If you wish to appeal to waive an academic regulation, this appeal must be made to the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee. Examples of such appeals include retroactive withdrawals from classes waiver of the continuance policy following a suspension, and waiver of the last 25 percent residency requirement for courses taken at VCU.

For more information or to contact the College’s ARAC representative, send an e-mail request to HSARAC@vcu.edu, or contact the Office of Student Services by calling (804) 827-8211 or visiting the office in Founders Hall, Room 102.

Academic Regulations Appeals Committee

A student petition to ARAC is considered an appeal to waive a rule. Waivers are granted only in exceptional cases. We encourage you to review the list of regulations that may be appealed pdf icon to ARAC.

The committee typically meets two Thursdays each month — the first and third Thursday in the summer and second and fourth in the spring and fall. Changes may be made to this schedule due to holidays or certain requests.

All cases on the agenda are heard at each meeting. Results can be approved, denied, tabled or withdrawn. Petitions are tabled if required documentation is not provided. Petitions are withdrawn if the student’s request can be granted by some other means or if the request is not something the committee can hear — such as a request regarding grades assigned by the honor council or a request for retroactively adding a course when the student had a hold on their account preventing registration on the first day of classes. Also, appeals involving a Title IX incident will be sent to the Title IX Office for appropriate action rather than being heard by ARAC.

One of the most important considerations in evaluating the merits of a petition is evidence. As stated in the Undergraduate Bulletin, petitions must include evidence to support any claim included in the student’s letter. Acceptable evidence includes such things as police reports, doctor’s notes, death certificates or notices, hospital records and comments from a faculty member directly involved in the case. Materials that are unacceptable as evidence are the student’s unsupported comments in the letter and letters or statements made by family members, acquaintances or friends. Any petition not accompanied by acceptable evidence will be withdrawn or tabled.

Appeal decisions

The committee’s decision is final, and there is no ARAC appeal except reconsideration of the petition if new information is provided. A new letter from the student is not considered new information. A student dissatisfied with the outcome of his or her case communicates exclusively with the dean’s office representative. The student may not contact individual committee members, including the committee chair, or the provost’s office regarding the results of a petition.

Financial aid

Students receiving financial aid and petitioning to drop, withdraw or change the status of courses from credit to audit risk the loss of some or all of their financial aid. Prior to submitting your petition, you should obtain a written statement from your financial aid counselor explaining the financial impact of the proposed actions. This statement is for your information and should not be presented to ARAC.

Bill payment for retroactive adds

Students approved for a retroactive add into a course may need to pay tuition for the credits being added and must do so before the course will be added to their schedule. Prior to submitting your petition, you should check with student accounting to see what charges, if any, you will be responsible for if a retroactive add is approved. These charges should be paid as soon as possible following the approval of the petition.

Instructions for submitting a petition

Before assembling your petition, you should review the instructions for filing a petition with ARAC pdficon_small. for students in the College of Humanities and Sciences. Students who are majoring in a program outside the College should contact the appropriate ARAC representative within that program. If you are a freshman or have an undeclared major, then please contact the ARAC representative for the Strategic Enrollment Management at SEMARAC@vcu.edu.

You must write a letter explaining your request and provide any documentation supporting your situation. See the ARAC letter-writing instructions pdficon_small for step-by-step instructions for writing an appeals letter to the committee. The ARAC cover sheet pdficon_small should be completed and attached to your letter, any supporting documentation and a copy of your unofficial transcript, which can be printed from VCU eServices.

If you are seeking a retroactive withdrawal or drop, you will also need to complete the faculty memorandum pdficon_small for each course being appealed. In some cases, an e-mail with the necessary information will suffice.

The VCU Bulletin outlines University policies.