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Hope Scholarships// Grade Changes // Course Withdrawal and Deadlines //Grade Appeals

Hope Scholarships

Nearly every incoming Tennessee freshman at UT now has a Hope (lottery) scholarship. The GPA required to keep this scholarship, which was established by the state legislature, is above what most UT students historically have been able to maintain. On the other hand, the scholarships provide additional motivation for students to work hard for good grades and ultimately a majority of students may keep them for four years. However, whether or not a student will lose a scholarship must play no role in the assignment of grades, which should reflect only students’ knowledge and understanding of the material in the course.

Grade Changes

Grade changes after grades have been turned in at the end of the semester will not be approved without a well-defined, legitimate reason such as computational error or misapplication of stated grading policies.

Course Withdrawal and Deadlines

Undergraduate students may add courses through the tenth calendar day counted from the beginning of classes fall and spring terms. Because of the nature of some courses, permission of the department head may be required to add a course after classes begin.

Students may also, as departmental policies permit, change a section of a course through the add deadline. Students may drop courses until the 10th calendar day from the start of classes with no notation on the academic record for full term courses in fall and spring.

From the 11th day until the 84th calendar day, students may drop courses and will receive the notation of W (Withdrawn) for full term courses in fall and spring. Following are additional regulations related to dropping classes after the 10th day:

  • Students are allowed four drops during their academic career (until a bachelor’s degree is earned).
  • Students holding a bachelor’s degree who return to pursue a second bachelor’s degree are allowed four additional drops.
  • Students pursuing more than one major or degree simultaneously are not allowed additional drops beyond the four available drops.
  • Withdrawing from the university (dropping all courses) does not impact a student’s four allotted drops. More information on withdrawals is provided in the catalog section, "Withdrawing from the University".
  • The W grade is not computed in the grade point average.
  • After the 84th day, no drops are permitted.
  • Courses may be dropped on the web (

Failure to attend a course is not an official withdrawal and will result in the assignment of an F grade.


Grade Appeals

According to the Undergraduate Catalog, UT students have a right to appeal grades for the following reasons:

  • A clearly unfair decision (such as lack of consideration of circumstances clearly beyond the control of the student, e.g., a death in the family, illness or accident);
  • Unacceptable instruction/evaluation procedures (such as deviation from stated policies on grading criteria, incompletes, late paper, examinations, or class attendance);
  • Inability of instructor to deal with course responsibilities;
  • An exam setting which makes concentration extremely difficult.
An appeal is necessary only if an agreement cannot be reached with the course instructor; students who appeal to higher administration without first consulting with the instructor will be referred back to the instructor unless there is a compelling reason why the student is not comfortable communicating with the instructor. If discussion with the instructor does not resolve the situation then the student should contact Ms. Malissa Peery (974-1478) for courses below Math 141 or Dr. Nik Brodskiy (974-1478) for Math 141 and higher. In case of death in the family, illness, accident, or similar situation, proper documentation will be required for an appeal.

Appeals on the basis of unacceptable instruction/evaluation procedures will require clear evidence. For example, the fact that a student made higher grades in high school math courses than in a college math course is not evidence of unacceptable instruction. Likewise, the fact that several students are failing a course is not evidence of unacceptable instruction; almost all appeals on such grounds are denied by the department associate head because the grade distribution in the course (i.e. the number of A’s, B’s, and so on) is verified to be within the normal range for the course in question.

Finally, “unfairness” is intrinsic to a particular class and not relative to other sections of the same course. Meaningful comparisons between the teaching and grading methods of different teachers are virtually impossible to make. For example, one teacher may assign a grade of A for an 85, while another may require a 90 for an A, but the first teacher may have more difficult exams to compensate. If an instructor has reasonable grading policies and applies these policies uniformly among students in the class then the grading will be presumed to be fair.

last updated: October 2014

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