Academic Leadership Toolkit

Grade Appeals System



Grade Appeals Flowchart




  • To provide students with the opportunity to challenge final grades that they can show were awarded in an arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory manner.


Authority and Responsibility:

  • FSU Faculty Senate makes all academic policy. The Office of Faculty Development and Advancement assists academic leaders in implementing those policies appropriately.
  • Instructors should establish grading standards in their syllabi and adhere to them consistently.
  • Students bear the burden of proving that a grade was not awarded properly.
  • Department chairs appoint three independent students (recommended by a departmental student organization, if possible) to serve on the student screening committee.
  • Instructors are responsible for providing grade records, syllabi, and other necessary information to the grade appeals screening committee and the grade appeals board.
  • Department chairs, with advice from the grade appeals board, assign the final grade in cases where the original grade is not upheld.
  • Department chairs and deans are responsible for ensuring that the grade appeals system is followed appropriately in their units.


Common Pitfalls:

  • Lack of specificity in grading standards leaves instructors vulnerable to grade appeals.
  • The charge of the student screening committee s sometimes not clear – to determine whether the evidence presented justifies going forward to the next step in the process, a College Committee.
  • Departments sometimes implement more elaborate procedures than are needed.



  • The assistant/associate deans in the colleges who work directly with student issues can provide valuable advice to faculty and department chairs and sometimes have background information that can facilitate problem resolution.
  • The Associate Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement (850-644-6876) can help at any stage in the process.
  • The Office of Faculty Development and Advancement hosts information about the Grade Appeals System.