Losing your federal financial aid funds can be difficult in college, especially if you rely solely on them for your tuition payments. You can get suspended for a variety of reasons but the good news is that you can get your financial aid back after suspension depending on your situation. If you have found yourself on academic probation or financial aid probation, College Raptor is here to guide you to get your aid back!
Common Reasons You Can Lose Your Financial Aid
1. Change in Income
Your Expected Family Contribution can change yearly and it shows when your parents file their taxes. If you’re considered a dependent student on your FAFSA application, your family’s income can affect how much financial aid you are eligible for. If there was a sudden increase in income, you may lose some federal aid for that school year.
2. Enrollment Status
Each semester you are enrolled in a certain amount of credit hours that determine whether you’re full-time or part-time. When you are a full-time student you tend to get more aid since you’re taking more classes. If you decide to take fewer credit hours that would drop you down to a part-time college student, you may lose your financial aid. For most colleges, full-time students are enrolled in at least 12 credit hours a semester and part-time students are enrolled in 6 to 9 credit hours a semester.
3. Academic Performance
Some financial aid packages will require you to keep a certain grade point average (GPA) to be eligible for it. Students have to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to receive federal funding. If you have a tough semester and you fall below the SAP requirements needed to keep your aid, it can be suspended. Check if your financial aid needs a certain GPA for you to keep it and ensure you are keeping up with your coursework so you don’t fall behind.
4. No FAFSA Application
Filling out your FAFSA application every year may seem tedious, especially when you have to input your tax information every year. The FAFSA application is the key to receiving financial aid so if you don’t fill it out for the following year, you won’t be eligible for any aid. Even if you don’t receive need-based aid, you still need to fill it out to receive federal loans. By not filling out the application, you’ll risk having your financial aid suspended for the next year.
How to Get Financial Aid Back
Step Change in Income
Unfortunately, an increase in income will change your financial aid eligibility for the entire year. You may not be able to get the same amount of aid but you can still qualify for certain loans. A subsidized loan is based on needs and won’t accumulate interest until you graduate. This is the type of loan you may lose eligibility for if there is an increase in income. An unsubsidized loan is not based on financial need and accumulates interest right after you take them out. You can still be eligible for this type of federal loan if your income increases. If you still need more school aid, you can find free college scholarships or take out private loans.
If you’re dropping down to part-time for the following school year, your financial aid amount will most likely change. You can enroll full-time before the add/drop period ends at the beginning of the semester to receive full-time aid. You can also enroll full-time for the following semester to receive aid but you will not receive full-time aid while you are a part-time student.
If your grades have slipped and you lost your financial aid or merit-based scholarships, you may have a chance to redeem yourself. You can go to your financial aid office to see the next steps to appeal your suspension and show them that you’re on track to getting your grades back up. Student’s cumulative GPAs may slip for a variety of reasons. Whether you’re dealing with health issues or death in your immediate family, you can tell your college that these were the reasons for your academic performance. You’ll most likely have a probationary term where you need to show that you can raise your GPA.
No FAFSA Application
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application closes strictly and can not be filled out after the deadline for the academic year. If students do not fill the application out by the deadline, they will not be able to receive federal funding for that academic school year. We suggest students set a reminder for the opening date of the application which is in October every year to ensure they fill it out on time.
Losing your financial aid can be very stressful for college students. Your college may have extra resources for you to use if you can’t get federal funding. Scholarships and private loans are other options that many students use when their financial aid is suspended. Speak with your academic and financial aid advisors to ensure that you have all the right grades and appeal process paperwork to continue to receive funding. With an academic plan and financial aid appeal letter, you’ll have a greater chance of receiving funding again.