By Ryan Laspina
Analyst, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
Utilizing Federal Student Aid (FSA) to pay for your college expenses is great, but you may find yourself in a situation where you lose your FSA eligibility. You can lose your eligibility for numerous reasons. Here are three major reasons you could lose FSA eligibility and what you can do about regaining it:
1. Default on a student loan
If one or more of your FSA loans are in default, you will lose FSA eligibility.
Solution: The simplest way to regain eligibility is to get yourself out of default by making timely loan payments. Speak with your loan servicer about repayment options.
2. Failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards
Maintain SAP at your school to keep receiving your FSA. If you fall below your school’s SAP regulations, you will no longer be eligible for FSA.
Solution: There are SAP appeal processes, but the best way to regain eligibility is to boost your grade point average (GPA) above the minimum SAP requirement. Speak with an FSA advisor at your school about an appeal or getting on an SAP improvement plan.
3. Conviction due to a drug-related offense
Any person convicted of a drug-related offense will probably be no longer eligible for FSA.
Solution: To regain eligibility, you will have to successfully complete an approved drug rehabilitation program or pass two consecutive unannounced drug tests administered by an approved drug rehabilitation program. If you successfully complete the rehabilitation program, you will want to send your certificate of completion to your school.
There are other, lesser common situations that may arise that can put your FSA eligibility in jeopardy. If you find yourself ineligible for FSA funding, speak with an FSA advisor to see what steps you can take and if you can regain your eligibility. You may have to wait until the next award year.
However, each school has processes in place to help you if lose FSA eligibility. Talk to an FSA advisor immediately if you are informed that you have lost your FSA eligibility.