Appealing Ineligibility for Financial Aid

Students suspended from receiving financial aid for not meeting required Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) guidelines, may appeal a suspension if unusual or extenuating circumstances contributed to their failure to meet the guidelines. If the appeal is granted, students are placed on SAP Continued Probation status and are allowed to receive financial aid for the next semester.

Students may appeal the termination/suspension of financial aid by completing the Steps to Appeal.  Appeals must be submitted with supporting documentation explaining any unusual circumstances that caused the student's academic progress to be less than required.  Appeals should also include:

a) reasons why minimum standards were not met (what happened), and

b) reasons why eligibility should be reinstated instead of terminated (what changed).

Appeals must be submitted with supporting documentation explaining the unusual circumstances that caused their academic progress to be less than required. Federal law gives some examples where allowances might be made for mitigating circumstances; for instance, a serious illness or injury, or the death of a relative.  An appeal may not be based upon the need for financial aid or a lack of knowledge that the assistance was in jeopardy. Failure of the student to adequately explain circumstances and actions may result in an appeal being denied.

Regaining Federal Student Aid Eligibility
Except for when an appeal is granted for unusual or mitigating circumstances, students can reestablish eligibility only by taking action that brings them in compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards. A student for whom an SAP appeal is approved is expected to complete 100% of all attempted credit hours with a minimum 2.0 grade point average the semester following the approved appeal. Satisfactory progress must be demonstrated by the end of the specified probationary term before further aid can be awarded.

Financial Aid Academic Plan
Students may successfully appeal a financial aid suspension, but have an academic situation making it mathematically impossible for them to regain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) eligibility for the next semester. Per Federal SAP guidelines, the Financial Aid Office may use discretion in whether to place such a student on a Financial Aid Academic Plan. This plan is designed to outline steps of progress that, if followed each semester by the student, would lead to regaining SAP eligibility within a specified time frame. If the student does not meet the progressive steps each semester, financial aid is immediately terminated. Students can reestablish eligibility only by taking action that brings them in compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.

Appealing Financial Aid Ineligibility due to Exceeding Maximum Credits Allowed

Students who attempt more than 150% of the credits required for their program of study do not meet requirements for satisfactory academic progress. Students disqualified from receiving financial aid due to exceeding the 150% maximum time frame may appeal that decision by completing the Steps to Appeal Maximum Credits Time Frame.

Regaining Federal Student Aid Eligibility

Students who successfully appeal the 150% time frame are required to complete 100% of all course credits attempted from that point forward to complete their degree. They may not earn any grade lower than a "C", they may not withdraw from any class, and they may not take an Incomplete status in any class. Students who have been suspended from receiving financial aid, due to exceeding the maximum credits allowed, cannot take action to reestablish progress unless an appeal is approved.

Note: Students participating in the Federal Work-Study program who are suspended from financial aid due to exceeding the maximum time frame allowed, cannot continue working.

Appealing Financial Aid Ineligibility due to Not Registering with Selective Service

Male students who fail to register with the Selective Service before turning age 26 are ineligible for federal and state grants, including Federal Pell Grants and Federal Work-Study.

Students Required to Register with the Selective Service

  • Male U.S. citizens (regardless of where they live) and male permanent resident aliens living in the U.S. who were born after December 31, 1959, must register within 30 days of their 18th birthday (30 days before and after). If they fail to register during this time period, male students may submit a late registration up until their 26th birthday.
  • Male non-citizens (including illegal aliens, legal permanent residents, seasonal agricultural workers, and refugees) who take up residency in the U.S. before their 26th birthday must register. All relevant INS forms (e.g., the Application for Resident Alien status, I-485, and so on) include a clear statement regarding the requirement to register.
  • Dual nationals of the U.S. and another country must register, regardless of where they live.
  • Conscientious objectors must register. If a draft is established, they will have an opportunity to file a claim for exemption based on their religious or moral objections, but they nevertheless, must register with the Selective Service.
  • Disabled men who can move about independently in public with or without assistance must register, even if their disability would disqualify them from military service.
  • Members of the Reserve and National Guard who are not on full-time active duty must register.
  • Men attending the Merchant Marine Academy must register.
  • Men who attempted to enlist and were rejected before age 26 must register.

Students Not Required to Register with the Selective Service

  • Men born from March 29, 1957, to December 31, 1959, were never required to register because the Selective Service program was not in operation at the time they turned 18. The requirement to register was reinstated in 1980 and applies to all men born on or after January 1, 1960 (50 USC 453). Although men born before March 29, 1957, were required to register, failure to register makes one ineligible for student aid only if one was born on or after January 1, 1960.
  • Men who are hospitalized, institutionalized, or incarcerated are not required to register during their confinement.
  • Men who are serving in the military on full-time active duty or who are attending the service academies are not required to register.
  • Disabled men who are continually confined to a residence, hospital or institution are not required to register. However, if they are released before their 26th birthday, they must register within 30 days of their release.
  • Non-immigrants visiting the U.S. on student or visitor visas or men and their families who are part of a diplomatic or trade mission.
  • Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau.
  • Non-citizens who first entered the U.S. after turning age 26.
  • Non-citizens who entered the U.S. as lawful non-immigrants on a valid visa and remained in the U.S. on the terms of that visa until after they turned 26. (The date of entry on Form I-94 will be relevant.)
  • Students who are not yet 18. For federal aid purposes, students not yet 18 years old as of the date their FAFSA was submitted are eligible for federal student aid this award year, even if they turned 18 shortly afterward and have not yet registered. Such students would need to register to be eligible for federal student aid in subsequent years.

Male students, now age 26 or older, who did not register with the Selective Service are ineligible for Federal student aid and other federal and state benefits. For those students, there are only two circumstances for regaining eligibility. Evidence must be shown that:

1) he was not required to register, or
2) failure to register was not knowing and willful.

Factors determining knowing and willful failure to register:
Was he aware of the requirement to register or not?
If he knew about the requirement to register, was he misinformed about the applicability of the requirement to him (e.g., veterans who were discharged before their 26th birthday were occasionally told that they did not need to register)?
On what date did he first learn he was required to register?
Where did he live when he was between the ages of 18 and 26?
Does the status information letter indicate that Selective Service sent letters to him and did not receive a response?

Was the failure to register done deliberately and intentionally? In other words, did he have the mental capacity to choose whether or not to register and choose not to register?

Evidence a Student 26 or Older was not Required to Register for Selective Service

A student not required to register must obtain a status information letter from Selective Service. This letter indicates whether he was, or was not, required to register. To obtain such a letter, he may call 1-847-688-6888 or 1-888-655-1825 (stay on the line until the operator answers) or write to Selective Service System, PO Box 94638, Palatine, IL 60094-4638 and ask for a status information letter.

Evidence that Failure to Register was not Knowing and Willful

A student who did not knowingly or willfully fail to register must complete the Selective Service Appeal Form. He must describe, in detail, the circumstances which prevented him from registering (e.g., hospitalization, institutionalization, incarceration, military service) and provide documentation of those events. The documentation must specify the dates of events. (For example, if he served in the military and was released before age 26, he still would have been required to register within 30 days of his release.)

A student who was not a U.S. citizen must provide documentation of when he entered the United States and also provide his name, Social Security Number, date of birth, and mailing address. Additionally, he must submit a statement as to why his failure to register was not knowing or willful.

Appealing Financial Aid Ineligibility due to Unusual Enrollment
The U.S. Department of Education has established new regulations to prevent fraud and abuse in the Federal Pell Grant Program by identifying students with unusual enrollment histories. Some students with an unusual enrollment history (UEH) have legitimate reasons for their enrollment at multiple institutions. However, the Central Piedmont Financial Aid Office is required to review files of students with unusual enrollment history to determine future federal financial aid eligibility. If selected by the Department of Education (via the FAFSA), a resolution must be determined before they can receive financial aid.

Definition of Unusual Enrollment History
The Department of Education selects students for review who received a Federal Pell Grant at multiple institutions during the past three academic years. Once the Department of Education indicates students with an unusual enrollment history, the Central Piedmont Financial Aid Office must review the educational history of those students to determine their federal financial aid eligibility.

Review Process

  • The Central Piedmont Financial Aid Office notifies students who are selected by the Department of Education for unusual enrollment.
  • Those students must complete the Unusual Enrollment History Appeal Form and provide a copy of all transcripts from previous institutions attended during the past three years. They must have received academic credit at any school, while receiving the Federal Pell Grant, during those relevant academic years.
  • The Financial Aid Office verifies whether academic credit was obtained at each school during the relevant years.
    Students are notified when the requirement is satisfied. If students failed to receive academic credit at any institution during the relevant award years, their federal and state financial is denied and they are notified.

Steps to Appeal Denial of Financial Aid
Students can appeal the financial aid denial by submitting the following three items.

  1. An Unusual Enrollment History (UEH) Appeal Form
  2. A letter explaining the unusual enrollment history
  3. Documentation supporting the explanation provided in the appeal letter

All appeal forms and documentation are reviewed by the Financial Aid Office, before notifying students of the decision.

Processing Appeals
Appeal forms and documentation must be submitted to the Central Piedmont Financial Aid Office at least fifteen working days before the semester start date. Appeals after that date are processed by the end of the semester. Students are informed of their appeal decision through their Central Piedmont student email account. Students also may find their Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status and the determination of their appeal on their MyCollege account. Classes are not held by financial aid for students submitting an appeal.

Regaining Federal Student Aid Eligibility
Students denied federal student aid based on unusual enrollment history may have their financial aid eligibility reinstated once they have completed one academic term consisting of six credit hours of curriculum coursework in an eligible program of study. Students also must meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid eligibility. Please note, in this situation, students may not drop or withdraw (officially or unofficially) from any course after the term begins. At the end of the completed semester, they must submit a letter requesting reinstatement with their final grade report.

Students who regain eligibility, either by appeal or by completing a successful term, will receive financial aid beginning in the payment period for which approval is given. For example, students denied in the fall term who complete a minimum of six credit hours, do not withdraw from any courses, maintain a 2.0 GPA and successfully meet stipulations at the end of the fall term, are eligible for federal aid in the spring term.