5 Steps To Draft An Effective Assignment Deadline Extension Request

by Dr. Alan October 12, 2020

Do you have a paper due in a week? Worried about missing your deadline? Late submissions can cost you quite heavily in University.

In the current context of the pandemic, almost all assignment submissions are now online. You don’t have to physically submit your paper at the college anymore. However, you might still need an extension to submit your report.

Fortunately, your HOD might consider giving you an extension if you have a good enough reason. So, how to go about asking for an assignment deadline extension?

Check out this step-by-step guide to draft a convincing and compelling deadline extension request.

Step 1: Reach out to the right people

Usually, the student reaches out to their professor or head of the department to ask for an extension. Some even forward this request to your Course Coordinator and the Student Body Council.

Earlier, students had to submit a formal letter when placing such extension requests. Now, you can just drop in an email to your class professor or Head of Department for guidance. Check out the university website for details. You can find some info on the assignment deadline extension on their coursework, assessment, or assignment submission section.

At Newcastle University, Australia, for instance, there is an impressive body that reviews these requests. The Student Central Body either approves the extension date or sends it over to the Course Coordinator. The application form is called “Adverse Circumstances Application”.

You can access this application form through the student portal- myUON. Students at Newcastle university need to submit this form latest by 11pm on the due date of the assignment. Read through the Adverse Circumstances Affecting Assessment Items Procedure to know more about the documents/info needed to substantiate your extension request.

For short/minor assignments that have 30% or less weightage, you can directly drop in an email to the Course Coordinator. Note that students pursuing a degree in Bachelors’ in Medicine have a different Adverse circumstance application policy

Step2: Find a convincing reason

This is the crux of your assignment extension request. You need to come up with a genuine reason for the late submission. Professors only consider candidates who have a convincing argument as to why they couldn’t complete the paper on time.

In Victoria University, students can apply for a maximum of 5 days extension on short assignments. You need to submit the request at least a day before your paper is due.

There are two application forms that you’ll find for short extensions. One is for assignment extension- Higher education short extension form, the other for assessment extension requests- VET request for an extension to assessment. Fill out the form and submit it to the College Course and Unit Advisor (CUA) or the Victoria University professor from the respective department.

Attach the necessary documents like letters from the employer, medical records etc. to add credibility to your application. And if you want an extension for more than 5 days, you need to submit a Special Consideration Application.

If you are an honours student, you can approach your student body council

When do universities grant a deadline extension?

Asking for an extension is not an ideal situation that a student would want to be in. In most cases, it is the last resort when the student can’t complete the assignment within the given time.

Also, professors rarely grant extensions to a student as it might be unfair to others in the batch. So, you better have a good enough reason to convince the professor or coordinator. Here are some situations where the University grants a deadline extension:

Medical reasons

Medical concerns refer to any ailment, disability or sudden health issue that might crop up during your term. You need to produce the medical records and a doctor’s prescription to prove this claim. For instance, in Deakin College, the authorities prefer if you attach a Deakin medical certificate along with your extension request.

In Deakin University, students can also apply for an extension in case they or their family is affected by CVID-19. You can apply for a maximum of 2-weeks extension without any documentation. And if you want to extend the 2-week deadline then apply for the Special Consideration.

Professional reasons

Some students also work part-time jobs to support their expenses in college. And sometimes, it gets difficult to balance your work and academics. And some universities do consider giving students an extension if they are not able to meet their assignment deadline

So, if you have some unavoidable work commitment or an interview lined up, convey the same to your professor. In Griffith University, you can apply for an extension if some work emergency crops up. Fill out the application form, and can also check the status of your application. Sign in with your university id and password to access the document.

Contact your course supervisor for more information. Also, if you attach a letter from your employer/workplace, it adds more weightage to your application.

Delay due to Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unexpected calamity that most universities in Australia consider as a valid reason for a deadline extension. In Newcastle University, for instance, students can apply for a fee-free extension if their thesis submission is delayed due to COVID.

As per the new 2020-21 regulations, students at NCL university can request for the deadline extension via the e-portfolio. For other reasons, you have to pay a revised fee amount that you can check at the university website.

Compassionate grounds

Compassionate grounds include medical emergencies, death of a loved one, accidents and other such experiences. Most colleges allow for 7-days extension, you can request for more time depending on the gravity of the situation

And don’t worry, under compassionate grounds, the University generally doesn’t deduct your grades because of the delay. Ensure that you keep your professors and the course coordinator informed about the extension.

Step 3: Check the extension regulations with your department

Students can also ask for an extension on compassionate grounds. Mental health issues, sudden death in the family, accident, taking care of a loved one- are all considered to be trauma-inducing experiences.

Most universities in Australia granted a week-long extension on compassionate grounds. Stanford University also allows students more time if they have physical or mental disabilities. However, the student must specify the exact reason for the delay and even the date when they would submit the assignment. You can read more about the regulation at the Stanford University website- Assignment Extensions page

How long can I stretch the due date?

You can extend the assignment deadline date to a maximum of 2 weeks in most Australian Universities. You need a special consideration grant if you need more time than that. In the University of Edinburg, for instance, you need to submit a separate form for every assignment you need an extension on.

As per the latest update, all coursework extensions would shift to an online portal from October 2020. The MyEd Student and Staff portal allows students to apply for multiple deadline extension requests in a single application.

When to apply for an extension?

Universities don’t always grant deadline extensions to students. Remember, an extension is an exception. It is not the norm. You cannot apply for an extension just because you procrastinated the entire semester.

It is only under unavoidable situations like a medical emergency, accidents, death in the family or some disability that you get an extension. And these reasons must always be substantiated with proper evidence and documentation.

Read through the rules and regulations on how and when to apply for the extension. Students can find all the information on the university website, usually under the Assignments/Assessments tab. You can also conduct a site search to find out the “Assignment Extension” page directly.

Here is how you conduct a site search:

  • Go to the Google search bar
  • Type “site search: (website name)
  • Ensure that you just keep the domain name of the website
  • Remove the https//: from the URL
  • Type the specific page/tab you want from the website
  • The first page will have your search result

Step 4: Fill out the assignment extension form

There is a standard procedure that every University has when it comes to applying for a deadline extension. In most cases, you need to fill out an application form, stating your reasons for the delay in submission.

For a short-term course, you can do away with sending an email to your professor as well. However, for thesis papers and significant assignments, it is always better to fill out the application form and also personally inform your course instructor about the extension request.

You must keep your professor in the loop and be sincere when making the request for the extension. In the application form, you need to mention your class, semester year, name, college id, assignment name and deadline.

Next, you must mention a convincing reason as to why you need an extension. The University of Edinburg has a Coursework Extension form that you can fill up and submit online.

In Griffith University, you can apply for an extension if some work emergency crops up

Step 5: Attach the necessary documents

I would recommend you attach a medical prescription or doctor’s note when stating a medical emergency. And the reason is work-related then it’s best that you add a message or a reference letter from your employer or the company you work for.

Read through the rules before you write this application form, though. Each University has a different approach for granting deadline extension. Your coursework, semester year and the type of assignment also plays a significant role.

For instance, if you are an honours student, you can approach your student body council. For post-graduates and research scholars, it would be best if you discussed it directly with your university professor or head of the department.

The Bottom line

Follow this approach when writing your next assignment deadline request. Most universities have particular forms where you can put in all this information. However, in case you don’t find a way to convey the request via the website, I would recommend you write a formal letter or an email. Keep the letter/email short, to-the-point and practical. Good luck!

Learn How To Write Better Assignments For Your University Course

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