There are some cases where colleges and universities will decrease your financial aid package after you’ve received your award letter.
The reasoning behind this will be specific to your school, and you’ll need to reach out to your financial aid office to understand the decision better. However, if your financial aid decreased, and you’re concerned about being able to finance your education, you do still have options.
What to do if your school decreases your aid amount
First, check-in with your school
They may have reduced your aid because you didn’t meet qualifying credits, due to past performance or if there was a change in your financial circumstances that disqualified you from additional aid.
As we mentioned above, you’ll want to call your school directly and discuss your financial aid decrease. That’s the best way to know how you should move forward.
If it’s as simple as you not taking enough credits, you should still have the option to add additional classes so you can get your full financial aid package.
If it has to do with your finances or academic performance, you’ll know which of the next steps you need to move onto.
File for aid appeal
If your school believes there was a change in your finances or chose to decrease your package due to aid needed elsewhere, you should consider filing an aid appeal.
An aid appeal is a process in which you can apply for additional financial aid based on a certain set of circumstances.
To qualify for aid appeal, you need to meet one of the below criteria:
- Prove merit-based achievement
- You have a better offer from another university/college
- Your parents now have multiple college students in the household
- Loss of income
- Death of a parent or guardian
- Recent medical bills over $10,000
- Recent victim of a natural disaster
If one of these applies to you, you’re likely eligible to submit for a potential increase in your aid. From there, you’ll want to go through the aid appeal process.
You can do this on your own, or FRANK has a team that can help you.
File for a SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) Appeal
If you find that you’ve lost financial aid due to failing to meet SAP standards, you can consider filing a SAP appeal with your school.
Your SAP appeal is more likely to be considered if you experienced a recent hardship that impacted your ability to perform academically. However, if you feel you can make a case for yourself and prove that you’ll do better over the next semester, you can try filing an appeal as well.
The process is similar to an Aid Appeal, and you can do it on your own by the FRANK SAP appeal guide.
When filing a SAP appeal, it’s essential to show remorse for your poor performance and prove to your school you have a plan in place to do better over the next semester.
Apply for more aid
If neither of these options can bring your aid package back up to where it was, you may need to consider applying for scholarships or additional financial aid options like student loans.
While this scenario might not help if you are already past deadlines for the new semester, it is an option as you continue into your second semester, knowing that you might need more aid.
Unfortunately, schools sometimes make decisions that students don’t have control over. While this is a difficult situation to be in, don’t let it deter you from continuing your education. Seek out other financing options that might make it possible for you to continue school and make the best decision for yourself.