Complaints, Grievances, and Appeals Policy

The Complaint, Appeal and Grievance Policies and Procedures are designed to support and foster a fair, objective, respectful and ethical set of policies and procedures for resolution of disputes. The policies and procedures provide students with a process that protects the University community, including students, faculty and staff.

Complaints regarding discrimination, harassment, sex-based discrimination, or retaliation must contact the Title IX Coordinator found under the Statement of Non-Discrimination.


Complaint: The subject of a complaint is normally an action, decision or omission within the control or responsibility of the University’s faculty or staff that causes a student to feel that policies have been incorrectly interpreted. A complaint is often resolved informally or through mediation.

Grievance: A grievance is normally an allegation based on specific facts that there has been a misinterpretation, discriminatory application, or violation of a University Policy or Procedure, and may result in disciplinary action against a faculty member, staff member, or student. It may also be a complaint that failed to reach resolution after informal processes have been attempted. Admissions decisions, graduation appeals and similar academic decisions are not grievable issues, unless they are complaints of a civil rights nature, including complaints related to age, sex, race, religion, creed, color, ethnic/national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic background, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or other personal characteristic protected by applicable local, state or federal law.

Appeals: United States University recognizes two types of appeals.

  1. USU recognizes the right of every student to challenge and/or appeal a final course grade if they believe an error in calculating the grade or inconsistent application of grading criteria  has occurred. See Grade Appeal procedure below.
  2. Students who have been academically dismissed for failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards (SAP) may file an appeal if they believe University policy or procedures were not followed or if there were extenuating circumstances that impacted their academic performance. Extenuating circumstances may include but are not limited to the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or emergency care for an immediate family member. See SAP appeal procedure below.