College Dismissal Advisor – District of Columbia

District of Columbia college students do not attend four-year programs only to land themselves in front of a disciplinary board answering for alleged misconduct. Respectable young adults can make mistakes between acclimating to student life, strenuous academic course loads, and preparing for future careers. Nevertheless, those missteps can leave students fighting for their academic careers after the school hands down a suspension or expulsion.

District of Columbia colleges and universities do not hesitate to address misconduct with a speedy grievance process that can end a student's opportunity to earn an education. Students and their parents often fail to hire professional help until disciplinary boards levy severe punishments leading to a separation from studies. Even though the investigative and hearing phases and subsequent sanctions can be overwhelming, that does not mean you have lost your chance to remain in school.

The opportunity to defend yourself is available. College dismissal advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can ensure that students in the District of Columbia are protected against stringent school disciplinary boards and remain focused on their academic work.

Appealing Disciplinary Sanctions

The codes of conduct at District of Columbia institutions of higher education will list the charges—academic misconduct, non-academic misconduct, Title IX violations— for which a disciplinary board can remove a student from enrollment. The code of conduct also lists the regulations governing how students can appeal decisions to suspend or expel.

There are a limited number of situations that grant a student the right to file an appeal. American University explains in its code of conduct that students may appeal disciplinary decisions if the following criteria are met:

  1. Due process: The accused student must demonstrate that the grievance process did not follow the procedures outlined in the school's code of conduct. The appeals board will also review allegations of bias or conflict of interest on the part of disciplinary board members.
  2. Excessive sanctions: The appeals board may review a case outcome if the punishments handed down are unreasonable based on the findings of the allegations and the disciplinary board's decision.
  3. New evidence: Emerging evidence that would "substantially" affect the findings or outcome can be reviewed if it was undiscoverable during the review process and unknowable to the accused.

Schools in the District of Columbia do not provide much time after the determination of responsibility for a student to appeal a suspension or expulsion. Hiring a college dismissal advisor to assist you will ensure that you understand your school's specific appeals process and do not abandon your chance to remain in the classroom.

Typically, the timeframe to file an appeal is between two and ten days, but it differs from school to school. Georgetown University, for example, gives students seven business days upon written notification of the disciplinary board's sanctions to file an appeal. The George Washington University, on the other hand, offers students five business days.

Once the school's appeals review board concludes its review, it will do one of the following:

  • Affirm the finding
  • Deny the appeal
  • Modify the consequences
  • Reopen the case
  • Reverse the results and punishment

The appellate body's decision is final and is not subject to additional appeals. Once students reach this point, they could be dismayed about the end of their academic careers.

After the outcome of the case and sanctions are affirmed, a student may wonder if they could have provided a more coherent, cohesive argument to mitigate the school's disciplinary actions. They may also be asking themselves:

  • Has new evidence emerged that could change the outcome of my case?
  • How can infringements on my due process be proven?
  • Was a suspension or expulsion warranted for my misconduct?

Students are not prepared to manage a process like this as they are not trained, experienced college dismissal advisors. Moreover, within 24 hours of the decision, students are often forced to leave campus and begin their semesters of suspension or permanent expulsion. Although the appellate period remains active, students will not be able to review pertinent facts about how the school administration investigated and carried out their case or build a substantial appeal.

Retaining the assistance of a college dismissal advisor will give you the confidence that you can fight back against your District of Columbia school. Even if they have given up on your academic future, it does not mean you should throw in the towel.

Separation from Studies

District of Columbia school administrations may seek to suspend or expel students to protect their public reputation, academic or otherwise. At the University of the District of Columbia, if a student fails to complete 67 percent of their attempted credit hours, they will lose their federal financial aid eligibility. Even if a student or their parents can pay semester costs out of pocket, a school will not allow them to enroll. Trinity Washington University may temporarily dismiss a student through an emergency usage of its separation power pending a disciplinary hearing for misconduct, which is neither reviewed by the school nor appealable by the student.

Institutions of higher education in the District of Columbia sometimes misuse school policy when suspending or expelling students. A student could have underlying circumstances that affect their academic performance or behavior on campus like:

  • Death of a family member or close friend
  • Hard transition into campus life
  • Injury or illness of an immediate family member
  • Overwhelming class schedule
  • Physical or emotional trauma

Professional assistance will help you preserve your clean record and keep you in the classroom when faced with a separation from studies. Suppose your District of Columbia school disciplinary board does not consider certain extenuating circumstances in their decision to suspend or expel. In that case, your college dismissal advisor may be able to utilize them to your benefit and lessen sanctions.

Unless a college dismissal advisor challenges a disciplinary board's actions, a student's academic career ends in a costly separation from studies. Students and their parents should remember that the college grievance process is not a court of law. Colleges and universities in the District of Columbia do not have to protect student due process rights when addressing misconduct allegations. Consequently, the odds are stacked against a student faced with an institution inclined to preserve its public reputation.

College dismissal advisor Joseph D. Lento recognizes how severe sanctions can ruin a student's prospects. He knows when school administration officials go beyond their authority when governing campus life. Regardless, he can negotiate with sanctioning body members to keep students in school.

What Are The Consequences of Suspension or Expulsion?

When a District of Columbia school suspends or expels a student, it can hinder their chances of enrolling in another school. For example, any student expelled from The George Washington University is permanently banned from all school property and events. Since schools require transfer students to disclose all other colleges and universities they attended, including all sanctions the student has received, they will be seen as less attractive admissions candidates.

A suspension or expulsion on a student's record will also derail their financial livelihood. If a student must reimburse federal loan providers for any unearned amount of financial aid because of a separation from studies, it will cause long-lasting economic consequences. It will also impede opportunities such as:

  • Applying for auto, business, or home loans
  • Being in good standing with credit reporting agencies
  • Obtaining scholarships or grants for school

The repercussions are not just financial in nature. Suspended or expelled students must disclose college disciplinary actions on various forms like:

  • Behavioral counseling licenses
  • Federal security clearances
  • Financial trading and brokerage certifications
  • Law enforcement and first responder applications

What Can Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Do For You?

Many District of Columbia lawyers commonly start their defense on behalf of a student client with threatening litigation against the school. This course of action is rarely necessary and is unlikely to provide the student a chance to remain engaged in their studies when legal proceedings can last months or even years. Inexperienced attorneys may boast their courtroom prowess to assist students against disciplinary boards. However, courtroom tactics do not often translate into the finesse needed to establish a resolution with a school's sanctioning body members.

While a formal lawsuit is a possible means of action, the goal students should have is prompt, private, negotiated relief from suspension or expulsion. Students and their supportive parents can achieve this by contacting college dismissal advisor Joseph D. Lento to help them preserve their academic and professional futures.

Instead of relying on confrontational legal tactics, Joseph D. Lento has proven experience brokering beneficial outcomes with District of Columbia schools' Office of General Counsel (OGC) on behalf of the suspended or expelled student. He relies on the relationships he and his team have built with internal OGC officials at numerous institutions to assist students with a second chance at their education. Lento and his team can persuade disciplinary and appellate boards to see the more favorable options that serve both the student and the school far better than harsh punitive measures.

Call 888-535-3686 today to discuss how Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can defend you or a loved one from their District of Columbia school or seek relief through their online consultation form.

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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 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.