The grade I received for Fall 2022 semester was not the grade I feel like I deserved so I emailed my professor as soon as I saw it. The professor did not respond to my email or any follow-up emails until the start of the next semester. A week after the new semester he agreed that we’d meet to discuss the grade. We came to the conclusion that my grade would be changed.

It's now halfway through the new semester and no progress has been made to change my grade. I've messaged the dean of the department about it (with whom I've been in contact since the beginning), who recently started ignoring me along with the professor. I've since messaged the dean of all of the science colleges, and I am still waiting for a response.

I don't know what to do in this situation. I have never experienced this before. But it seems like the professor and now the dean of the department are waiting on me to "forget" about it. I'm so lost. This has been giving me anxiety since December and nobody seems to care but me. What more should I do? Since I've come to a "resolution" with the professor, I'm no longer eligible to submit a formal grade appeal for a "board meeting" since we are too far into the new semester.

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    Was the grade really unfair or did "you just feel like you deserved better"?
    – Sursula
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 7:31
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    @Sursula well, if the professor agreed to change it, there should be some reason for that. Especially this "stalling" strategy by the professor is unacceptable. Probably it is not easy or possible to change the grade anymore because the professor did not follow the process in time, and now they are trying to get the student to give up.
    – wimi
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 7:52
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    @wimi with due respect the end of the fall 2022 would be near the holiday period and I personally would not expect an instructor to engage in reviewing marks during that period. I don't exactly know when the new semester started, but instructors don't drop everything for student who think they deserve more. If the OP has a legitimate case, they should state it clearly in one email. Bombarding administration outside of due process is a sure-fire way of remaining ignored. Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 19:18
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    Why does the grade matter? In which year of your degree are you? Is this going to affect the next ~80 years of your life in a meaningful way (for example causing you not to get into grad school)? Once you get into grad school, your grades as an undergrad student matter for almost nothing. In academia your publications will carry far more weight, and for non-academic jobs what will matter (in cases where anything from your undergrad years matters at all) is the degree that you get, not the grades in your courses. Did you fail the course and tried to get the grade increased to a passing grade?
    – Nik
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 19:59
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    Is there any reason why you escalated things from the beginning? Why was the dean of the department involved from the beginning? How many emails did they receive regarding this issue, which should have been first handled with the instructor only? If it was more than 2-3 emails, this probably explains why they are ignoring you.
    – Nick S
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


Your story indicates one of the reasons why it is always worth following formal appeals processes if they exist. Formal processes create audit trails that make it hard for anyone to deny the existence of conversations or agreements that were made. ... and very frequently, formal appeal processes resolve quickly with simple solutions such as exam re-sits, or re-marking of examination papers.

However, in your case, I would still investigate the possibility of a formal appeal, despite your remarks about a "resolution" with the professor and the apparent passing of the deadline for a formal appeal. I suggest that you go to your university administration and take with you any correspondence that supports your contention that you and the professor reached some sort of agreement about your grade. If there is evidence that is consistent with your claim that you talked to the professor about a grade adjustment and/or that you reached some kind of resolution, that might well be sufficient for the administration to ensure that the professor keeps the agreement that was made.

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    Agree about going the formal route. A verbal resolution is not a full resolution if it doesn’t result in grade change action.
    – Dawn
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 20:36

It seems you reached a phase where administrators see additional emails as significantly annoying and thus prone to be ignored.

Instructors (at least all those I know) have a marking scheme or grid so you need a good reason - better than "I deserve better" - for them to review your copy. No instructor (at least none that I know) will agree to review your case on the basis of how you feel about your mark, else final marks would be assigned after a long series of quasi-endless negotiations to please individual students.

Just imagine for one moment that 100 other students didn't get a mark they don't feel they deserve and they all start emailing everyone in the administrative chain, and you can see why how the process is slowed down.

You seem to have resolved the issue with the instructor. What was the outcome of this resolution? Indeed if there is a resolution then what more do you expect the instructor or dean to do? Do you have a formal email clarifying how the situation has been resolved? If no you should ask for one. If none is forthcoming, then I would suggest you start a formal appeal anyways, as there is no record of this resolution.

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    I think this is undernessarily condescending. The professor, as I understand agreed to change the grade, so the student's feelings seemed to be right.
    – user111388
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 13:56
  • FWIW, many of my professors graded without any grid (some even metioning that in some exams they grade nicer or harder). Some of my collegues do too.
    – user111388
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 13:57
  • @user111388 if the professor agreed to change the mark, then what is the dispute about? The resolution was fair? Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 13:58
  • @user111388 surely there must be some marking grid else an instructor would assign marks randomly. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 13:59
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    As I read the question, the prof agreed to change the mark, but always forgets about it and doesn't answer to the student.
    – user111388
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 14:00

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