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Student Services

Academic Appeals

An academic appeal may be made in accordance with university policy when a student believes that an academic decision (e.g., a course grade, admission to a program or major, etc.) involving that student is unfair or erroneous. The Office of the Associate Provost is the last step in the appeal process for undergraduate students. For instructions about the entire process, see Academic Appeals in the Undergraduate Student Handbook. For graduate students, the dean is the last step in the appeal process. Instructions can be found in Academic Appeals in the Graduate Student Handbook.

If an undergraduate student has already made the earlier steps in the process (e.g., appeal to the faculty member and department chair; or appeal to the Registrar’s Office) and is not satisfied that the situation has been dealt with appropriately, appeal to the associate provost is the last step. In other words, the associate provost will make the final decision for the University.

Guidelines for Writing an Appeal to the Associate Provost

Academic appeals are managed by Dr. Shelly Cunningham. Please see below for instructions on how to write and submit your appeal.

How to Write Your Appeal

  1. Address the appeal to Dr. Cunningham.
  2. In the opening paragraph, provide your contact information, include your full name and ID#. Also list any pertinent details connected to the appeal such as course number and name, semester, professor of record, etc.
  3. Explain that you are writing to appeal a particular decision, be specific.
  4. Summarize the events that took place.
    1. Describe the circumstances that led up to your request (e.g., family or life hardships, health, disability, etc.). Explain how these circumstances had a direct impact on your academic performance and/or why you think the decision made by faculty or by the department was incorrect; why it should be changed.
    2. Describe any action you took to address your situation (sought medical treatment, support on or off campus, academic advising, etc.). If you are appealing a Registrar decision, a faculty member’s decision, or a department decision, describe what appeal steps you have already tried.
    3. Include documentation if available (e.g., doctor’s note, documentation from Health Center, Campus Safety; copies of appeals already attempted with Registrar, faculty, or academic department).
  5. State your desired outcome and how this outcome will help with your continued success at Biola.
  6. Avoid common errors (typographical, grammatical, spelling) and avoid the use of slang.
  7. Be factual, detailed, and succinct.

How to Submit Your Appeal

A letter of appeal should be written in a professional letter format and submitted by email to Patti Colombo in the Associate Provost office at

Dr. Cunningham will give you the opportunity to discuss your petition with her in person. Please contact Patti Colombo to schedule an appointment at Please note, Dr. Cunningham should have your written appeal before you come in for your meeting. If you are out of the area, or coming to campus for a meeting is difficult, we can schedule a Zoom meeting or phone call.

Grade Changes

Grade changes are managed by Dr. Shelly Cunningham. Please contact Patti Colombo with any questions.

Students should review the web transcript of their grades after each semester. If the grade in a course is unexpected, it is appropriate for the student to ask the instructor of that course for information on how the grade was derived. If a calculation error was made (e.g., a submitted assignment was not included in the calculation), the professor may request a change of grade using the appropriate process.

For undergraduate students, the instructor must submit the change of grade form to the Office of the Associate Provost. For graduate students, the instructor must submit the change of grade form to the dean of the school. The student cannot submit the form. If the student believes the grade is unfair or in some other way inappropriate, and the instructor will not submit a change of grade, the student may engage the academic appeals process indicated above.

According to the catalog, grade changes should be made within 90 days following the date grades were due for the relevant term.

Dean's List

The Dean’s List is a significant accomplishment that is awarded to students who have earned a semester grade point average (GPA) of 3.60 or higher, while enrolled in 12 or more credit units and who have maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 3.20. This honor is a valuable addition to a resume or portfolio.

A “Dean's List” notification will appear on a student’s transcript every semester that they earn this standing. Students will receive an email notification following the semester that they are awarded, and they may also request a physical copy of their letter.

Questions may be directed to Patti Colombo at

Epsilon Kappa Epsilon

Epsilon Kappa Epsilon is managed by Dr. Tamara Anderson. Please contact Patti Colombo in the Office of the Senior Associate Provost with any questions.

Biola’s Epsilon Kappa Epsilon (EKE) Honor Society is a significant honor bestowed upon extremely high performing undergraduate students. Only five percent of graduating students each semester are selected for induction to EKE. Students are selected for this achievement based upon academic achievements, Christian character, and leadership and service. The Office of the Associate Provost manages the application invitation and induction process.


Submit a Prayer Request

The Office of the Senior Associate Provost regularly prays for Biola students. We know that we cannot provide resolution for all difficulties faced by our many students. However, we are also confident that God brought each of our students to Biola for this time. We therefore desire to bring the students before God’s throne in gratitude, prayer, and supplication.

If you would like to submit a specific prayer request, please send your message to our Prayer Request Dropbox. Every morning starting at 9:00 am, prayers will be lifted on your behalf by the Office of the Senior Associate Provost staff. All prayer requests will be kept confidential.