Denied Financial Aid b/c of Traumatic Event

  1. I was denied Financial Aid, but not for income reasons. Supposedly, I'm denied because I "failed to complete the minimum required hours" of classes last time I was in school. Several yrs. ago, I was attending part-time on a Pell grant while working full-time and caring for my 2 kids. Something traumatic happened to me, involving a stalker, police, and trial. I was forced to quit my classes, for my own safety and that of my family. At the time, I explained my reason for dropping out to the admissions office staff. I also paid for the unfinished classes.
    (The offender has served, to date, 9 yrs. in prison following conviction of that crime.)

    Now that I finally know what my true calling is (nursing), and my kids are grown & I am able to attend school full-time, I'm turned down for financial aid because of something terrible that happened to me years ago. The only thing I know to do is to appeal their decision..I wonder if it would help to 'prove my case' by showing them the police reports, etc.?
    Any advice is appreciated.

    Meanwhile, I know someone who is getting their 3rd school grant in 3 yrs., who never finishes any of the classes she starts! She is literally living off the grant $$, just enrolling and attending long enough to get the checks and cash them. She knows it's wrong, but doesn't care (obviously) and she makes no secret of it to her family and friends. Supposedly, hers are Pell grants. When I got a Pell grant 10 yrs. ago, I never received any actual money - it was paid directly to the school. How many other people get away with this crap?

    Okay - enough venting...but it's true. Just makes me so mad! :angryfire
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    About scrappymom

    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 15
    from US

    18 Comments

  3. by   SiennaGreen
    The FA business has a lot of bueracracy involved. Each case in individual. Make your case. It's worth it. If you are eligible otherwise, I bet you could defend your status.

    In your friends case, I can't imagine she is continueing to get Pell Grants. I know how difficult to get they are to get and keep. I thought they had specific requirements? If that's true, it's a shame. I'm not eligible because I hold a previous degree, but I know many others who should be eligible and are told they make too much...yeah, barely enough to pay rent, buy groceries, and pay for child care...I'm sure they have enough laying around for tuition too!? Frustrating, yes.

    Keep digging and don't get discouraged.
  4. by   Virgo_RN
    File an appeal.
  5. by   nursewannab10
    I have a friend who had a pell grant and dropped a couple of classes one semester for personal reasons. They denied her the next time she applied but she ended up applying again the following semester and finally received it again. Try again and if that doesn't work, try contacting someone with your state and ask them to explain why you are being denied. Hope this encourages you!!
  6. by   caliotter3
    I would file an appeal. You also might want to contact your local congressman's office. My former supervisor had a problem one time and was able to get everything taken care of when she contacted the congressman. It seems like the bureaucratic way to do things, but who cares if you can get help. Good luck.
  7. by   iwillact
    When I dropped out of school one semester I ran into the same problem. I was required to pay for one semester myself and then I was eligible for aid again for the next. Good luck
  8. by   scrappymom
    Thank you all for your advice!!! Here I was, ready to give up on financial aid (& consequently, my dreams), and you guys have given me hope again. I will definitely be filing an appeal; if that fails, contacting my congressman is the next step. Best wishes to all of you in pursuit of your dreams!
  9. by   sunray12
    Quote from scrappymom
    i was denied financial aid, but not for income reasons. supposedly, i'm denied because i "failed to complete the minimum required hours" of classes last time i was in school. several yrs. ago, i was attending part-time on a pell grant while working full-time and caring for my 2 kids. something traumatic happened to me, involving a stalker, police, and trial. i was forced to quit my classes, for my own safety and that of my family. at the time, i explained my reason for dropping out to the admissions office staff. i also paid for the unfinished classes.
    (the offender has served, to date, 9 yrs. in prison following conviction of that crime.)

    now that i finally know what my true calling is (nursing), and my kids are grown & i am able to attend school full-time, i'm turned down for financial aid because of something terrible that happened to me years ago. the only thing i know to do is to appeal their decision..i wonder if it would help to 'prove my case' by showing them the police reports, etc.?
    any advice is appreciated.

    meanwhile, i know someone who is getting their 3rd school grant in 3 yrs., who never finishes any of the classes she starts! she is literally living off the grant $$, just enrolling and attending long enough to get the checks and cash them. she knows it's wrong, but doesn't care (obviously) and she makes no secret of it to her family and friends. supposedly, hers are pell grants. when i got a pell grant 10 yrs. ago, i never received any actual money - it was paid directly to the school. how many other people get away with this crap?

    okay - enough venting...but it's true. just makes me so mad! :angryfire
    sounds to me like she is talking about student loans. there is no pell grant refund for a student if you drop your classes.
  10. by   scrappymom
    Quote from sunray12
    Sounds to me like she is talking about student loans. There is no pell grant refund for a student if you drop your classes.
    She doesn't officially "drop" any classes. She just stops going. By the time they figure out she's not coming back, she's already received all the grant $$. Again, this is according to her.
  11. by   friendlysmile
    It all depends on the cost of the program and the amount given in pell grants. I usually receive a check with the difference (a good 4 digit amount) every semester. If you complete 3/4 of the course, I think you dont have to pay back any money but I'm not sure cause I always finish my classes. She's taking advantage of pell grant for those that really are interested in finishing their degrees but what can you do?
  12. by   scrapworking
    Definitely appeal. I got denied last year when I was over XX amount credit hours...because of changing my major a couple times over the years. Yeah, just when I figure out what I want to do, and am newly laid-off! They approved my appeal. The only restriction is that I can only take classes that are required for my approved program (pre-nursing). No worries, there! Good luck.
  13. by   thinwildmercury
    oh, that makes me so mad! the government won't give me crap! every time i go talk to a financial aid counselor they look at me like i'm crazy and say "YOU denied your financial aid". um, no i didn't i decline the loans. jeez, i'm 18 i don't want to put myself in debt already but this is killing my parents =/ then i have friends who spend their grant money on alcohol/drugs/clubbing. it really pisses me off. sorry to go a little off topic. yes, definitely file an appeal and shoe court and police documents and i hope you get your grant!
  14. by   masterllc
    If you are trying to attend the same school that you attended years ago then they are possibly denying you financial aid b/c you went past the required hours for that school. You will have to appeal the decision with the school. It has very little to do with the Government. If you were to attend another school then you will qualify for aid there b/c you are not over that schools maximum time limit. I say appeal with your school and if your are denied then go to another school.

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