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Final Grade Not What You Expected?

Students may appeal an instructor’s grading decision on the basis of one or more of the following grounds:

1) The grading decision was made on some basis other than performance and other than as a penalty for academic misconduct. For example, work is graded differently than stated in the rubric; An instructor’s policy is not to give A’s (even when a student’s grade is within A-range), etc.

2) The grading decision was based upon standards unreasonably different from those which were applied to other students in the same course and section. Possible examples: Some students were permitted to submit late work without penalty and others were not; Final grades of certain students were rounded to the nearest whole number, while others were not; Extra credit opportunities were provided to some, but not all, students.

3) The grading decision was based on a substantial, unreasonable, or unannounced departure from previously articulated standards. Possible examples: Final grades are calculated with a different method than stated on the syllabus; Last minute change to the amount of points an assignment/exam is worth; Addition of assignment/exam not on the syllabus, etc.

Important Information:
  • Grade appeals are only for final course grades.
  • Appeals consist of a written statement (required) and any relevant documentation (optional).
  • Strong appeals:
    • Clearly state the grounds of the appeal.
    • Provide concrete information (examples, data, etc.) to support claims.
    • Include supporting documentation (ex. emails, Canvas screenshots, syllabi, etc.)
  • Appeals are submitted to chair of the department the course was offered in.
  • Deadline for submitting appeals:
    • Fall Courses – 30 days after the start of the spring semester
    • Spring and Summer Courses – 30 days after the start of the fall semester.

Complete details and instructions can be found in CSU’s General Catalogue.

Conflict Resolution staff can answer questions about the Grade Appeal process and provide feedback/guidance for crafting an effective  appeal.