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Disbursement of financial aid on hold due to academic warning review

glitterjessglitterjess Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
Hello everyone!

Disclosure: I've already contacted the office of student aid, but was told to wait until the review was finished. I'm seeking advice or opinions of others who went through the same process.

I'm currently a senior at Penn State. I withdrew from fall 2018 semester due to mental health issues and family complications at the end of the term in hopes of saving my gpa. When you withdraw from a semester your future aid can be affected and must be adjusted. I re-enrolled for the spring 2019 and was approved for my major and accepted back into my college.

I'm currently on academic warning due to my cumulative gpa, so I'm required to have my academic records reviewed. I received the adjusted financial aid award letter Monday. I contacted the financial aid office regarding my disbursements and they stated

"Your account is under review for academic warning. When the review is complete, you will receive an email with information. The financial aid has been reinstated to you at this time."

So far, they have only disbursed the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) into my account. The other aid (pell/direct sub/parent plus loan) was adjusted and accepted, but still hasn't been disbursed. I believe the disbursement is on hold due to the review, but why did they disburse some of the aid?

My question: Am I still eligible for the parent plus loan? Does it take longer than the fseog to disburse into the account? Is my financial aid suspended? If so, why would I receive an award letter and have only one aid disbursed?

Any insight or advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time.

- Jess
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Replies to: Disbursement of financial aid on hold due to academic warning review

  • glitterjessglitterjess Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    Side note: SAP will be monitored at the end of each spring term. So, should my aid be fine after the review and disbursed even though I withdrew in the fall? My aid is reinstated and rewarded, but not disbursed.
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,763 Senior Member
    I am not sure but I thought completion rate (passed credits/attempted credits) is looked at each semester?

    Did you get a PA state grant for fall? You won't get it for this semester if you didn't pass 12 credits in the fall.

    You might have to take classes on a part time basis and pay for them out of pocket until you meet SAP again.

    How many more credits do you need to graduate?
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,763 Senior Member
  • glitterjessglitterjess Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    edited January 9
    I need 10 more credits to graduate which I plan to take during the summer and graduate in august. I never received a PA state grant because I'm an out-of-state student.

    For my college, the dean stated that it's monitored after every spring semester. If I wasn't eligible for financial aid due to withdrawing for the fall, why would they offer me a full financial aid award letter, require me to accept the aid, and only disburse one aid so far?

    I'm wondering if the rest of my aid will be disbursed, because there is a hold on the disbursement for academic review. The office stated my financial aid has been reinstated to me at this time.

    I'm just wondering if the other aids are taking longer to disburse or am I not qualified for them anymore? However, they offered me all of the aid in the award letter and had me accept them. I guess patience is the only thing I can do now, just wait until the review is over and see if they disburse the rest of my aid.

    If I wasn't eligible for SAP, I wouldn't be able to receive ANY financial aid whatsoever, due to federal laws. However, they disbursed one of the aids into my account last week, but not the other aids to cover my full tuition. So, as of now I believe I'm not on financial aid suspension until they review it after the spring semester. If I do get on financial aid suspension after the spring semester, My plan is to write an appeal for an academic plan for the summer, get my aid, and graduate in august.

    Any other thoughts?

    Side note: The last email I received from financial aid office was an award summary update letter on monday.

    It stated "One or more of the sources of aid listed on your 2018-2019 Award Summary have been updated. Please follow these steps to see your most current Award Summary: Accept/Deny loans"

    I accepted them all.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,968 Senior Member
    I'm currently on academic warning due to my cumulative gpa

    So what is your cumulative GPA? As a senior, have you thought about what grades you need in the classes remaining to make sure you graduate? The more credits you have earned, the harder it is to make big changes in your cumulative average.
  • glitterjessglitterjess Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    edited January 9
    Hi! We have a gpa calculator specifically designed for our school. In order to meet the requirement gpa for graduation in august, I must receive a 3.3 this semester to boost my cumulative 1.8 to a 2.0. I'm also taking the remaining credits during the summer, which I expect to keep it above a 3.0 average. So, it's very possible to meet a 2.0 by august for graduation.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,968 Senior Member
    But is it "very possible" for you? You do not have a track record of getting the grades you need. I hope that you are able to make this happen and realize that you need to do something different studying-wise for these last two time periods.
  • glitterjessglitterjess Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    edited January 9
    Thank you for your advice and concerns. I stated above that I was forced to withdraw due to family complications and mental health. It is very possible due to my past hardships being resolved and not having to travel back and forth to my home state to care for a sick parent. It was hard to balance my classes and drive home every weekend on top of the stress of deadlines.

    Now that my relative is in proper care, I expect my stress levels to decrease due to not having to worry, my focus and study habits to improve due to being able to stay on campus and not driving home, and overall headspace to be determined, being that my intent to graduate is in August. :)
  • kelsmomkelsmom Registered User Posts: 15,218 Senior Member
    SAP warning is separate and distinct from academic warning. It is possible that academic warning might trigger an SAP review, but in reading Penn State's SAP policy, I think that would only be for maximum time frame in your particular case at this point in time. The statement from the school about financial aid being reinstated may refer to the fact that your aid will stay on your account, but that doesn't necessarily mean it can be disbursed before the review has been completed.

    I am as confused as you are about why there is FSEOG & nothing else on your account, although it's possible that the computer system automatically backs those off when a hold is put on the student for academic reasons. I suspect FSEOG has to be manually removed, and it was missed - you may find that they remove the disbursement when they catch it (and they will). The other thought is that all aid should have been disbursed, but somehow only FSEOG was disbursed - in that case, the others will follow.

    You are correct in assuming that if FSEOG disburses, everything else should also disburse. What this means to me is that someone did something wrong on your account.

    You should talk with an aid officer to ask about this. That is the only person who can tell you for sure what is going on. Good luck to you.
  • glitterjessglitterjess Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    Thank you so much for your detailed explanation. I believe either the aid was disbursed and others will follow by the end of this week or they made a mistake when they disbursed it. I will definitely contact them again if the following aid isn't posted soon.

    My thing is if they made a mistake and are currently reviewing my account, wouldn't they have caught it by now? I've even emailed them for a follow-up. But I will take your advice to contact them again if the additional aid isn't posted.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Registered User Posts: 15,218 Senior Member
    edited January 9
    Sometimes different people do different parts of the process. For example, FSEOG is limited, and if they remove it, you may not get it back. So the school might have an auto-removal of Pell and loans but leave the FSEOG. The fact that it disbursed is what is confusing, but it's possible that it's just a lag. For example, if the system is set up so that aid is backed off when there is a review, it might need to be manually added back - and if the system was set to trigger an "okay for aid," that may explain why the FSEOG disbursed. Then again, it could just be a mistake.

    My suggestion is to ask to speak with an aid officer. At large schools, students and techs are often the first line for questions - and they are not going to be able to answer this particular question. You need someone who actually processes aid. If you don't get a real explanation, ask to speak with a manager. It's best to go in person, of possible. Here is the contact list for Penn State: https://studentaid.psu.edu/contact-info. Some of the campuses do have names/titles listed - if your campus does, see if there is a customer service staff member (sometimes they are called Assistant Director of Client Service) if you can't get an answer from an aid officer.

    You might want to wait until the end of the week, in case they are trying to catch up from the holiday break.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 73,263 Senior Member
    edited January 9
    How are two semesters of over 3.3 GPA going to take three years cumulative GPA 1.8 to over 2.0? Not sure that math works.

    And how are you going to get all A and B grades in upper level courses when you were unable to get them in lower level courses?

    How long has your GPA been below 2.0? Is this your first time on academic probation?
  • glitterjessglitterjess Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    That makes sense! It could have been an error or miscommunication. I will go to the office and update you on what's happening. Thank your for feedback, you really helped me out!
  • glitterjessglitterjess Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    Hello! I'm sorry that you're confused with my academic plan. When I met with my advisor we used the official GPA calculator made for my school by putting the required grades and number of credits in. I'm taking 18 classes this semester all worth 3 credits each. I would need a 3.3 or higher this semester for my cumulative gpa to reach 2.033.

    Previously stated:

    "I stated above that I was forced to withdraw for fall semester due to family complications and mental health. Due to my past hardships being resolved and not having to travel back and forth to my home state to care for a sick parent. It was hard to balance my classes and drive home every weekend on top of the stress of deadlines.

    Now that my relative is in proper care, I expect my stress levels to decrease due to not having to worry, my focus and study habits to improve due to being able to stay on campus and not driving home, and overall headspace to be determined, being that my intent to graduate is in August."

    Overall, I will have to work harder and improve study habits to get the desired gpa.

    Yes, this is my first time.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 73,263 Senior Member
    I'm taking 18 classes this semester all worth 3 credits each

    Seriously? 18 CLASSES? That’s 54 credits. Who is paying for all of those credits...? That is a very significant overage from just full time status which is usually 18 CREDITS.

    The normal courseload for a semester is 16-18 credits...not 54.

    Sorry...but this is not a credible story.
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