Extenuating Circumstances

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Extenuating Circumstances

Postby artistbm » Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:34 pm

Last year, at the start of my freshman year, my father was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 illness. About 2 months after he was diagnosed, he left home in a paranoid and delusional state. He remained in Texas with his brother and childhood friends for almost 4 months without medication. With out the support from his side of the family, my family and I went through a great deal of stress, doing all that we could to get him home and well. As a result, my grades in school were far from what they should have been. I had to withdraw retroactively from the fall semester and did not do well in the spring due to stress and denial. As a result, I had an unsatisfactory GPA and I was not able to receive any federal or institutional aid because of it. I filed an appeal with the Financial Aid Office at my University and was approved for institutional and federal aid for a probationary semester.

After checking my financial aid statement online today, I saw the following message.
Based on the number of hours you have earned, your Federal Stafford Loan amount reflects the maximum annual loan limit set by the federal government for students classified at your grade level. You may wish to check with our office when you have earned more hours (perhaps at the end of the next term, or when additional transfer hours have been evaluated by the registrar) to find out if you have advanced a grade level and might be eligible for additional Federal Stafford Loan funds.


I only earned 4 credit hours for an entire school year. I also maxed out on the amount of Stafford loan that I could apply for because of the financial situation of my parents. Based on the statement above, it appears as though I cannot apply for any Stafford Loans this year because of the number of hours that I received because I am technically still considered a freshman. The cost to attend Wake Forest University for a semester is $26,041. Although my institutional aid has not been factored in, I do not believe that I can cover the cost of my semester at Wake Forest without the help of a Stafford Loan. Is there any type of exception for this policy for students with extenuating circumstances such as mine?
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Re: Extenuating Circumstances

Postby Ms. Stafford » Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:19 am

Hi, I have not heard of a school that is able to award more even for your situation. They have a set amount to give for freshman, sophomore, etc....and they would be breaking school and federal policy to go over that. I'm sorry I don't have better news for you. My advice would be to take classes at a community college until you are a sophomore and then switch back to wake forest.
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Re: Extenuating Circumstances

Postby artistbm » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:09 pm

But do you know of anyway that would allow me to request an exception to the federal policy? I understand that the university does not have the power to undermine federal policy.
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