Student Academic Appeal Process
Right of Appeal
University of Georgia students have the right to appeal academic decisions or to ask for an exception to a university rule or policy on an academic matter.
Student Responsibilities in Appeals
The University Bulletin includes the following statement in its “General Academic Regulations and Information”: “Students are expected to be full participants in academic advising and thus to be both prepared and engaged in the advising experience. The academic landscape changes constantly, and although advisors can provide advice, each student is ultimately responsible for knowing and understanding the degree requirements and policies related to his/her own academic progress.”
IMPORTANT: Petitions based on a lack of knowledge of university requirements are rarely successful.
Route of Appeals
Appeals begin at the academic unit responsible for the decision. For example, grade appeals go to the instructor who assigned the grades; department requirements to the department; college requirements to the college; all university requirements to the Educational Affairs Committee.
In the case of graduate students, appeals are routed to the Graduate School rather than the school or college.
An unfavorable ruling at one level can be appealed to the successive levels as defined in the Guidelines for Routing of Academic Appeals. An instructor decision can be appealed to the department; a department ruling can be appealed to the college in which the instructional unit is located; a college ruling can be appealed to the Educational Affairs Committee; and the Educational Affairs Committee ruling can be appealed to the President of the University.
The Educational Affairs Committee of the University Council considers students' petitions for all exceptions to university rules and policies (Academic Affairs Policy 4.05-01).
An appeal must be made within thirty days after receiving a written ruling (Academic Affairs Policy 4.05-03). However, all grade appeals must be initiated within one calendar year from the end of the term in which the grade was recorded.
The precise procedures for beginning an appeal may vary by the department or college. Students who have a matter they may wish to appeal should ask the department head or dean for information.
Submission Deadline for Appeals
The Petitions Subcommittee meeting dates and deadlines are established at the beginning of each academic year. The Office of the Vice President for Instruction prepares an appeal file for each student, obtains a recommendation from the academic dean for the student, and coordinates the meetings of the Petitions Subcommittee.
IMPORTANT: Each petition requires time to prepare and each meeting has a full agenda and limited time to consider submitted appeals. If a student misses the deadline for a particular meeting, his/her appeal will be held until the next meeting.
Time Limit for Grade Appeals Only
Grade appeals must be received within one calendar year from the term in which the grade was recorded.
University policies change. No appeals are allowed based on the fact that a policy has changed.
Preparing an Appeal
Appeals should be in the form of a letter written and signed by the student. Letters should clearly and concisely explain the appeal, state the matter being appealed in the first sentence, and include all relevant information in support of the appeal. Appeals must include the following on the first page in the upper left corner.:
- Student’s full name
- UGA student ID number
- Postal address
- UGA email
- Phone number
- For hardship appeals only: last date of attendance for the semester requested*
The Petitions Subcommittee does not rehear appeals so it is very important that the student provides all relevant documentation at the time the letter of appeal is submitted.
If the appeal is based on a medical or personal hardship, substantive supporting documentation explaining how the hardship affected the student's academic performance must be provided. In addition, the student's letter of appeal must include the last date of attendance for the semester in which the university withdrawal is requested. A university withdrawal may affect a student's financial aid eligibility and Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. The result may include mandatory repayment of aid previously disbursed. Students are strongly urged to speak to staff in Student Account Services and the Office of Student Financial Aid prior to submitting an appeal for a retroactive hardship withdrawal.
IMPORTANT: In accordance with the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and university policy, if any information concerning sexual violence is included in a student’s appeal, the Office of the Vice President for Instruction is obligated to report the matter to UGA’s Title IX coordinator.
Submitting an Appeal
Appeals should be submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Instruction by any of the methods below:
Educational Affairs Committee
Office of the Vice President for Instruction
Student Academic Services
University of Georgia
114 New College
Athens, GA 30602
FAX: (706) 542-0544
IMPORTANT: If you fax your appeal, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm it was received.
Review of Appeal
The Petitions Subcommittee is comprised of faculty members of the Educational Affairs Committee. The Office of the Vice President for Instruction manages the appeals process on behalf of the appointed faculty. All communication must be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Instruction, not to any members of the Subcommittee, before and after the appeal is reviewed and a decision made.
Decisions are based solely on the merits of the written appeal and the documentation provided to the Petitions Subcommittee. The student need not appear in person before the Subcommittee. However, a student may request in writing to meet in person with the Petitions Subcommittee.
IMPORTANT: Students wishing to appear must include this request in their written appeal. No other persons (parents, friends, attorneys, etc.) are allowed to meet with the Subcommittee members.
Students wishing to appear will be provided an appointment during the meeting. If the student is scheduled to meet with the Subcommittee, appropriate individuals against whom the appeal is directed will also be afforded the opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee, although at a separate time.
Should a student wish to appear, the student is allowed a maximum of 15 minutes to provide any information not already included in the written appeal and supporting documentation. The Petitions Subcommittee will have already reviewed the appeal and documentation provided and may or may not have questions regarding the appeal. University policy requires that student appearances be audio recorded.
Decisions are not given to the student during the meeting and cannot be given by phone or fax; all decisions are sent by regular mail to the address provided by the student and by email using UGA SendFiles to the official UGA email address provided by the student. Students may opt to pick-up their decision letters and should make that request in their appeal letter.
Generally, decisions are made within 10 days of the meeting.
The Subcommittee’s decision is final.
A student has the right to appeal the Subcommittee's decision to the President of the University of Georgia. Such an appeal must be provided to the Office of the President in writing no later than thirty calendar days after the student has received the decision. (Academic Affairs Policy 4.05-01).
EDUCATIONAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, Submitting an Academic Appeal (September 2015, Office of the Vice President for Instruction)