Academic Procedures

Responsibility for Property
Students are responsible for any damage to College property, beyond normal wear and tear, and an assessment in the amount of $5 or the cost of repair, whichever is greater, will be charged against the $75 room deposit. Although Sweet Briar endeavors to protect the property of its students in the same manner as its own, it will not be responsible for the loss or damage of any personal property of any student.

Campus Cashier

For the convenience of the College community, the Business Office operates a cashier’s window where personal checks are honored. This privilege may be forfeited if a check is returned for any reason; in addition, there is a $25 fine for returned checks. It is recommended that students open checking accounts with their home banks or with local banks. Checks drawn on foreign banks will be subject to a $35 service charge to cover the cost of sending the check overseas for collection.

General Policies Non-Discrimination
In accordance with federal laws and the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia, discrimination in educational programs or in employment on the basis of race, religion, nationality, sex, age, handicap, veteran status, or sexual orientation by one member of the Sweet Briar community against any other member of the Sweet Briar community will not be tolerated. Discrimination encompasses any difference in treatment on a prohibited basis. This prohibition against unlawful discrimination shall not in any way alter, affect, or negate the at-will status of any employee. Individuals who require accommodation should notify the director of Human Resources (for employment matters) or the Dean’s Office (for education programs).

Confidentiality of Education Records

In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as Amended (FERPA), Sweet Briar College’s policy as outlined herein establishes certain prerequisites and limitations on the release of education records and personal identification data. The act was designed to protect the privacy of education records and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data.

Annual Notice — The College will annually notify students of their rights under the act by providing each student with a copy of this policy or a summary thereof.

Public Access — Certain information is considered public, and the College may release such information at its discretion. The College has designated the following information as directory information:

  • name
  • addresses (permanent, campus, local, email)
  • associated telephone numbers
  • date and place of birth
  • dates of attendance
  • previous institution(s) attended
  • major and minor field(s) of study
  • full or part-time enrollment status
  • class
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • academic honors and awards
  • degree sought
  • expected date of completion of degree requirements and graduation
  • degree(s) conferred (including dates)
  • photograph and video images

A student may request that designated directory information be kept confidential by filing written notification with the Registrar’s Office. Once restricted, this information cannot be released without the written consent of the student.

Disclosure to Third Parties — Except as described above, the College will not release personally identifiable information from education records to third parties without the student’s prior written consent. The College may disclose personally identifiable information from education records:

a) to College officials, including faculty, with a legitimate interest;
b) to certain federal, state, and local officials;
c) to organizations conducting certain educational studies or accrediting functions;
d) to parents who submit documentation that the student is claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes;
e) in connection with a student’s application for or receipt of financial aid;
f) pursuant to a court order or subpoena, upon a reasonable attempt to give advance notice to the student;
g) in connection with a health or safety emergency as necessary for the protection of the student or others;
h) to organizations or individuals as authorized in writing by the student; and
i) to other persons or entities as authorized by the legislation.

Student Access — Students may review their academic records by requesting this in person at the Office of the Registrar. The College will comply with a student’s request to inspect and review other education records under this policy within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 45 days from receipt of the request.

Limitations and Restrictions on Disclosure and Access — The term “education records” as defined by law and as used herein does not include:

a) records made and maintained by individual faculty or administrative personnel;
b) law enforcement records;
c) records that contain information only after an individual is no longer a student;
d) employment records; or
e) treatment records submitted directly to or maintained solely by the Student Health Center, except that a student may request treatment records to be reviewed by a physician or appropriate professional.

Student access to records that are not education records is strictly within the College’s discretion. In addition, students are not entitled to inspect and review certain education records, including confidential letters and recommendations (if a student has signed a written waiver), and parental financial records.

The College may, at its discretion, require payment of all delinquent tuition and other outstanding amounts prior to providing copies of records in connection with any disclosure or access. Students are also responsible for paying reasonable copying charges.

Records of Disclosure — Except for access or disclosure as described above, the College will maintain a record of requests for access to and disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records.

Types and Locations of Education Records — The College maintains the following types of education records at the locations indicated: the academic transcript is maintained in the Registrar’s Office and the academic file is maintained in the Dean’s Office.

Requests for Amendment of Records — A student may request the College to amend an educational record believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights. Such a request must be directed to the Dean of the Faculty. Appropriate offices will be notified if changes are made. Upon request, a student shall have the opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of education records on the grounds of information being inaccurate or misleading or in violation of the student’s rights. If the student does not prevail at the hearing, the student may add a statement to the record describing the student’s challenge. Students also have a right to file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning non-compliance with the Act or regulations.

Academic Policies on Disabilities
Sweet Briar College complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act and accepts students with documented disabilities who can successfully pursue the College’s academic program. Sweet Briar recognizes its responsibility to provide individuals with disabilities with equivalent access while maintaining the standards that are essential to the academic program.


Admission to Sweet Briar College is based on the requirements outlined in this catalog. Sweet Briar does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the admissions process. If an applicant believes that an accommodated admission review is warranted, the applicant must initiate the process (by law, the Admissions Office can not address a disability unless the applicant is self identified). The applicant must submit a written request for an accommodated admissions review to the Dean of Admissions and enclose with that request the appropriate documentation. The request will be evaluated by the Dean of the College, who will forward a recommendation to the Dean of Admissions for inclusion in the admissions review process.

Accommodations in Specific Courses and Support Services for Enrolled Students with Disabilities
Students with documented disabilities, identified either before or after their admission to the College, may request accommodations in the structure of a course or courses. The responsibility for initiating such requests rests with the student. Students with disabilities who seek course-based accommodations must meet with the Dean of the Faculty to request accommodations. The student must submit appropriate documentation of the disability to the Dean, who will review the documentation and will then discuss with the student which accommodations and support services are appropriate.

The Dean of the Faculty, with the student’s written permission, will notify the faculty members involved of the specific classroom or course-based accommodations or both that have been authorized. The student will also be referred to the Academic Resource Center to arrange need-based support services outside the classroom. All specific course-based accommodations should be established at the beginning of each academic term. It is the responsibility of the student to contact her professors to arrange for the necessary accommodations. Accommodations identified at the beginning of the term may be adjusted on an as-needed basis.

The types of legal accommodations available to students in specific courses and outside the classroom can include, but are not limited to, the following possible accommodations:

  • In Class — Tape recording of lectures, use of a note taker, seating location, extended time for assignments, use of a word processor for written work and taped texts.
  • For Examinations — Use of a reader, extended time, private room, use of a word processor, alternative formats, or adaptive equipment.
  • Outside the Classroom — Taped texts, note transcription, tutoring, learning strategies instruction, reduced course load, and use of adaptive equipment.

Students with documented disabilities may request modifications in academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate against students with disabilities, or have the effect of excluding students solely on the basis of disability. Modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for completion of degree requirements, reduced course loads, substitution of specific courses for degree requirements, waivers of specific requirements, or utilization of the pass/credit/no credit grading option.

Students requesting modifications must submit a written request to the Office of the Faculty complete with appropriate documentation of the disability. The College’s guidelines for reviewing all requests for modifications are:

  1. The modification must be directly related to the student’s disability.
  2. In cases involving courses required for the degree, the student must pass an authorized substitute course or requirement.
  3. In cases where students have been approved to take courses on the pass/credit/no credit basis, the office of the Dean will notify the Registrar in writing of this modification.
  4. Grades earned in courses identified as affected by a specific disability and attempted before the disability was diagnosed and confirmed by the Dean of the Faculty or Director of Academic Advising may be converted to the pass/credit/no credit grade, and the grade-point average may be adjusted at the request of the student and with the approval of the Dean of the Faculty. The Dean will consult with the faculty member who recorded the original grade to verify that clear evidence exists to support the student’s claim that the disability, rather than other factors, directly interfered with the student’s ability to perform on an equal basis with other students in the course. This policy will not apply to students diagnosed with disabilities after they have completed the degree.

Other Guidelines
In order for Sweet Briar College to consider requests for accommodations or modifications or both, the student must provide documented evidence of the disability or disabilities based on an evaluation done by an appropriate professional within four years of the date the request is submitted. In cases of learning disabilities or other “hidden disabilities” the required evaluation must also include specific test results.

The Office of the Dean will submit an annual report to the Instruction Committee, including the number of students diagnosed with learning disabilities, and summarizing the nature and scope of accommodations, modifications, and support services provided to students under this policy.