Financial Aid Suspension/Probation- school policy ignored

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Financial Aid Suspension/Probation- school policy ignored

Postby jackaroo1223 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:17 am

I was put on financial aid suspension for Fall 2010. I just found out yesterday. I plan to appeal becausse I did have medical issues affecting my academic performance.

My question however, is- I had no idea I would be placed on financial aid suspension so quickly, because my school's financial aid website says the following:
Financial Aid Probation Status:
A student who does not meet the SAP standards will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and sent a communication regarding their status and the ramifications. A student may be on probation for a maximum of two terms, no exceptions.

Financial Aid Suspension Status:
A student who has been placed on probation for two terms and then fails to meet SAP standards a third time will immediately be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Suspension means that the student is no longer eligible for federal or institutional financial aid.

Here is the thing- I was never placed on Financial aid probation- much less for 2 terms! Isn't this also the University's goofup because they are ignoring their own policy? Should I put that in my appeal or speak to someone high in the department about this? I know my grades are my responsbility- however- I feel it is highly unfair that I was not even given a probation period!

Also- just to clarify- I've only been at the University for 2 semesters, so there is no way I could have been on Financial Aid Probation for 2 terms. My GPA was JUST below 2.0, so it's not like I completely flunked everything.

My understanding of the policy stated is that a student must fail to meet SAP requirements after 2 terms on probation in order to be placed on suspension... in that order.

So can a college really just ignore their own policy? I don't feel that's right at all. I'm not being combative and I'm not looking to blame anyone other than me for my GPA however, if by the school's own policy I should have been placed on financial aid probation instead of suspension, well, that's really not fair.

Also, a few months ago, I asked my financial aid advisor what would happen if my GPA didn't quite make it to 2.0, and specifically asked if I would lose my financial aid for Fall, and she said NO.
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Re: Financial Aid Suspension/Probation- school policy ignored

Postby ejacobs » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:39 am

It sounds like you are right - they are not following their own policy.

Every school has its own Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to be eligible for federal aid, so without knowing your college, I can't say anything definite.

The best thing to do in your case is to follow through with the appeal process and supply them with as much documentation as possible. Medical records of whatever your health problem was would be helpful and if you can get a professor or two to give you a written statement supporting your condition that should strengthen your case.

I would also print out and include a copy of that policy regarding probation. If you were never notified, that definitely is something that could work in your favor. Above all else, be polite but show your determination that you want to continue school and do your best to succeed going forward. Like you said, being combative won't help you but making an ally in the financial aid office can greatly help with your appeal.
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