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Student Appeals

Grade Appeals

Complaints or Grievances filed in connection with assigned final grades represent a special case
within the Grievance procedure. Grading reflects careful and deliberate assessment of a student's performance by the instructing professional(s). As such decisions are necessarily judgmental the substance of those decisions may not be delegated to the Grievance process.   

However, the College recognizes that in rare cases the process of grading may be subject to error or injustice. Except as otherwise provided by a separate appeal procedure for a clinical program as approved by the President of the College, a student who alleges an error or injustice in the grading process may file an appeal.  For the purpose of grade appeals, substantial evidence of error or injustice is defined as:

  1. The assignment of a course final grade to a student on some basis other than performance in the course; or
  2. The assignment of a course final grade to a student by resorting to unreasonable standards different from those which were applied by the same instructor to other students in that course; or
  3. The assignment of a course final grade by a substantial, unreasonable, and unannounced departure from the instructor’s previously articulated standards
  4. An error in calculating the course final grade.

The appeal process is intended for the course final grade and shall proceed no further than Level Two, Step Two (see below).  The student should meet with the Student Appeal Liaison (Assistant Director of Advising) to familiarize themselves with the grade appeal process and receive assistance in working towards resolution.

If the faculty member who assigned the challenged grade is no longer employed by the College or is not available within the timelines specified, the student may initiate his/her Level One complaint with the Student Appeal Liaison who will work with the Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee.  If the instructor of record is no longer available, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, in collaboration with the School Dean Officer, shall instead reassess the grading process.

Grade Appeal Process

Level One - Informal Procedure

  • Level One of the grade appeal process is the informal stage where most complaints are resolved. The Assistant Director of Advising serves as the Student Appeal Liaison and provides the student guidance, an overview of the grade appeal steps, and assists the student throughout the process. The Student Appeal Liaison does not have jurisdiction over the appeal outcome but serves as a student guide through the process.  The student should be in contact with the Student Appeal Liaison immediately (within 30 days of the grade posting) to review their justification for the grade appeal and begin informal mediation to resolve the grading concern.
  • The student has 30 calendar days from the posting of the final grade to submit a grade appeal to the Student Appeal Liaison.  This appeal should be in email and sent through the students QCC email account.  The appeal may be withdrawn by the student at any stage of the process however an appeal received beyond 30 calendar days (of the final grade being posted) by the Student Appeal Liaison will not be eligible to move forward. Once the Student Appeal Liaison receives the written appeal, they will schedule a meeting with the student to discuss their grading concern and review the process. Students will be guided to informal mediation with the faculty member for resolution at this level.

Level Two - Formal Procedure

  • (Level 2, Step 1) If resolution is not met in Level One, the student may move forward by preparing a detailed written explanation of the specific grade appeal within 10 calendar days of learning informal resolution is not achieved.  The Student Appeal Liaison will provide guidance to the student in preparation of the formal appeal letter. 
  • The letter (this may be an email or paper letter) must include:  student name and ID, the course and faculty name, and substantial evidence and documentation of the error or injustice in the grading process.  The student should include any additional documents that support the appeal.  The student should email their grade appeal to Ms. Barbara Zabka BZabka [at] or submit the documents directly to the Academic Affairs Office in the Administration Building room 103.
  • This document, once received by the Vice President of Academic Affairs, will be sent to the faculty for a detailed response.  Faculty have 10 days to respond to the appeal to the Vice President.  A summary of this response will be sent to the student and Student Appeal Liaison by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. 
  • (Level 2, Step 2) If a resolution is still not achieved, the last stage of the process is the student may request the appeal go to the School Dean for further investigation.  The student has 10 calendar days from the faculty summary email from the Vice President Office to file this appeal request.  This appeal should be sent to Ms. Barbara Zabka BZabka [at] or submit the documents directly to the Academic Affairs Office in the Administration Building room 103. The School Dean, post investigation, will submit their finding report to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.  A final summary finding will be sent to the student and Student Appeal Liaison no later than 30 days from the date the student filed the appeal to the School Dean.
  • There is no further appeal beyond Level 2, Step 2.

Important Contact Information:

  • Student Appeal Liaison: Ms. Janine Bradley, the Assistant Director of Advising | jbradley [at] | 508.854.4409
  • Assistant to the Vice President: Ms. Barbara Zabka | 508.854.4384
Grade Appeal Flowchart


Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and Appeal Process

Federal regulations require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their degree or certificate program in order to qualify for financial aid.  Financial Aid applicants will be reviewed at the end of each payment period to determine if the standards are met.  For most programs, a payment period is a semester.  For the Nurse Education Evening, Nurse Education Advanced Placement LPN, and Nurse Education Advanced Placement Paramedic programs, the payment period may encompass more than one traditional semester.  Students in these programs should contact Financial Aid for assistance in determining changes to their status while enrolled in these programs.  

Important Definitions

Attempted Credits:

  • All credits in which you were registered at the end of the add/drop period, including those with grades of F, W, X, I, IR, and WA, including all attempts at repeated courses
  • All earned credits (e.g. transfer credits and credits earned through prior learning)

Earned Credits:

  • Courses that you have completed and have earned credit for
  • Repeated courses where credit has been earned may only be counted once
  • Transfer credits
  • Credits earned through prior learning (e.g. challenge exams, portfolio assessment, or CLEP/Advanced Placement)

Audited (AU) classes are not considered attempted or earned and are not eligible for financial aid.   


Student progress will be measured based on the total number of attempted credits on the transcript at each review.  Student records will be reviewed against all three of the following criteria:

I. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • 1-15 total attempted credits:  1.50 cumulative GPA
  • 16 or more credits:  2.00 cumulative GPA

II. Minimum Earned Credits (Completion Rate) 

Calculate by taking “Total Earned Credits” divided by “Total Attempted Credits”.

  • 1-15 total attempted credits:  50% completion rate
  • 16 or more total attempted credits:  66.67% (two-thirds) completion rate

The current SAP policy considers the completion rate of your entire academic transcript. However, if you had a SAP determination prior to the 15-16 Academic Year, your completion rate may have been reviewed under the former SAP policy, which considered completion rate from the most recent Academic Year on your transcript (Summer, Fall & Spring).  Contact the Financial Aid Office for any questions regarding your completion rate calculation. 

III. Maximum Time Frame

You must complete your certificate or degree program by attempting no more than 150% of the total credits required for that program.  If you are not enrolled in a program at the time the assessment is completed, your determination will be made using the General Studies program degree requirements.  All attempted coursework that has been or could be applied to your current major according to the degree audit will be counted toward the maximum timeframe calculation.  Up to 30 credits of developmental courses (courses numbered below 100) and all English as a Second Language (ESL) coursework will be excluded from this calculation. 

Example: You are in an associate degree program that requires a total of 62 credits.  You have a total of 85 applicable credits attempted at the end of the academic year.  You need 15 more credits to complete your program.  You cannot complete your program within the maximum time frame (62 credits X 150% = 93 credits and you need 85 + 15 = 100 credits).  You are no longer eligible for financial aid funding.  

Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses

Good: You have met all three of the Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria.

Warning: If you do not meet the GPA or Completion Rate standards, you will be placed on Warning for one semester.  You are still eligible for financial aid, but if you do not meet the standards during your Warning semester, you will be placed on Suspension. If you meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards during your Warning semester, you will return to Good standing.

Suspension: If you do not meet all of the Satisfactory Academic progress criteria following a Warning or Probation semester, you will be placed on Suspension.  You will also be suspended if you do not meet the Maximum Time Frame Criteria.  While on Suspension, you are not eligible for any form of financial aid, including student loans.  If you are academically dismissed from the College, you will be placed on Suspension.

Probation: If you appeal a Suspension and it is approved, you will be placed on Probation for at least one semester during which time you will be considered for financial aid.  Your progress will be reviewed at the end of each Probationary semester.  If you meet the standards, you will return to Good standing.  If you meet the terms of your academic plan but fail to meet the overall Satisfactory Academic Progress policy criteria, you may remain on Probation as stated in your academic plan.  If the standards are not met, you will be placed on Suspension.  

Appeal Process

You may appeal your Suspension, in writing, if you have an extenuating circumstance that prevented you from meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria. To do this, complete the following steps.

  1. Submit the Suspension Appeal Form, or write a letter, to the Financial Aid Office explaining your circumstances. Your appeal must state why you were unable to meet the standards and what has changed to assure your success in the future.
  2. Provide supporting documentation with your appeal such as a doctor’s note explaining medical issues, letter from your employer regarding required changes to your work schedule, etc.

Regaining Eligibility for Financial Aid without an Appeal

You may be reconsidered for funding after you have successfully completed at least one semester without the benefit of financial aid.  To return to Good standing, you must again meet all of the criteria described above and notify the Financial Aid Office that you would like to have your eligibility for funds re-evaluated.  If you successfully complete at least one semester without the benefit of financial aid but do not meet the criteria, you may submit a complete appeal for consideration.

You are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office if you receive a grade change that results in you meeting the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Appealing Student Charges

Refund of Tuition and Fees

Students are responsible for their semester charges whether or not they attend. To remove or reduce these charges, students must officially withdraw in the Registrar's Office Rm. 152A. All refunds are pro-rated based upon withdrawal date. Please refer to the semester Tuition and Fee Refund Policy for financial penalty when withdrawing from your classes. Mandatory Health Insurance premiums are not refundable to any student  Please note: All tuition and fee amounts are subject to change without notice.

The refund is subject to the following limitations:

  • Official withdrawal must be made in the Registrar’s Office or Advising Office.
  • Any waivers must be submitted to the Student Payment Center prior to the semester deadline to be considered for a refund or adjustment
  • Mandatory health insurance premiums are not refundable to any student
  • Students will be refunded only that portion of tuition and fees paid by them; financial aid and other third party payments will be refunded directly to the paying party.

Students who have officially withdrawn from a class or classes may be eligible for a refund of tuition and fees. Please refer to the College semester booklets for refund deadlines and financial penalty. Students receiving Federal or State Financial Aid who cease to attend during the first 60% of his/her term at the College will have their financial aid pro-rated based on the number of days attended. For students enrolled in the Nurse Education Advanced Placement LPN, Nurse Education Advanced Placement Paramedic, or Nurse Education Evening programs, your aid may be adjusted if you are unable to continue in your program and do not graduate. If financial aid was disbursed, the student may owe a repayment of some or all of the financial aid received.

Download the Appeal of Student Charges Instructions and Form