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The Financial and Registration Committee reviews appeals from students who are seeking exceptions to registration and financial policies and deadlines.

General Information

Financial and Registration (FR) appeals are available for any student who missed a registration deadline for an extenuating or compelling reason.

Complete appeals are reviewed by the Financial and Registration Committee (FRC) to determine if the extenuating circumstance merits a change in student registration after a deadline. The FRC takes numerous factors into consideration when reviewing submissions, including but not limited to:

  • Student appeal statement and extenuating circumstances
  • Supporting documentation
  • Timely submission of appeal
  • Academic standing and engagement in course

Students will be notified if additional information is required for an appeal review; incomplete appeals may be canceled without review. Submission of an appeal is not a guarantee of approval. The Financial and Registration Committee is not authorized to overturn a decision made by another Committee or Administrative Officer of DCE. Appeals submitted to overturn these decisions will not be reviewed.

Contact Information

FR Appeals are managed by the Academic Services Office. To contact the FR appeals staff, please email

End of Term Appeal Circumstances

Most often at the end of the term, students are appealing to change their current registration status from Registered to Drop or Withdrawn, or from Withdrawn to Drop in a course. Other appeal types are unlikely to be relevant as a semester ends. Information in this section references end of term appeal circumstances that may arise, frequently asked questions, and managing a pending appeal with end of term deadlines. Students may view their course schedule and registration status in MyDCE by selecting the MyCourses section in the MyDCE dashboard.

When will my appeal be reviewed?

FR appeal volume increases at the end of every term and may take longer in review than anticipated. To prevent any delays – students should submit official documentation with the appeal submission. If documentation is not presented with the FR appeal submission, the FR appeals staff will be in contact to collect additional information. In the interim, the appeal will be incomplete and not eligible for review. Appeals that remain incomplete, often because of missing or incomplete supporting documentation, may be cancelled without review.

The FRC reviews complete appeals on a rolling basis and meets once a week during the end of the term to review appeals and issue decisions. The FR appeals staff endeavors to have FR appeals complete and reviewed within 2-3 weeks from submission but anticipate a longer review at the end of the term. Complete appeals will be reviewed after the term unless the student ‘completes’ the course.

What is the likely outcome of a drop appeal?

FR appeals consider extenuating and documented circumstances (see documentation section) – these are often acute and occurring on or around the missed deadline. Appeals in which a student remains in a course after circumstances are encountered, or who are managing ongoing personal or professional responsibilities throughout the term, are unlikely to be approved – these circumstances, while often impactful, are considered known in the FRC review. Students with ‘known’ circumstances have options to act on their registration ahead of the deadline, and therefore have this weighed with the appeal circumstances.

The FRC looks to make a fair and equitable decision on all requests for retroactive registration changes (such as a retroactive drop or withdraw). Most often when a FR appeal is approved, it is approved for the most recent registration change deadline. Meaning – if a student appeals for a drop after the semester withdrawal deadline, and that student has been engaged and active in the class for the duration of the term, it is unlikely that a drop and tuition refund can be approved since the academic integrity and engagement in the term is an equal consideration in the FRC review. Instead, case depending, the FRC may approve a retroactive withdraw in the course.

My appeal is pending. Should I withdraw by the deadline?

A student that is still registered in a course and waiting on their appeal for a late drop to be reviewed will need to plan on how to proceed at the withdrawal deadline. The student should make an appropriate choice based on their circumstances and goals at present. Note, the Financial and Registration Committee may not be able to review an appeal ahead of a registration deadline. Similarly, they may not offer a retroactive option to withdraw if the deadline is missed while the appeal is pending.

Students may want to consider their ultimate goals in the course and decide how to continue assuming the appeal is not an option. Meaning – If a student knows they are unable or unwilling to complete the course for a final grade, the student may want to withdraw before the deadline passes. In this case, the student should be aware of the withdrawal option and WD grade issuance but should make the best choice for them on how to act at the deadline. Students that remain registered, if the appeal is cancelled or denied, may not have the opportunity to retroactively withdraw; students registered after the withdrawal deadline will be issued a final grade.

If a student decides to withdraw, and the FR appeal is approved after the withdrawal deadline; the drop will be processed – the WD grade and course would be removed from your academic record and the appropriate tuition refund would be issued.

Should I take my final or wait for my appeal review?

FR appeals are not a guarantee of approval – if an appeal is pending, students will need to make a choice on what is best for them when assessing end of term appeal options. Students should take time to assess their engagement and progress in the course throughout the term and determine how they feel about completing a course vs. waiting for an appeal decision.

Note – if a student completes a course when a FR appeal is pending, that course is no longer eligible for retroactive changes. A course is considered ‘complete’ when a student completes a final deliverable in the class. Completing a course may include sitting a final exam (including if it is started and time runs out), submitting a final paper, completing an individual or group project or presentation, or completing the final end-of-course assignment.

When making any decision of this nature, students may wish to speak with a Pre-Admission advisor or, for admitted degree candidates, their Academic Advisor to discuss how the grade (either letter or WD) may impact their academic progress and goals.

Types of Appeals

The Financial and Registration Committee reviews the following types of appeals:

  • Late add
  • Add/drop (exchanging of courses)
  • Late drop (with tuition refund)
  • Late withdraw (no tuition refund)
  • Credit status change
  • Reinstatement into a course

What is the difference between late registration and late add?

Late registration is the terminology used for students who have not registered for any courses in the current term. Students are expected to be fully registered by the start of the semester so they can engage in courses from the beginning of the term. Students who are not registered when registration ends are not eligible to appeal for late registration.

For more information on registration policies and procedures, see Course Registration.

Late add is the terminology used for students who are registered for a course in the current term and want to add a course after the course change deadline has passed. To be eligible to submit an appeal to late add a course, students must have been registered by the deadline in the Academic Calendar and be able to provide information in the student appeal statement, supported by documentation detailing the extenuating and compelling circumstances, why the course was not added prior to the course change deadline.

What is the difference between late drop and late withdraw?

Late drop is the terminology used when a course is removed from an academic record and will include a tuition refund. If approved for a late drop, the Financial and Registration Committee will also determine if a full or half tuition refund is merited based on the student engagement in the term, timing of the appeal, and circumstances presented and supported by official documentation.

The late withdraw does not include a tuition refund. The course will remain on a student’s academic record, and the student will be issued a “WD” notation for the course. See more information on the withdraw policy and “WD” grade notation on our Grades policy page.

If a student has completed a course (e.g., taken a final, submitted a final paper or project) they may not be eligible for an appeal to late drop or late withdraw.

What is the appeal for “reinstatement into a course”?

Students who were registered for a course and have accidentally withdrawn or dropped the course in online services can appeal to be reinstated into the respective course. Appeals for reinstatement will only be accepted after the semester final drop deadline. Prior to that time, students should re-enroll in the course through online services, pending availability and in accordance with registration policies.

Students are not eligible for a reinstatement appeal if they:

  • Accidentally drop a course and lose their place in the course
  • Accidentally drop from a waitlist and lose their place on the waitlist but were never officially enrolled in a course
  • Were dropped from a course after being absent for a required class session in the first two weeks of the semester
  • Were dropped due to non-payment or an overdue balance on the student account

What if my appeal does not fall under one of the types listed?

If you have any questions about the type of appeal you wish to file or if your appeal does not match one of the types listed above, contact Academic Services to discuss your situation with an appeals staff member.

Preparing Your Appeal

Student financial and registration appeals are submitted through online services. Students will be asked to complete the online appeal form, which includes entering course information and selecting the type of appeal you are submitting, writing a full appeal statement, and uploading supporting documentation. Students may start an appeal, save, and return to complete it at a later time, though it is recommended that students start and submit the appeal at one time rather than returning later to complete.

What does “compelling and extenuating circumstances” mean?

Compelling and extenuating circumstances refer to situations that have a major impact on a student’s life and are beyond everyday life situations. Compelling and extenuating circumstances should be detailed in the student appeal statement, and students should be able to provide supporting documentation to corroborate the circumstances. The Financial and Registration Committee does not consider workload, software or hardware difficulties, financial constraints, minor illness, unsatisfactory academic progress, failure to meet course requirements or prerequisites, lack of preparation, negligence, or vacations and personal travel to be extenuating circumstances.

What if I do not have an online services account?

If you have never created a student account with the Harvard Extension School or Harvard Summer School, you will be asked to create a record before you have access to online services.

Once you create an online services account, you will have immediate access to file an appeal.

If you have previously created an account or took courses through the Harvard Extension or Harvard Summer School, please contact Enrollment Services at or (617) 495-4024 for assistance in accessing your account. Creating a new online services account when you already have an existing account may delay your appeal.

Can I appeal courses taken in a previous term?

Appeals are reviewed for the current term or a term that has ended within the past few weeks. It is the Committee’s discretion whether they are able to review appeals for previous terms. Students who complete a course (take a final exam, submit a final paper, etc.) may not be eligible for any registration changes in that course. If you are appealing a registration change from a previous term, it is recommended that you contact Academic Services before submitting to discuss your situation.

What if I have more than one appeal to file?

If you are submitting the same request for more than one course, you can use the “Tell us about another course for this appeal” option on the appeal form. If you are requesting different types of appeals, you should submit multiple appeal forms.


A student requesting to late add for two courses will only submit one appeal form, with each course listed on the same form.

A student requesting to be reinstated into a course they have already dropped AND change the credit status for that course should file two appeals – one for reinstatement and one for credit status change.

Supporting Documentation

As part of the appeal submission, you will be required to upload official supporting documentation to the Student Appeal Form.

Documentation should be official, written on letterhead (when relevant), be written in English, and corroborate the details of your appeal statement. Documentation should include pertinent details of your situation, including a brief description of the extenuating circumstances, the time under which the situation occurred, and any additional restrictions that impact your enrollment or engagement in the course.

Students should provide two forms of documentation to support an appeal. The exceptions to this are an official letter from a doctor in medical situations or submitting official military orders.

What documentation should I provide to support my appeal?

Documentation should support the extenuating circumstances described in the student appeal statement. Documentation should provide details pertaining to the extenuating situation and be written on official letterhead (when relevant) for the Financial and Registration Committee to review. Different situations will require different types of documentation.

The following are examples of documentation that has been provided for different appeal situations. The list is meant to be a guide and is not an exhaustive list of circumstances or documentation.

If you do have any questions about providing documentation, contact Academic Services.

Appeal Circumstances Possible Documentation Options
Medical Situation Note from licensed medical practitioner, written on official letterhead and signed by care provider
Weather or Natural Disaster Notice of canceled travel arrangements due to inclement weather, proof of residence and dated news article of related weather incident and impact, notice of internet or power outages, etc.
Unexpected changes in employment Official letter from supervisor with dates and anticipated changes, travel itinerary with date of travel and date of booking arrangements, etc.
Technical connection issues Notice of internet or power outages, email communication or ticket number for communication with Harvard IT support

Documentation is reviewed by the appeals staff upon submission of an appeal. Students who submit vague or incomplete documentation may be asked to provide updated documentation before an appeal is reviewed.

I do not have any documentation. Can I still appeal?

Documentation is critical for each appeal to receive a fair and thorough review and corroborate the student statement. Students who do not have documentation are still eligible to appeal, though these appeals can be more difficult for the Committee to consider.

Students who wish to submit an appeal without documentation should follow these steps when submitting the appeal form:

  • Select your appeal type and provide requested course information.
  • Add your Appeal Statement, including relevant details and timeline information.
  • Under the “Supporting Documentation” section, select “No” for the “Do you have documentation to upload” question.
  • Select the “I am submitting without supporting documentation” box to confirm that you do not wish to add documentation to your appeal.

What if I am waiting to receive documentation for my appeal?

We recommend starting your appeal, then saving the appeal form and returning to complete and submit once you receive the documentation. If you submit an appeal without documentation, the Financial and Registration Committee may view the submission as incomplete or move forward with your appeal review without the required documentation, depending on the situation. Contact Academic Services with further question.

Appeal Submission and Processing

Every appeal submission is initially reviewed by the appeals staff. Students will be notified via email if any additional information or documentation is required before the appeal can be reviewed by the Financial and Registration Committee.

Once the appeal is reviewed by the Committee, decisions are sent to the email address associated with your student record. Students can confirm their email address in online services.

What will happen after I submit my appeal?

Students who successfully submit the appeal form will receive a confirmation of submission screen and email notification. If you do not receive this email, please confirm your email address in online services. We recommend that you keep a copy of the appeal submission email for your records.

The appeals staff aims to have all completed appeals reviewed within 1-2 weeks of submission. Appeal reviews may be delayed if supporting documentation is not received or if information is not clearly listed on the appeal form. Additionally, the appeals staff may need to communicate with the instructional staff for information pertaining to your appeal.

How do I make changes to my appeal or cancel a submitted appeal?

Students can email any changes or updated documentation to Be sure to include the following information when contacting appeals:

  • Your full name as listed in your online services account.
  • Send your request from the email in your online services account.
  • Include the case number for your appeal (the case number can be found in the confirmation email received when the appeal was submitted).
  • Clearly indicate what you wish to update in your appeal in the body of the email.

How likely is it that my appeal will be approved?

Appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis with many factors taken into consideration. As such, it is difficult to provide insight into whether your appeal will be approved. Students who submit an incomplete appeal or appeal without supporting documentation are more difficult for the Financial and Registration Committee to consider.

Tuition Payments and Refunds

Tuition payment is required in full before students can be officially enrolled in any course. This includes approved appeals for credit status changes if the new credit status has a higher tuition cost than the original tuition paid at registration.

Students will be notified of the exact payment amount needed and how to submit payment, if and when their appeal has been approved by the Financial and Registration Committee.

How can I tell if the credit status or course I am appealing to add has a greater tuition cost than what was paid at registration?

Students should review our course catalog to determine the cost of tuition for the desired credit status or the course you wish to add. Students can compare the difference in cost on the course catalog to the tuition paid at registration to determine if additional tuition payment is needed.

Will my appeal include a tuition refund?

Any appeal that is approved for a late drop will include a tuition refund. Refunds are issued for 100% or 50% of tuition paid.

Credit status changes and add/drop appeals may also include a refund. If the desired credit status or course added is of lesser cost in tuition, and the appeal is approved, students will be refunded the difference in the tuition cost.

Tuition refunds are processed by Student Financial Services within 3-5 business days of the appeal approval and will be issued back in the same manner by which the student paid tuition.

TAP tuition will not be refunded. Students who receive third-party tuition payments, veterans’ benefits, or are receiving financial aid should contact Student Financial Services directly for more information on tuition refunds.

Can my refund be deferred or used as a credit for a future semester?

Unfortunately, our administration is not able to defer tuition for a course in a future semester. Payment that exceeds the cost of tuition and fees will result in a credit balance. The credit balance will be refunded and may not be held and applied as future payment.

File Your Appeal

The financial and registration appeal form can be found in online services. Log in using your HarvardKey; under the Student Main Menu, select Course Registration and Schedule, then Financial and Registration Appeal Form.