Can a student appeal an academic misconduct case at a college or university in Massachusetts? VIDEO

Academic misconduct, integrity, dishonesty, and honor code violation. Colleges and universities in Massachusetts use different terms for allegations involving a student's academics. Regardless of the term used, academic misconduct charges are serious, with significant potential consequences. If found responsible, an appeal may be the last opportunity to resolve the case. Students and parents may not realize that professional help is needed as early as possible in the disciplinary process. Students and parents are often poorly informed by the school as to how to best address such accusations and it is only after a finding of responsibility that they realize an attorney advisor's help is needed.

If found responsible, the situation can potentially still be rectified, especially if you have the right to appeal. Colleges and universities in Massachusetts often have similar grounds for an appeal, but your school's appeal process must be closely followed. Common appeal grounds include procedural error or defect. For example, did the school follow the necessary steps in the code of conduct process? Was the student properly notified of the charges? Were there other due process issues? These are common issues which can lead to an unfair outcome, disproportionate or excessive sanction. For example, will the sanction be on the student's academic transcripts or disciplinary records, thereby affecting graduate school admissions?

Can it be asserted that the sanction is excessive in light of the circumstances of the case and the student's goals? Was the student suspended or expelled? Such sanctions are fundamentally severe and may not be appropriate to the case. New evidence, for example, did the school base its finding based upon unfair information presented by the professor? Did the school rely on flawed reports, such as a plagiarism checker or reports involving online cheating? Can new information be presented which provides an alternative explanation for the alleged misconduct? Some schools will decide and appeal based on the written appeal and others will convene a hearing.

Appeal deadlines are often short and immediate action must be taken. An experienced attorney advisor will help you present the strongest possible appeal and they should be involved as soon as possible.

Massachusetts colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's academic misconduct advisor during the appeals process, in addition to during investigations and hearings, include, but are not limited to, the following schools:

  • American International College
  • Amherst College
  • Anna Maria College
  • Assumption College
  • Babson College
  • Bard College at Simon's Rock
  • Bay Path College
  • Bay State College
  • Becker College
  • Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
  • Bentley University
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Berkshire Community College
  • Boston Architectural College
  • Boston Baptist College
  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Brandeis University
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Bristol Community College
  • Bunker Hill Community College
  • Cambridge College
  • Cape Cod Community College
  • Clark University
  • College of Our Lady of the Elms
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Curry College
  • Dean College
  • Eastern Nazarene College
  • Emerson College
  • Emmanuel College
  • Endicott College
  • Fisher College
  • Fitchburg State University
  • Framingham State University
  • Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
  • Gordon College
  • Greenfield Community College
  • Hampshire College
  • Harvard University
  • Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
  • Holyoke Community College
  • ITT Technical Institute Norwood
  • ITT Technical Institute Wilmington
  • Laboure College
  • Lasell College
  • Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing
  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
  • Lesley University
  • Longy School of Music
  • Marian Court College
  • Massachusetts Bay Community College
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Massachusetts Maritime Academy
  • Massasoit Community College
  • Merrimack College
  • Middlesex Community College
  • Montserrat College of Art
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Mount Ida College
  • Mount Wachusett Community College
  • New England College of Business
  • Newbury College Brookline
  • Nichols College
  • North Shore Community College
  • Northeastern University
  • Northern Essex Community College
  • Pine Manor College
  • Quincy College
  • Quinsigamond Community College
  • Regis College
  • Roxbury Community College
  • Saint John's Seminary
  • Salem State University
  • Sanford Brown College Boston
  • School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston
  • Simmons College
  • Smith College
  • Springfield College
  • Springfield Technical Community College
  • Stonehill College
  • Suffolk University
  • The Boston Conservatory
  • The New England Conservatory of Music
  • The New England Institute of Art
  • Tufts University
  • University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • University of Massachusetts - Boston
  • University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth
  • University of Massachusetts - Lowell
  • University of Phoenix - Boston Campus
  • Urban College of Boston
  • Wellesley College
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Western New England University
  • Westfield State University
  • Wheaton College
  • Wheelock College
  • Williams College
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Worcester State University
  • Zion Bible College

If you're a student or the parent of a student at a school in Massachusetts, you must understand that academic misconduct allegations are serious.

Whatever term your college or university uses – academic misconduct, integrity, dishonesty, an honor code violation – you must respond to the allegations carefully and defend as best as possible, preferably as early as possible in the college disciplinary process.

Whether you did nothing wrong or instead had a lapse of judgement and made a poor decision, the potential consequences both in the short and long-term can be significant and severe.  Present academic standing, scholarships, extracurricular activities, internships, graduate and professional school candidacy, and professional employment opportunities can all be diminished or altogether lost if an academic case is not successfully resolved.

If, however, you made the mistake of trying to defend against the charges on your own or with someone not suited to the task, all is not lost – especially if you can appeal the decision, finding of responsibility, and/or sanctions.  If this was the case, now is the opportunity to take the necessary action and attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can help.  The Lento Law Firm has unparalleled experience with academic misconduct cases and they have helped thousands of students across the country facing similar issues. 

Joseph Lento fights nationwide on behalf of his clients and he never throws in the towel.  He is a licensed attorney in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as an advisor for students and families seeking to appeal academic misconduct cases in Massachusetts and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected at any stage of the university disciplinary process - Contact National Academic Misconduct Advisor Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.

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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 our offices 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.

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