Appeals and Variances


NLC understands that from time to time, a student may experience extenuating circumstances that leads to a request for the College to vary its policies.  For this reason, NLC provides appeal procedures which students can access.

There are three different types of appeals at NLC:

  1.  Grade Appeals
  2.  Student Appeals
  3.  Requests for Variance

Please make sure you have read the policy relevant to your appeal or request before you submit it.  It is also recommended that you discuss your situation with a Dean or Associate Dean.

All appeals or requests to vary College policy are formal.  Therefore, requests must always be in writing and signed by the student.

Grade Appeals

Students enrolled in any course at Northern Lights College have the right to appeal course grades if they have reason to believe the grades are inaccurate.

For detailed instructions on filing a grade appeal, please see the ACADEMIC APPEAL POLICY.

The Grade Appeal Form can be found here.

Student Appeals

If a student decides to appeal a decision that imposes academic monitoring, a behavioral contract, required withdrawal, or dismissal, the appeal process is defined in the STUDENT APPEALS POLICY.

For detailed instructions on appealing a decision by the College that impacts your ability to register in, or continue attending, a program or course, see the STUDENT APPEALS POLICY.

The Student Appeals Form can be found here.

Requests for Variance

Requests that don't fall under the Grade Appeal or Student Appeal process typically fall under the Request for Variance process. 

A request for variance is a formal request for NLC to waive its policies and regulations and grant an exemption from a College policy or procedure, is a formal request of the College to waive its legally authorized policies and regulations.  Variances are granted on the basis of extenuating circumstances outside of your control that prevented you from meeting the requirements in the relevant policy/policies. 

Variances include requests to:

  • Drop a course or program after the deadline. 
  • Withdraw from a course or program after the deadline.
  • Refund or transfer of a non-refundable non-transferrable deposit.
  • Reverse tuition or fee charges. 

To request a variance, you must submit your request in writing.  Email is okay. 

Your request must include:

A letter with: 

  • Your full name
  • Your student number
  • Date of request
  • Clear rationale for your appeal or request
  • Remedy being sought
  • Your signature

Documentation that supports the information you provide in your letter.  Supporting documentation could include:

  • Medical note
  • Copies of email correspondence
  • Letter of support from a counsellor
  • Death certificate or an obituary from a public newspaper.

Submit your request for variance to  All requests will be presented to the appropriate adjudicator based on the policy affected (typically the Registrar or Dean).  

Requests for variance are reviewed within 15 business days.  You will be sent an email with the formal decision on your request within that time.  Please note that incomplete requests cannot be reviewed and you may be asked to provide additional information & documentation before a decision can be made.

Note that students whose requests are granted may be required to demonstrate readiness to return prior to resuming studies.