What To Do When Disaster Strikes Your College or University Record

Academic Appeals: When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

I want to share with you something that very few students hear about until they actually need it. I’m talking about an academic appeal, something you hope you are never in a position to need. But should the situation arise, I want you to benefit from my experience working on the inside of the university system for many years. This knowledge will equip you with the information you will need to successfully submit your appeal.

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Each year, thousands of young people set out to pursue college and university studies with every intention of doing well. For some of these students, despite their best efforts, life throws them a curve ball.

I’m not talking about the everyday life challenges like a strained relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend or when your car breaks down on the way to school or the regret you had by taking on a much heavier course load than you should have. Instead, I’m referring to those exceptional circumstances that are beyond your control and have significant impact on your overall academic performance.

What constitutes exceptional?

Here are a few examples:

1. lengthy illness that incapacitates you for an extended period of time

2. recently diagnosed or recurrent illness

3. death in your immediate family

4. unexpected and grave financial problem (i.e theft of household belongings or loss of your house in a fire)

5. unexpected surgery

6. relapse from a diagnosed addiction or compulsive behaviour (gambling, alcohol, drugs, to name a few)

7. recently diagnosed learning disability

8. harm that was done to you (e.g. an assault)

9. other traumatic event

If you can identify with any of these examples you should investigate the academic appeal process at your college or university. Most institutions allow students who have experienced such exceptional circumstances to submit an appeal. Although the rules and regulations vary institution to institution, generally speaking there are common guidelines that each of them subscribes to.

For more information about academic appeals or how to succeed at college or university, check our my new ebook called Crush IT at College.


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For one-on-one advice, book an appointment with your personal Academic Advisor.