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Pell Grant Repayment

Rebecca0630Rebecca0630 Posts: 8Registered User New Member
I have attended college with a pell grant, but due to circumstances at the time, including illness, I was unable to complete the full semester of college. Now, I have been sent a bill for a grant repayment. I contacted the school to explain the situation and even contacted someone on the pell grant website to explain the situation with me having been ill. They said it doesn't matter what the circumstances were, you still have to repay the amount.
I have absolutely no way of doing this. I have applied for every single job I can qualify for and have not been able to get one anywhere. I have no one who is able to help me pay it off. I have tried applying for a student loan and regular loan for the amount that needs payed off and was unable to get one due to the fact that I owe that amount. I need to get back to college so I can get a job, but with being unable to get a job I'm unable to get the amount payed off so I can.
Anyone have any suggestions or know of any types of grants or anything that would help me get this paid off? Thanks.
Post edited by Rebecca0630 on

Replies to: Pell Grant Repayment

  • Rebecca0630Rebecca0630 Posts: 8Registered User New Member
    Any suggestions at all? I would really appreciate any thoughts on what I could do or where I could begin looking even.... or are there any other types of grants available that I could get that have nothing at all to do with this one, so I could maybe qualify? Thanks.
  • JamesJrJamesJr Posts: 330Registered User Member
    The way the Pell Grant works, you are given the money with the condition that you will attend class and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress. Since you failed to meet the conditions, you must repay all or part of the pell grant. Sadly, there is no appeals process for this that I am aware of.

    Quite frankly, you DO NOT have to "get back to college so I can get a job". Try applying anywhere and everywhere (whether it be McDonalds or whatever). If you are not meeting SAP, then you wouldn't be eligible for most (if any) financial aid other that institutional aid which would be up to the school. Most schools that I have heard about require you to pay out of pocket to bring up your stats and meet SAP. Some schools may even repay you that semester if you now meet SAP (I heard of this from one community college, not sure if others will do the same).

    To answer your question, you will probably not be eligible for any federal and probably state grants as well due to your failing to meet SAP.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 35,040Registered User Senior Member
    A Pell grant for one semester is maximum $2700. I would suggest you call the college and figure out a payment plan to reconcile this debt.
  • capenn15capenn15 Posts: 560Registered User Member
    I know hindsight is 20/20, but did you bother to withdraw from the classes school? One issue I talk with my DS about is communication...that you can't just not tell when there is a problem (such as with going to classes). Not that this will help now, but in the future please remember to communicate issues when they are happening and things can sometimes be resolved then.

    Good luck to you!
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,942Registered User Senior Member
    One of the requirements of the Pell is that you complete a certain percentage of the semester (and classes) you have signed up for. If you do not, the school has to give the pell money back, and then you owe the school the money they had to repay.

    There really is no way round it. The best thing is to talk to the school and get some sort of repayment schedule sorted out with them. A minimum wage job would enable you to do this. Then you can start fresh back at school. Good luck.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 24,068Registered User Senior Member
    Talk to the school and see what they can work out with you. Set up an appointment with a financial aid officer and do this face to face. There might be some leeway or appeals that can be done to at least lower the amount since it is not the government going after you for the money, but the school itself. Bring any medical or other circumstantial documentation with you.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,463Super Moderator Senior Member
    It sounds like the school has reported the amount you owe as a federal grant overpayment. Schools have two options when they sent back federal grants (usually for complete withdrawals prior to the point at which 100% of aid is earned for the term, but there are other reasons grants are returned). Sometimes schools will send the money back & just carry the balance as an amount owed to the school. In this case, the student would owe the school but retains eligibility for aid at other schools. Other times schools will report the school student to the Dept of Education (ED) for a federal grant overpayment, keeping the Pell money (because the student had charges covered by the Pell money & the school is within its rights to keep that money). When this happens, the student does not owe the school for the returned grant money ... he/she owes the federal government. In this case, the student is not eligible for Title IV (federal) funds at ANY school until the situation is resolved & the student is formally cleared by ED to receive aid again. ED will send a letter to the student indicating that he/she is eligible for TIV aid & the student will have to give a copy to the school.

    You will need to repay the federal government in order to regain eligibility for financial aid. While it won't hurt to talk to the school, I doubt there is anything they can do for you. You never know, though ... some schools might have institutional funding to cover such situations. I wouldn't get my hopes up, but the worst that can happen is things stay the same. It's certainly worth trying.

    Best wishes.
  • Rebecca0630Rebecca0630 Posts: 8Registered User New Member
    I contacted the college as well as every single one of my teachers the very first day I was sick and unable to attend the classes. I could not get a hold of them and had to leave a message, which I did and explained everything and asked for all of my assignments. I then ended up having to go to the hospital for a bit and again called the teachers to explain, and once again I did not get a hold of them and had to leave a message and again I asked for all my assignments. I did not receive a call back from them for several days and when I did they said that I had missed too much class (which was about 4 days total) and could not make up the assignments in time to get caught up and would have to withdraw from the class. So, I withdrew and then the teachers gave me a failing grade. That's when I was told I owed the repayment.
    And, yes, I do understand you don't have to go to college to get a job. I have literally applied everywhere more than once, including McDonald's, KFC, Dollar General, gas stations, etc. I mean everywhere as well as going to job placement agencies in which every single time I was told they had nothing available. I even called back to check with those places so many times they basically just told me to not call in anymore, they would call me if they had anything and they never did. I went in again too several times and was told the same. And, I have had two friends of the family say they have also applied at these places and have not been able to get a job anywhere either. So, that's why I was wanting to get back to college so that maybe that would help me to get a job. I know it's not a have to go to college or I won't get a job, it's just that I haven't been able to get one, so I thought that might help and I want to as well.
    As for the money owed, it is owed to the school. That's what they said anyway. And, I did talk to someone in the financial aide office about it, along with the documentation, and they said it didn't matter what the reason was I still had to pay the full amount.
    So, it appears I'm just stuck until somehow I get a job and save the money to pay it back. Thanks for the replies.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,463Super Moderator Senior Member
    Does your school have an Ombudsman's Office? If so, please contact them to explain the situation. Sometimes they can be helpful in situations like yours.
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