So you had a bad semester last year; death in the family, outside projects, too many credit hours, and the general temptation to drink until you kill brain cells are some of the many reasons thousands of people each year lose their financial aid eligibility. Now what do you? You don’t want to drop out, but you can’t pay for school on your own. If you want to win and get back on track, here are three tips that can make all the difference between getting back to school and working at Taco Bell.
Admit the Problem
Be upfront on your SAP Letter and make it clear what likely caused the problem. Did you take on to many credit hours? Did someone die in the family? Be upfront at the beginning of the letter and make it clear to the appeals committee what the issue is. Don’t sugar coat it. If it was bad, make it clear how bad it was. External problems such as a death in the family, or a heavy credit load are issues that can be remedied in future semesters.
Explain How the Problem Affected Your Grades
Its important to make it clear how the problem affected your grades. If you were carrying a heavy credit load, letting the appeals board know that you bit off more than you can chew and you are aware that it was a mistake is in your best interests. If a close relative passed away, make it clear that grief, depression, or time helping the family cope with the passing got in the way of studying.
Make It Clear What Steps You Are Taking To Avoid Problems In Future
Its not enough to simply know what caused the problem, and how its effect on your grades; you need to know how to remedy it. If you bad grades were due to a heavy credit load, make it clear in future semesters you will keep your hours below that level. If you experienced depression due to a death or other incident, make it clear you are in or are seeking counseling from a professional (preferably an on-campus counselor) to address it.
By combining the three elements of knowing the problem, knowing how it affected you, and how you will avoid it in the future, you are highly likely to have a successful appeal and get the aid you need to finish school.