I was once asked what to do if a student loses their financial aid. Its a question that is familiar to me, as I have been there myself. I have lost my financial aid before due to circumstances beyond my control and felt helpless. But once I figured out what options were available to me I was able to take control and get my financial aid back fast. It can seem daunting to most students, and many will simply give up and never return to school at all. If you are a current college student, and have lost your financial aid eligibility, it can be game changer. Given the high cost of education, financial aid is not just preferred, it is necessary to make it through college.
So what happens after you had a bad semester or two and have had your financial aid cut. Here are a few quick tips to help you get you back on the path to finishing your degree.
*Appeal, Appeal, Appeal – Satisfactory Academic Progress: Luckily, the federal financial aid system allows for several appeals during your time at school. If you have had a one or two semester run of bad luck, do not hesitate to take part in the appeals process your financial aid office provides. When you do, they will ask why you fell behind. Be honest and direct about why, and explain how you will be changing those circumstances as well. But pay attention and look up what Satisfactory Academic Progress is, and how to appeal a suspension.
*Re-earn, Re-trench: A tactic that many use if they were at a four-year college or university when they lost their eligibility is to take a step down for a semester or two and attend a Community College. You may pay out-of-pocket, but the cost is much cheaper and you can increase your GPA and prove to your prior school you can keep up a higher GPA.
*New School, New Financial Aid: Here is something no one ever really talks about in the financial aid world: What happens at one school doesn’t always effect you at another. As long as you are not in default on your student loans, you can get accepted to another school and be offered financial aid. The trouble is that the grades from the earlier school may make it more difficult to get into a new school. However, if you can get in, you are just as eligible for financial aid as any new student is at that school.
Life happens to all of us; deaths, births, marriages, break-ups and the general nature of a hectic life can get in the way of your education. But that shouldn’t mean that these events should stop you from going to school and paying for it. If you remember your options and work at solving the issues that kept you from receiving good grades, you can get your eligibility back and finish your degree. But appealing a satisfactory academic progress appeal is always the best choice and the least hassle, if you do it correctly. To learn more, check out my book Get Your Financial Aid Back Now!