Denied Financial Aid ... what to do now?


Hi everyone,

I am attending a community college in CA and I am starting a 2 year ADN program in August. I have been denied financial aid due to "excessive units". I have one A.A. and my I completed all my BSN transfer courses while waiting to get into the RN program.

All my previous courses (with exception of Microbiology) have been paid for out of my own pocket and completed within the expected number of units however the financial aid dept is refusing to budge. I'm carrying a 3.78 GPA.

I currently work as a paramedic and my income has significantly decreased since going back to school last year. I honestly do not know how I'm going to make it through nursing school without help.

I have applied for as many scholarships as I can find and have been awarded two and that is the only thing keeping me enrolled for the upcoming semester.

Due to the ruling by the financial aid dept, I am not even eligible for student loans!!! I do not make enough money or own anything that can be used for collateral for private loans...

Does anyone have any suggestions? If you made it through without nursing school, how did you do it?

Thanks so much!!

Kate 8-)

Specializes in Critical Care.

Is there any way to appeal the Financial Aid office's decision? I'm in your boat (I've changed majors, oh, 3-4 times) and at my school we have an "excessive units appeal" process for FinAid where you fill out a form, write an essay explaining why you're over the recommended units for your program, and see a counselor to complete a new "Student Education Plan." They tend to rule in nursing students' favor since we have a very set number of units to complete the program, though we have to repeat the appeal process every school year.

If your school doesn't have some sort of appeal process (or if you've already appealed and been denied) then yeah, unfortunately it's going to have to be a combination of scholarships and out-of-pocket, unless you're willing to take out private loans. Check you schools policies really carefully to see if there are any options still open to you.


138 Posts

How much will the entire tuition be? At the CC I was going to go to the entire 2 years was less then $8000 and that included books, fees, scrubs, shots, background checks and all. I have since switched to a University and its about $6000 a semester so BIG difference. If you are getting your degree at the CC it shouldn't be to much (I know $8000 is a lot of money but I'm just saying that it's doable).

What about putting it on a credit card? If you own a home, a home equity loan. If you own a car and it's paid off take out a loan against the car. Borrow from family, take out a private personal loan (interest will be high but it will get you through school). Keep applying for scholarships too.

You should be able to borrow from a 401k account if you have one. I would look into private loans.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

With that grad point average, are you eligible for academic scholarships? You might talk to an advisor at this or another school to see if someone has ideas. You might be better off to get a private loan and borrowing from your retirement fund,if any, is a good way to manage the tax situation. Good luck


144 Posts

Well, I am in the same boat, too. I have an Associate Degree in legal Assisting/Office Technology. Between my parents & I, we paid for everything out of pocket. Like you, I have a very good GPA. Mine is a 3.855. I have applied to every scholarship available. It seems like most of them are for incoming freshmen. I am in the process of appealing my financial aid denial, but it doesn’t look like I will get it overturned. I am stressing!!!


6 Posts

Hi everyone,

thanks for your input and ideas 8-)

I have appealed the denial, gone to the head of financial aid, and now I have emailed the Vice-President of Student Services asking for her help. I think their denial of myself and other students in my position is very unfair especially since the financial aid funds aren't coming out of the school budget. It's like I'm being penalized for having an education and wanting more? I was told my our Student Success counselor that if I went to the head of financial aid, I would probably get approved but that didn't happen. So I'm waiting to hear from the next higher up ....

It is a CC and yes it's about $8k which isn't a LOT of $$ but I have to add in to that cost 5 days of commuting to school/clinicals with gas around $4/gal plus my living prep for school I paid off all my debts with exception of one small credit card that I keep for emergencies so at least I don't have a mountain of debt over my head.

I do have both a 401K and a PERS retirement...I hadn't thought of borrowing from either of those.

I'm sure it will work out somehow - I'm a very determined person 8-) I'll let you all know if I get anywhere with the schools financial aid dept.

Thanks and good luck to you all as well!!