Your school can suspend your financial aid if you are not making satisfactory academic progress. This not only affects your grants and scholarships but also federal student loans, which can make it difficult for you to continue attending school. Most schools allow you to appeal the financial aid suspension if you have suffered extreme circumstances affecting your academic performance leading up to the suspension.
Most schools will accept the death of an immediate relative as an acceptable reason to appeal financial aid suspension. Immediate relatives usually include parents, siblings, spouse and children, although schools might extend the definition to other relatives if you had especially close relationships with them. Schools also consider other family problems as reasons for appeals. Examples include serious illness, divorce or unexpected obligations such as needing to work full-time if a parent loses a job.
A serious personal illness that required hospitalization and prevented you from attending classes for an extended period is usually grounds for a financial aid suspension appeal. Complications from the birth of a baby also can be grounds for an appeal. Financial aid officers will consider your appeal if you were involved in an accident or natural disaster with significant effects. Lastly, you can appeal suspension due to suffering from documented mental illnesses as well as physical illness.
One cause for financial aid suspension is that you have attempted 150 percent of the credits required for your degree and still have not completed the degree. Sometimes changes such as transferring schools or changing your major seriously affect your academic progress. Some schools allow you to appeal your financial aid suspension if you and your academic advisor provide a plan for completing your degree. In this case, you will only be allowed to take classes that conform to the plan.
Completing Appeal Process
Contact the financial aid office if you would like to appeal your financial aid suspension. Most schools have a form to fill out to submit an appeal. You will need to write an explanation of the unusual circumstances that led you to appeal. You will usually have a better chance of success if you can also explain why these circumstances will no longer affect you in the future. If possible, provide documentation for all claims you make. For example, if a family member died and you have been depressed and getting counseling, include a letter from your counselor explaining the progress made in counseling.