed by the Grade Appeals Committee within 7 days to determine if a hearing is needed
  3. If needed, a hearing will be scheduled within 14 days after notification is given to both parties
  4. A written decision is sent to both parties within 3 days of the hearing conclusion
  5. Both parties have 6 days to appeal the decision in writing to the University Grade Appeals Committee

How to Prepare a Written Appeal

It is critical that you give ample time and attention to your written appeal. Your success in this process may be determined by your ability to present thorough and accurate information. The decision to grant an appeal hearing will be made based only on the written documentation reviewed by the committee.

  1. Write your appeal in the form of a letter addressed to the members of the Grade Appeal Committee. Your opening paragraph should clearly state the basis for your appeal and quote your reason directly from the Student Regulations. (Example: I am appealing my grade of "C" in MA 20000 because I have evidence that indicates there was a mechanical error in the calculation of my homework grades.) It is very important that the members of the committee clearly understand the basis of your appeal.
  2. Clearly state any evidence and facts that support your grade appeal. If you have negative comments about the instructor or the class, this is not the appropriate place to share those thoughts. Likewise, exaggerated claims that cannot be verified will only hurt your case. A request for a grade appeal is a professional document.
  3. Attach copies of any documentation that you have, which may include: personal grade records, copies of graded work, email communication with the instructor, comparisons to the work of other students and statements of support from other students. Not all of these items will apply to you depending on the basis of your appeal. Additionally, you may not be in possession of these documents if they are part of the instructor's class records. If that is the case, the committee will request this documentation from the instructor.
  4. Have another person review your appeal documentation. This individual should critique it not only for spelling and grammar, but also for ease of understanding. Staff members in the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, academic advisors, and professors are appropriate for this task.

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