Need information about the appeal process? Visit the main Financial Aid Appeals webpage!
Still have questions about the appeal process? Click on your question below:
Who should not submit a Financial Aid Appeal? This may not be the correct process for you, depending on why you lost eligibility or the type of aid for which you lost eligibility:
Exceeded Maximum Allowable Hours: Did you receive an email stating that you are ineligible for aid because you have reached the Maximum Allowable Hours for your degree program? If so, the Financial Aid Appeal process will not resolve this issue. You may be able to qualify for an extension of eligibility if you can show that your major requires more than 120 hours (or 32 graduate hours) for all students in the program, or that you changed your major in your junior or senior year and took classes toward the old major which do not count toward your current degree. Please contact your financial aid counselor for more information about your options.
Scholarships: If you lost eligibility for an MTSU scholarship or a lottery scholarship, the Financial Aid Appeal process will generally not help you regain eligibility. (That is, the only reason this appeal will help is if you lost eligibility for the scholarship because you didn't meet SAP requirements.) However, you may be able to appeal through a different process. Please visit the Scholarship Appeals webpage for information, if you have lost eligibility for an institutional scholarship awarded to you by the MTSU Financial Aid Office, such as an academic scholarship or a Foundation Scholarship. Please visit the Lottery Scholarship Appeals webpage for information, if you have lost eligibility for a lottery scholarship due to failure to meet enrollment requirements.
Is a financial aid appeal the same as an academic appeal? Can I appeal once for both issues?
No, the academic appeal process is different. If you have been notified by the Records Office that you are on academic suspension because your GPA is too low, you will need to appeal through the Academic Appeal process to resolve the academic suspension. An academic appeal, if approved, will allow you to enroll in classes for the affected semester; a financial aid appeal, if approved, will allow you to receive financial aid for the affected semester. Please note: If you are on both academic suspension and financial aid suspension, you will need to submit both types of appeals, if you wish to enroll and to receive financial aid.
Is a financial aid appeal the same as a scholarship appeal? Can I appeal once for both issues?
No, the scholarship appeal process is different. If you have been notified by the Scholarship Office that you are on scholarship suspension because you did not meet scholarship renewal requirements, you will need to appeal through the Scholarship Appeal process to resolve the scholarship suspension. A financial aid appeal, if approved, will allow you to receive federal aid such as grants and loans for the affected semester; a scholarship appeal, if approved, will allow you to receive your scholarship for the affected semester.
Can I appeal in person or speak to the committee?
No, you will not have the opportunity to present your appeal to the committee. Instead, the committee will review your appeal and make a decision based on your academic record, your personal statement, and the documentation you provide. This means it is very important that your appeal include all of the details and documentation we will need to make a fair decision!
What is an "extenuating circumstance"?
An extenuating circumstance is a situation beyond your control which prevented you from being able to pass a sufficient number of classes. Extenuating circumstances may include (but are not limited to) having a severe illness or extensive hospitalization which limited your ability to perform life tasks (such as attending classes), a family member having a severe illness which required your presence for a significant amount of time, a death of an immediate family member which impacted you significantly enough to affect class attendance or participation, or extreme financial hardship which prevented you from attending classes or completing coursework.
Generally, the situation must have occurred after the semester began. If your extenuating circumstance first occurred before the semester started and you chose to enroll anyway, you will need to explain what changed after the start of the term which affected your ability to remain in or pass your classes.
What documentation should I submit?
The documentation you submit will depend on your individual situation. The suggestions below include documents which may help you support your appeal; however, this is not a comprehensive list. You should provide any documentation you feel supports your appeal and shows all three of the following:
|If you are appealing because of||You may want to submit|
|Severe illness of student||A doctors statement which addresses each of the above three items|
|Severe illness of family member||A doctors statement which addressess each of the above three items and which provides information about your involvement in the situation.|
|Extreme financial hardship||
|A death in the family||Documentation which names the deceased and lists you as a survivor, such as an obituary, news article or funeral program.|
|Other extenuating circumstances||Documentation will vary widely depending on the circumstances, but must address each of the above three items.|
A Doctor's statement (or statement from another professional, such as a lawyer or
counselor) should be typed on letterhead, dated, and signed. It should generally address
each of the three items listed above, unless you provide separate documentation to
address one or more of the items.
Please Note: If you have failed to meet federal SAP requirements for multiple semesters, you must provide information and documentation for all of the affected semesters, not just for the most recent term.
When will the committee meet? When will I receive the decision?
The appeal committee meets throughout the year and generally reviews appeals within three business weeks. Appeals submitted less than one month before the Fee Payment Deadline for a semester will not be reviewed until after the deadline to pay your bill. If you do not submit your complete appeal at least one month before the Fee Payment Deadline, you will need to make other arrangements to pay your bill, then may receive a refund later if your appeal is approved.
Please note that MTSU offices are closed during certain times of the year, including several days during the Christmas holiday. The processing time for your appeal may increase based on these holidays. For example, if you submit your appeal during the last week of the fall semester, you will receive a response approximately four calendar weeks later—the standard three business weeks, plus the holiday week during which we are closed and therefore cannot process any appeals. Additionally, the appeal process may require more than the typical three weeks if you fail to submit all required documents with your appeal or if you submit your appeal during a particularly busy time of year, such as August or January.
Can I still submit an appeal after the semester starts?
Yes, you may submit an appeal at any time during the year. However, if you submit your appeal less than one month before the Fee Payment Deadline for the upcoming semester, you will need to make other arrangements to pay your bill while you wait for the committee's decision. If your appeal is approved by the committee, financial aid funds will not be credited to your account until after the start of the semester; you may be eligible for a refund later if the reinstated aid results in a credit balance on your account.
How will I be notified of the appeal decision?
You will receive notification via your MTSU email address. You can also view your appeal results in RaiderNet:
If my appeal is denied, can I still receive financial aid?
No, if your appeal is denied, or if you choose not to appeal, you will not be eligible to receive any financial aid or scholarships, including grants, loans, state aid, lottery scholarship, and MTSU scholarships, for one or more semesters. (See below about regaining eligibility.) However, you may be able to qualify for private loans and/or private scholarships, since private organizations and lenders may not base eligibility on federal requirements.
If my appeal is approved, when will I receive my financial aid?
If you receive an email that your appeal has been approved, you will generally see financial aid applied to your account within five business days. If the aid results in a credit balance, you may be eligible to receive a direct deposit refund approximately one week later or at the beginning of the upcoming semester (as applicable). (Please note: If you are eligible to borrow student loans and choose to do so, you may be required to complete additional steps or paperwork, which may result in delays in receiving a refund.)
If my appeal is denied, can I submit a new appeal?
If your appeal is denied, you will not have the opportunity to appeal again until one year has passed or until you have earned hours at your own expense. For example, if you appeal for the spring semester but are denied, and you then take at least one course at your own expense during the spring semester, you may file a new appeal in May for the summer or fall semester. If you appeal for the spring semester but are denied, and you choose not to take classes at your own expense, you will be able to submit a new appeal for the following spring semester. You will need to ensure that your appeal is based on extenuating circumstances which kept you from meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements; the new appeal must include all of the required paperwork listed above.
If my appeal is denied, how can I regain eligibility for financial aid?
You will be able to regain eligibility for financial aid when you bring your cumulative passing rate back up to at least 67%. You can calculate your cumulative passing rate by dividing your total earned hours (including all transfer work and all remedial and developmental courses) by your total attempted hours. You should generally aim for a 100% passing rate each semester, to help you reach the 67% level more quickly. This means you should avoid dropping, failing, or getting incompletes in courses as much as possible!
If I have a question, who should I contact?
If you have a question about the appeal process or the documentation you need to provide, you should speak with your financial aid counselor. You can find your assigned counselor on our Office Staff webpage, in the Administrative Staff section.
If you have a question about an appeal you have submitted but for which you have not received a decision yet, you should send an email to the Financial Aid Appeal Committee.
We will unfortunately not be able to answer any questions about why your appeal was approved or denied. The committee will make a decision based on federal regulations and the information you submitted, and will not be able to discuss the decision. If you feel that you did have extenuating circumstances but did not submit sufficient documentation, please see the section above titled "If my appeal is denied, can I submit a new appeal?"