College Dismissal Advisor – Rhode Island

One of the most overwhelming situations a Rhode Island college or university student can face is a suspension or expulsion handed down by a disciplinary board. Students do not attend an institution of higher education just to commit forms of misconduct, but mistakes can happen to honest, industrious young adults. The end of an academic career can leave students and their parents scrambling to find a path to alleviating the situation when future opportunities are at stake. 

School disciplinary boards are tasked with acting quickly and harshly to manage misconduct on and off-campusoff campus. Considering how schools rely on federal funding and the need to maintain an attractive public persona in today's political and cultural climate, schools do not hesitate to remove students from their studies. If students are not prepared with well-reasoned arguments and sufficient evidence for the alleged misconduct, grievance proceedings can quickly end their journey toward higher education. While the disciplinary process at Rhode Island colleges and universities can be demoralizing for students and their loved ones, you have the opportunity to hire a professional college dismissal advisor to find a path to relief. 

Many students and their parents do not hire assistance until sanctions have been handed down. Regardless, addressing the situation is still feasible. College dismissal advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can ensure that Rhode Island university students are protected from harsh punitive measures and can obtain a degree. 

Appealing Disciplinary Sanctions 

Every Rhode Island college or university will have a code of conduct listing the various charges—academic misconduct, non-academic misconduct, Title IX violations—for which a student can be suspended or expelled if they are found responsible for allegations. Codes of conduct will also detail the few situations that may satisfy the guidelines of an appeal. 

Rhode Island College details that students can file requests for appeals for the following reasons: 

  1. Conflict of interest or bias: If there is evidence of bias from anyone involved in the investigative or hearing phases or the determination of responsibility, the sanctions imposed will be subject to appeal following a student's request. 
  2. Excessive sanctions: The panel may consider appeals if the punishments handed down by the disciplinary board are unreasonable based on the findings during the investigation and subsequent determination of responsibility. 
  3. Lack of due process: The adjudicatory process failed to conform to the prescribed procedures outlined in the school's code of conduct. The accused party was not given a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present their argument before the disciplinary board. 
  4. New evidence emerges: In matters appealed on the grounds of new evidence, such evidence must have been unavailable or undiscoverable during the investigative or hearing processes.                

Institutions of higher education give students only a few days after the final decision has been made to appeal punitive measures. Usually, the timeframe lies between two and ten days, but it varies from school to school. For example, Bryant University gives students five school days upon written notification of the disciplinary board's decision to file an appeal. 

Brown University states in its code of conduct that once the school's appellate hearing concludes its review, it can do the following: 

  • Affirm the original finding and subsequent sanctions 
  • Deny the student's appeal for failing to fulfill appellate requirements 
  • Modify the sanctions handed down by the disciplinary board 
  • Remand the matter to the disciplinary committee to reopen the case 
  • Reverse the findings and allow the student to rejoin their studies 

Once the appeals panel has decided, it is regarded as final, meaning there is no longer an opportunity to address the situation with the school. If a decision to suspend or expel a student remains, the end of an academic career can leave any student emotionally exhausted and not knowingknow where to turn for relief. They may believe the only step forward is to depart the school. Without professional assistance, they may also be asking themselves: 

  • Could the sanctions be proven excessive given the misconduct findings? 
  • Has new evidence emerged that was not available during the investigation or hearing? 
  • How can infringements on due process be established? 
  • Was there any conflict of interest or bias on the part of the disciplinary board members? 

College students focused on academic rigors are usually not well versed in grievance proceedings and are not prepared to navigate these complex situations. Additionally, even though students have a few days to put together an appeal, they will be told to leave campus, hindering their ability to gather evidence supporting their request. Therefore, they need a professional to help them with their last chance to defend their academic careers. 

Separation From Studies  

Sanctioning bodies may impose punishments on students for failing to achieve "satisfactory academic progress" (SAP). At Providence College, if a student does not maintain a 67 percent completion rate among their course load each semester until graduation, they risk losing their eligibility for financial aid and are threatened with academic suspension. Roger Williams University allows for students to be temporarily suspended from the school pending formal grievance procedures through its interim suspension policy, and such an imposition is not appealable. 

Just because your Rhode Island college or university has abandoned you, it does not mean you should quit fighting for your educational opportunities. Do not let them ruin your academic career with unfair discipline. Rhode Island schools sometimes make mistakes in applying disciplinary policies like suspension or expulsion, especially when they do not consider a student's extenuating circumstances. 

Some unfortunate but relatively common life events that may affect student performance that can be used to lessen disciplinary outcomes are: 

  • Death of a family member or close friend 
  • Hard transition to campus life and course loads 
  • Injury or illness of an immediate family member 
  • Trauma that impaired a student's emotional or physical health 

Unless effectively challenged by an experienced advisor, students are at risk of losing the work they have accomplished toward obtaining a four-year degree. Students and their parents must remember that the college grievance process is not a court of law. Schools are not bound by the Fourth Amendment, and they do not have to honor due process rights when addressing alleged misconduct. 

These are just a few reasons you need a professional college dismissal advisor like Joseph D. Lento fighting to overturn your suspension or expulsion. He understands when disciplinary boards dole out sanctions beyond their authority, as stated in a school's code of conduct. He and his team at the Lento Law Firm know how to negotiate with college administration officials for a better outcome for student clients, preserving their chances of remaining in the classroom. 

What Are The Consequences of Suspension or Expulsion? 

When a Rhode Island student faces suspension or expulsion for lack of academic progress or other misconduct allegations, a separation from school ends their chance to complete their degree. However, it can also diminish the chances a student has to transfer to or enroll in other schools. Even if admission is permitted to prospective students who have such punitive measures on their records, schools require the disclosure of disciplinary actions from other colleges and universities they attended.  

Moreover, any student expelled from Brown University is permanently prohibited from entering any school property and participating in any activity or program. Expulsion results in a permanent entry on the student's official academic transcript and cannot be expunged. 

Terms of separation can also harm a student's financial aid eligibility. If a school suspends or expels a student, they will be responsible for reimbursing the government for any unearned portion of federal financial aid. If a young adult owes thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, it will cause long-lasting economic consequences. Those implications could ruin opportunities like: 

  • Applying to banks or federal programs for home loans 
  • Maintaining good standing with credit reporting agencies 
  • Obtaining scholarships to continue education 

Suspensions and expulsions can also affect students long after they leave campus. Those with severe disciplinary actions on their records must also disclose any imposed sanctions on various forms like: 

  • Behavioral counseling licenses 
  • Financial certifications 
  • Graduate school applications 
  • Law enforcement applications 
  • Municipal and state government internships 
  • Security clearances for federal jobs 
  • Transfer student applications 

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

Local Rhode Island lawyers typically start their defense of a student's academic career by threatening lawsuits against the college or university. While a formal suit is a possible course of action to address unfair disciplinary action, aggressive strategies like this are rarely the correct means of redress. Inexperienced attorneys may also tout their competency in a court of law, but courtroom proficiency does not convert into the practical negotiating skills necessary to persuade school administration officials to alter sanctions for a more positive outcome for the student. 

A student's goal is not to engage the college or university in legal proceedings that can last for years. They need prompt, private, negotiated relief from sanctions that separate them from their studies. 

Joseph D. Lento has experience defending students against harsh disciplinary sanctions in Rhode Island by brokering beneficial resolutions on behalf of the student with the school's Office of General Counsel (OGC). They can provide well-reasoned arguments to help representatives with a school's internal OGC and those from outside law firms to see options that serve both the student and the institution far better than suspension, expulsion, or other harsh punitive measures. 

For professional advice from a proven college dismissal advisor defending students in Rhode Island and across the country, call 888-535-3686 to discuss how Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can defend you or seek relief through the online consultation form. Your academic future depends on it.   

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.