Guidelines for Writing an Appeal

Guidelines for Writing an Appeal
1. Who may file an appeal: Students who wish to request to have an academic decision or action reviewed and changed may file an appeal.

2. What may be appealed: Decisions or situations that may be appealed are:

a. Credit hour limitation / overload request

b. Academic Dismissal

c. Financial Dismissal

d. Attendance Dismissal

e. Conduct Dismissal

f. Satisfactory Academic Process Dismissal

g. Appeals for other situation and/or decisions may be considered on an case by case basis

Grade Appeals are handled via an alternate process.

3. Reasons for an appeal – the “Why”: Reasons for appeal must demonstrate at least one of the following:

a. Death in the immediate family

b. Severe illness or injury to the student

c. Other CATASTROPHIC situation or mitigating event that impacted the student

d. New evidence that is significant enough to alter a previous decision and that was not available at the time the previous decision was rendered

e. WCU policy, procedures and guidelines were not followed

Note: Not all decisions of the University are appealable. If a student does not like or agree with the decision, that is not an acceptable reason or form of evidence for an appeal. University policies are NOT appealable.

4. Submit petition to appeal in a timely manner. Petitions for appeal must be submitted within 30 days of the decision/situation being appealed. The petition to appeal form must be filled out completely and all appellate documents (supporting documentation/evidence) should be included at the time of submission. Note: Students may request a “Leave to Appeal” – a petition to appeal at a later date due to catastrophic circumstances or mitigating events that have not or will not be resolved within the 30 day timeframe to appeal. A Leave to Appeal will only be granted when rare or extraordinary circumstances are involved and failure to grant the leave could cause injustice by requiring the appellant to officially appeal to soon.

Appeals are typically taken to committee and responded to within 14 days of submission.

5. Draft a letter: Explain the situation completely and accurately in a well-written document. Your appeal letter should contain two parts.


a. How you meet appeal criteria. You need to explain how you meet appeal criteria, either due to catastrophic or extenuating circumstances or if university policy was not followed.

i. Details and description of the decision or situation being appealed (outlines the situation).

ii. Reason or basis for appeal (states your position).

iii. Documentation that supports the appeal and appeal reason (for example, documentation related to the catastrophic situation or mitigating event).

b. Your academic ability. The committee will want evidence that if reinstated you are a good risk to complete the program without any further class failures which would result in dismissal again without eligibility to appeal.

i. Viable student success plan showing how student will support educational or behavioral situation if appeal is granted.

ii. How you have and will remedy the situation (may include any informal and/or formal efforts taken to date, with whom and results).

iii. Address any areas of concern terms of grades (low CGPA, low grades in key courses, transfer credits, etc).

Note: All supporting documentation must be submitted at the time the appeal is filed. The petition to appeal must be filled out completely in order to be considered and/or reviewed.

6. Be thorough. Please remember that the appeal letter stating your postion and desired outcome is a key component used to evaluate the appeal along with feedback from deans, faculty and administration. This letter and supporting documentation/evidence is your only opportunity to sway the appeal committee.

7. Include supporting documentation that you feel will help further your cause. A well written letter is best supported by documentation of the events that transpired (for example: medical physician or hospital paperwork, death certificates etc..) when applicable. Include any and all documentation you feel will help with your case. For example, show what the catastrophic and/or mitigating circumstances/event were and how they affected your educational success. In rare and extraordinary cases related to a “Leave to Appeal”, show the timeline needed before an academic or action plan may be considered viable and realistic.

8. Submit the appeal to the appropriate office/Administrator: The written appeal, along with all appellate documents, is submitted to the Director of Student Affairs.

9. If you have questions, ask!

Myron C. Johnson

Student Success Coordinator


[email protected]