Students seem to believe that instructors have an amazing power and can make special accommodations one-on-one. The requests for 'grade bumps' range from flippant to tragic.
Here is a recent response to a more tragic request.
I am sorry that you and your family are experiencing such trauma. Please consider speaking with one of the counselors available through Student Health and Counseling. Your mental health and well-being are so important. I understand that your final grade in this class does not fully reflect your ability; under different circumstances, you would have performed differently.
It is against University policy for me to accept additional work after the end of the quarter or to treat individual students preferentially. I am no longer able to change your grade or to submit the paperwork for an Incomplete. The department chair and dean would simply not approve that action at this point. Please speak with an academic advisor in the Psychology Department or in the Dean’s Office to explore your options. They have far more options available than I do.
Department of Psychology
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Associate Professor of Teaching Psychology
267 Young Hall