Student Academic Appeals

The academic policies at ECU provide a balance between the needs of individual students and the obligation of the university to ensure fairness to all. Students may appeal the application of academic policies to the Student Academic Appellate Committee. Decisions about appeals weigh the merits of a student’s appeal with fairness to other students, the university, and the State of North Carolina. The Student Academic Appellate Committee uses the general standard that the basis of appeal must be issues or events of an extreme nature that were unforeseen and uncontrollable by the student. There must also be direct evidence that the issue or event impaired the student’s academic performance. Circumstances that may warrant an appeal include:

  • Extreme personal or family emergency.

  • Unanticipated, serious medical difficulty (excluding chronic conditions--students are responsible for properly balancing school work with known chronic conditions).

  • Serious psychological difficulty (excluding chronic conditions--students are responsible for properly balancing school work with known chronic conditions).

Poor performance in course work; missed deadlines; change of major or educational plans; a course grade's adverse effect on the student's grade point average, probationary standing, or other eligibility; appeal based solely on the basis of financial issues, is not in itself a sufficient basis for granting an appeal. Students are responsible for understanding academic policies, and a student’s lack of awareness of an academic policy is not a sufficient basis for granting an appeal.

Academic policy appeals are made through the Office of the Registrar, 201 Whichard Building, 252-328-6077. All academic policy appeals require completion of the Student Academic Appeals Form. The student must also provide objective documentation of the events or situations contributing to the situation under appeal and their impact on learning (for example, physician’s letter explaining a medical condition and its effects).  A health care provider or other professional’s opinion is usually necessary as supporting evidence; clinic notes, doctor and prescription receipts are not sufficient documentation.

Students will be notified about the outcome of their appeal by the Office of the Registrar. The notification is generally sent the business day following the SAAC meeting via official ECU email.

SAAC meets monthly and also holds specially called meetings prior to the start of classes in Fall and Spring semesters to hear suspension appeals. The deadline for receipt of appeals for each meeting is listed in the Academic Calendar.

The decision of the Student Academic Appellate Committee is final.

Suspension or Readmission Appeals

A student who wishes to appeal his or her suspension must appeal in writing to the Student Academic Appellate Committee (SAAC). Students who have served a portion of their suspension and who wish exemption from the remainder may also submit an appeal. SAAC normally will not approve these appeals unless based on personal or family problems of an extreme nature, and the student can show evidence that the problems have been resolved.

Retroactive Withdrawals or Withdrawals without Grades

Students may appeal to the Student Academic Appellate Committee for a retroactive withdrawal from a semester or for a withdrawal without grades. The basis of such an appeal must be issues or events of an extreme nature that were unforeseen and uncontrollable by the student and that occurred after the first 50% of the semester.

Appeals for Course Drops Beyond the Drop Deadline

Students who wish to make an appeal for retroactive course drops and drop requests may make an appeal to the Student Academic Appellate Committee. Students may also appeal course drop decisions made by Student Health Service or the Center for Counseling and Student Development. The basis of such an appeal must be issues or events of an extreme nature that were unforeseen and uncontrollable by the student and that occurred after the first 50% of the semester. SAAC does not generally approve single course drops unless the student provides evidence that the extenuating circumstance affected only the course under appeal.

Appeals for Other Academic Policies

Students may appeal the application of other academic policies to the Student Academic Appellate Committee. The appeal is made on the Student Academic Appellate Committee Form, and the student should attach a letter explaining the request for exception and the reason(s) for requesting the exception.