Chances are that if you found this blog post, you have been found responsible for a code of conduct violation. Whether it was cheating, plagiarizing, unauthorized collaboration or other violation, the consequences can be long lasting. If you were found responsible by an academic integrity panel, you must appeal the decision.
A student disciplinary appeal is the last chance a student has at reversing a guilty finding from an academic hearing or dispute. Appealing a decision gives the student an opportunity to have a final look at the situation from objective university staff. This means the person reviewing the appeal would have no knowledge of the situation or hearing before reading your appeal.
Every university is different and the policies and procedures that give you this information is in your student handbook. Make sure that you know this information immediately. Appeals are time limited and often must be submitted quickly after the student is found guilty of an infraction. I have seen some schools require that a student appeal be submitted within 48 hours after the decision. So be sure to check what your school’s rules are.
The best answer I can give is, it depends. The violation and evidence the school used to find you responsible makes a difference in what you should write. Make sure that you put any procedural violations first. Then look to see if there is any new information that became available after you had your hearing. You must read the student handbook and the appeal procedures. Schools limit the arguments a student can make. This means emotional pleas and arguing how much you spent in tuition will not work. You must stick to the facts and support those facts with evidence. If you do not follow policy when writing a student appeal, it will result in an automatic denial.
Regarding formatting of a student appeal, I recommend that students adopt a clear and sequential flow to writing it. What do I mean? Set out your arguments starting with the one that makes the most impact and end with the one that is weakest. Make sure that you include every argument the school will accept. There is no second appeal option. Whatever format you choose, make sure it can be clearly read.
As far as examples, use headings and format the appeal so that it makes sense for someone unfamiliar with your case. Have a friend read it and give you honest feedback. It is hard to give examples of student appeals since each case is unique and each deals with different issues.
Yes. I have written student appeals that deal with all types of issues for students from New York to California and everywhere in between, including Ivy League Universities. Having a lawyer help you write your student appeal gives you a big advantage. An attorney with extensive student appeal experience will have the knowledge necessary to create and write arguments in a clear and concise manner.
Richard Asselta is an award-winning appeal lawyer who offers student defense adviser services throughout the United States. He is experienced in defending all types of college issues including writing student appeals. Call Asselta Law today for a free consultation and protect your education. (855) 338-5299
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