Academic Dismissal Appeals

Students attend higher education institutions with the assumption that they will graduate. Most students are successful in their endeavors and do well. However, some students struggle with meeting the academic performance standards their school has set for them. In cases when a student fails to make satisfactory academic progress at a college or university - which is defined differently by different schools - they will be dismissed or told that they can no longer be enrolled in a school.

Fortunately, the majority of schools allow students the option of contesting this decision by requesting an appeal. If school authorities find it appropriate, they will not carry out a dismissal and allow a student to enroll in an upcoming semester without any restrictive measures or stipulations.

Grounds for an Academic Dismissal Appeal

In a college setting, there are a variety of factors that are capable of inhibiting your success. Living with wild roommates, noisy residence halls, unhelpful tutors, and nonsensical professors are just some of the obstacles that will make your educational journey more challenging. But part of being a college student is learning how to navigate these situations and maintain a good academic standing in spite of distractions.

Mentioning these factors in an appeal after being informed of your dismissal will not likely sway your school authorities. After all, many students have worked in unfavorable situations and still have managed to succeed. In order for an appeal to be granted, you must have a legitimate reason, or grounds, for your poor academic performance in the eyes of school authorities. The majority of schools are especially receptive to two permissible grounds in an appeal request: factual errors made on behalf of the school and extenuating circumstances. Students must provide evidence of at least one of these grounds in their appeal application for their request to be considered.

Factual Error

Your school's code of conduct likely details the conditions in which a student is subjected to a dismissal. It's important that you clarify if your case aligns with school regulations. If not, you can appeal on the basis of a factual error made by an institution.

Extenuating Circumstances

You can appeal on this ground when an event that occurred in your life is responsible for hindering your academic progression. A few examples of extenuating circumstances are:

Financial issues: Perhaps you lost your job unexpectedly and aren't sure with how to pay your bills or tuition.

Psychological or medical issues: If you have been diagnosed with depression or any other debilitating condition, it may be difficult for you to find the motivation to perform well in school.

Family crisis or unexpected death in the family: Maybe someone in your family has fallen ill or has recently passed away. The time that you had allocated for studying may have been spent making arrangements, grieving, or taking care of a loved one.

The Academic Dismissal Appeals Process

Each school has a unique set of guidelines concerning appeal deadlines, applications, and criteria. Some schools offer several appeal options, like appealing in person or submitting a written appeal. It's important you are aware of all the opportunities your school offers and act accordingly.

Nationwide Student Rights Attorney

You may be disappointed or angry about your school making the decision to dismiss you. However, it's important you focus your energy in ensuring that the contents of your appeal are compelling enough to be given another chance to pursue your education. Working with a skilled attorney is a good way to maximize the likelihood of being granted an appeal. Contact legal professional Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.

Contact Us Today!


If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.