While financial assistance helps college students pay tuition and other educational expenditures, there are some circumstances in which you may lose your financial aid. While you may be able to recover it in some instances, you may need to explore other options in the meanwhile ConsolidationNow guarantee.
What you need to know about financial aid suspension, how losing financial assistance might affect you, and how to reclaim it.
Reasons for financial assistance denial
There are a few circumstances in which you may lose financial aid:
- Your income or that of your parents increased: Certain types of financial help are based on your income and that of your parents. If your income exceeds a certain level, your financial help package may be lowered proportionately.
- You did not make enough academic progress: One of the several conditions for maintaining financial assistance is supporting a particular GPA specified by your school. If your grades fall below that level or you drop a class or withdraw, you risk losing access to all financial help, including federal loans.
- You are not enrolled part-time: To qualify for federal financial help, you must be registered at least half-time. If you’re taking fewer credits this semester, you may not be eligible for federal student loans until you increase your credit load.
- You’ve progressed in your program: Some schools provide financial help to new first-year students, but such school-specific forms of financial aid may become unavailable after you’ve advanced in your program.
- If you are detained in a federal or state facility, you will be ineligible for most federal financial help. However, you may qualify for a Pell Grant if you are detained at neither a national nor state-run facility.
- You do not fulfill the following additional qualifying requirements: The United States Department of Education maintains a list of fundamental financial assistance qualifying criteria. It includes citizenship, enrollment, student loan delinquency, and others. If your school’s financial aid office determines that you have violated one or more of these conditions, you may lose all financial help.
While various schools provide unique programs to their students, federal financial aid suspensions are cumulative since they are imposed by the federal government, not the educational institution. If you lose eligibility for financial assistance at one school and subsequently transfer, you will not instantly recover it.
How to reclaim your financial assistance
Your financial help may have been lowered or eliminated depending on the circumstances. Regardless, the procedure for retrieving it will vary according to the cause of the loss.
In rare cases, such as when your school does not provide specific scholarships to upper-level students or when your parents’ income has improved and is unlikely to decrease again, you may be unable to recoup your losses.
In specific instances, the measures you must perform are directly tied to the suspension cause. If you are imprisoned, you must wait until freed. If you’ve fallen behind on a federal student loan, you’ll need to rectify the situation. If not enrolled, you’ll need to register for additional courses.
If you have been denied financial help due to academic concerns, you may appeal the decision to your institution’s office of financial assistance. There may have been mitigating circumstances, such as a family loss or a long-term sickness, that made meeting the university’s standards difficult for you, and submitting such information may assist you in reversing the decision.
If you’re unclear about why you’ve lost financial aid or how to proceed, contact your school’s financial aid office for further information and advice.
Without financial help, how to pay for education
There are a few options for obtaining the cash necessary to cover tuition and other fees if you have lost your federal financial assistance.
Scholarships and fellowships
You may still be eligible for educational scholarships and grants, depending on your circumstances. If not, set aside time to examine different scholarship search engines and apply for private organization scholarships and awards.
These programs are distinct from the federal financial assistance program, so you won’t lose eligibility if your financial aid is suspended.
Loans to students
If your income or that of your parents has risen, or if you have simply lost access to school-based financial help, you may still be eligible for federal student loans.
If, however, your circumstances have rendered you ineligible for any government financial help, you may need to get federal student loans. Instead of relying on the federal government, parents may be required to co-sign private student loans.
A co-signer is not required for an income-share arrangement, which gives immediate funding for payments based on the part of your anticipated wages after graduation.
Work on a part-time or full-time basis
Depending on your course load and other conditions, you may be able to work part-time or even full-time while attending school. Even if you cannot work during the school year, you may work full-time over the summer and make enough money to cover at least a portion of your college expenditures.
Consider a less expensive choice.
Bear in mind that a suspension of federal financial assistance will transfer over to another institution. However, moving to an online school, a community college or a state institution may allow you to lower your fees enough to make education more accessible. Additionally, if you’ve lost eligibility due to bad academics, you may take this chance to work diligently to improve your GPA.
However, before transferring, verify how many credits will transfer from your present institution and if they will still count toward your degree. A mandatory course at one institution may be deemed optional at another in certain circumstances.