Financial Aid: Right of Appeal

If a student has experienced an extenuating circumstance that prevented them from satisfying the requirements of the Standards of Academic Progress (SAP), they may appeal that decision to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must be submitted in writing to the Director of Financial Aid. The appeal requires details that explain how the extenuating circumstances prevented the student from meeting the SAP requirements. The student must specifically state for which terms and academic years they experienced this extenuating circumstance, not just the past academic year.

*Such circumstances may include serious illness, documented medical condition, death of an immediate family member, call to active military duty, and other extraordinary situations such as natural disasters.

The student must make sure that date specific supporting documentation is attached to the appeal request. Letters from parents and family members are not acceptable; if this is the only information available, the student should meet with a Financial Aid Advisor to determine what is acceptable.

This documentation will be maintained in the student’s file. Examples of acceptable documentation include but are not limited to:

  1. A letter from a physician or counselor on letterhead paper (not a prescription form).
  2. Copy of a death certificate, obituary, or Mass card. 3. Accident reports, police reports, court records, etc.

NOTE: Do not submit original documentation as part of this appeal; make sure to provide legible copies.

If the student’s appeal is in response to having attempted excess hours over 150% of the program’s standard hours, the student will need to submit the SAP Appeal for maximum time frame. Students will need to complete a new appeal each year as long as he or she is continuing in the same degree/major.

NOTE: Classes needed for the current degree plan are the only ones eligible for financial assistance.

If the student is unable to provide the above information, he or she should meet with a Financial Aid Advisor. The advisor will determine whether a requirement may be waived, or determine if additional documentation is required. The Director of Financial Aid and a Financial Aid Advisor will review the appeal. The appeal will be done as expeditiously as possible, but within approximately 15 business days. The results will be E-mailed via Rio Grande student account. The appeal decision is final and no other appeal process is available.

Appeal deadlines will be posted on the Rio Grande Financial Aid webpage. The Standards of Academic Progress and Maximum Time Frame appeal forms with instructions are posted online under financial aid forms, or students may request the forms through the financial aid office during normal business hours.