Grade Changes

What you can do if you’re not happy with a grade

If you are an undergraduate student and you feel you’ve been graded unfairly or that you could do better in a class, you have options for trying to raise your GPA.

The grade assigned by the course Instructor at the end of a semester is the student's final grade for that course which will show on student's transcript. Grades may be changed by appeal that starts with the instructor. The most common reason to appeal a grade is to correct an error in the calculation of the grade, but this Student Initiated Grade Appeal process may also be used to request that a final grade of A-D- be modified to show a non-GPA relevant "S" (Satisfactory) or "P"(pass) grade on the transcript, if that serves student's academic interests and does not impose additional, unintended burdens.

If students dispute their final course grade, the following process applies. Valid reasons for requesting consideration of a grade change or displayed grade change are:

  • Miscalculation of grade (human error).
  • Procedural error (e.g., failure to follow announced grading procedures).
  • Non-academic reasons (e.g., discrimination that is banned by University policy)
  • In case of request to change grading basis to display "S" or "P", prolonged state, national, or regional disruptions occurring during the graded semester that had demonstrated negative effects on student performance.

  1. Students begin appeal by contacting the instructor of record about the matter within 14 calendar days of the start of the next academic semester, including summer. Students may initiate contact verbally but to preserve a time/date initiated for further processing are strongly encouraged to initiate by e-mail from their IU e-mail accounts to the IU e-mail accounts of their instructor(s). E-mail should identify the class where grades challenged, semester taken, and statement of what is being asked and reasons supporting their request. Instructor has 14 calendar days to review request and issue written decision to student's IU e-mail account. A change of recorded grade is launched in E-grade change. A change of grading basis to display an "S" or "P" goes to the Office of the Registrar for processing. If student is satisfied with resolution offered by instructor, the appeal ends. If student is not satisfied or faculty member does not respond within 14 calendar days of submission, the student proceeds to next step.
  2. Student completes and submits a Student-Initiated Grade Appeal form the offering school's dean's office, within 7 days of instructor's written decision, or expiration of the 14 day instructor response time. Appeal form should be accompanied by supporting documentation, including instructor's response or proof the instructor was contacted and when. Personnel in the Offices of the Deans initiate the next level review process appropriate to the school. Some schools have an intervening review by the program coordinator or academic committee. The school-based review process must yield a written decision to the student and the dean to approve, approve in part, or disapprove students' appeal. If student is satisfied with outcome at this level, appeal ends here. Changes in actual grade are executed in an administratively initiated E-grade change. Changes to displayed grade are processed by the Office of the Registrar.
  3. If student is not satisfied with resolution, dean of offering school will conduct an independent review of the appeal process and documents at the student's request. Dean's review includes discussions with the student, the instructor, and/or the program coordinator. In an appeal to the dean, the burden of proof rests with the student.
  4. The dean must notify the student in writing of the outcome/decision within 14 calendar days of the start of dean's review period. The deans' decision is final. Final decisions that require adjustment to the student record to effect are forwarded to the Office of the Registrar for processing.

Time Limitations

  • Exceptions to the specified time limitations will be considered in exigent, serious. documented circumstance (e.g., prolonged hospitalization, military deployment, prolonged regional disruptions to transportation or resources) that prevented the student from filing the petition or the faculty member from responding within the stated time period.
  • The total review process from faculty-student discussion to final outcome should take no longer than 45 calendar days.

Approved by Faculty Senate; Circular 11-7D; 2/17/2011; modified to accommodate COVID-19 response 4/1/2020.

IU Southeast will offer an “S by Appeal” option for students who feel their grade performance may have suffered as a result of the shift to online or other elements of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After final grades for the spring 2020 semester have posted, students can opt to have a final course grade reflected on their transcript as a non-GPA relevant “S” or “P.”

Students will have until 14 calendar days after the start of fall 2020 semester to request this option for spring 2020 classes.

For more information, review the FAQ