My Situation: New to FASFA + a Somewhat Unusual Circumstance

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My Situation: New to FASFA + a Somewhat Unusual Circumstance

Postby dag0151 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:44 pm

Hello all,

So here is my situation. I am a fourth year music education student, but am pretty content with my decision of not wanting to be a music teacher. I want to study an entirely different area (like engineering, finance, or computers). I have started filling out the FASFA form, and it is pretty clear that I am going to be a dependent student. I would go to an in-state school for the new degree. My first degree (that not finished, it is still currently in progress) was not/ is not paid with any federal loans. My big question is, should I even finish this degree I'm working on right now? Because I know if I were to be requesting financial aid for a SECOND Bachelor's degree, then I'm automatically eliminated from the possibility of several of the types of grants. OR, should I just not finish this degree, so it's just technically a MAJOR-SWITCH? And, again, I haven't gotten any financial aid to this day, for whatever that's worth. I know it seems kind of weird to just almost finish a degree and bail, but I just don't care about this degree anymore, and I suppose I could always just finish it later on if I wanted. I'm just trying to figure out my options here. And, there is also a possibility that I might wait a couple years to even pursue the second bachelor's degree, like when I'm 24 or something, when perhaps I could also be considered "independent." Thanks to anyone helps me out. Let me know if something I said doesn't make sense to you. Thanks again!

-Dylan G.
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Re: My Situation: New to FASFA + a Somewhat Unusual Circumstance

Postby Aid Whiz » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:50 am

There are a few issues to think about given your situation:

1. You are correct in that most types of federal financial aid is not available for students who already hold 1 bachelor's degree. Federal funds would only pay for a higher degree in these cases, not a second bachelor's

2. If you switch majors, you'll need to consider your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). According to SAP policies, a student's aid is suspended if they attempt more than 150% of the credits required for a program. This means any credits from your music major that don't apply to a new one would count against you, potentially leading to a suspension of aid. (For more on SAP policies, contact your school's financial aid office)

3. If you wait a couple of years for a second degree, the previous restrictions would still apply.

Your best option is to sit down with a financial aid officer at your school to determine the best course of action for you.
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