Law Office of Michelle Ball Federal Laws,Postsecondary, College, University,school discipline College Policies Must Be Followed To Resolve Student Issues

College Policies Must Be Followed To Resolve Student Issues


College policies must be learned and followed

Last Updated on August 20, 2021 by Michelle Ball

By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995

When college issues arise, handling them can be a bear to say the least.  They can range from minor discipline matters to out and out student exclusion from a college or university based on academics or some alleged wrongful conduct. When these problems develop, a student must look toward and follow the college procedures and policies if they want to “fix” the issue at hand.

College policies are important
It can be lonely to fight a huge college, but the policies can level the playing field when applied by a student.

Postsecondary Policies Are Important

College policy rules student matters.  

Universities usually have quite a number of written policies.  These policies are typically the main guide for a student with a problem.  Applicable policies are usually outlined in the college catalog, on-line, or in handouts and correspondence from the school.

Where Policies Really Matter

College policies matter, perhaps most when a student is facing suspension or expulsion from a postsecondary institution. Upon notification of an allegation, a student needs to learn everything they can about the college policies so they can fight the allegation.

For example, did the student’s actions actually meet the college policy allegedly prohibiting that conduct, or not? Did the college meet its notification or other requirements outlined in their own policies?

The student must argue all policy breaches or missteps by the university.

Many Students Just Take the Punishment

Sadly, it is not uncommon for busy college students to simply “take” the punishment issued whether warranted or not.  This common lack of opposition can make colleges lazy when they impose student punishment and the discipline may be poorly supported.  This can be good for the student who challenges the college as the accusations may fall apart.

College policy impacts outcomes
Students must be crafty and smart when taking on postsecondary institutions

Postsecondary Hearing Procedures and Rules Outlined in Policy

Some of the potential hearings and related rules which may be outlined in college policies:

1)  Discipline hearing (re: expulsion, suspension, various forms of discipline and their basis)

2)  Appeal of discipline hearing (may or may not be available)

3)  Grade appeal hearing (oppose an unjust grade)

4)  Grievance complaint (to complain about a situation or individual)

5)  Records correction hearing (granted under FERPA- the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act).

6) Appeal of dismissal from major, program, or degree

In any situation, a university student has to apply themselves to the situation at hand and make the most productive noise possible using the college’s own policies against them if possible.  Otherwise, the student’s problem may not be resolved properly.


Postsecondary student lawyer Michelle Ball may assist university students throughout California. A college attorney in Sacramento, she can help students in Davis, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, Roseville, Stockton, Irvine, San Diego, San Francisco, Berkeley, Riverside, Merced, Fresno and in many other towns.