Financial Aid and Your GPA | 04.24.09

Posted in FAFSA, Financial Aid By Student Loan Network Staff

In the financial aid forum there are many posts from students who are at a loss. They had a rough semester….a family member passed away, or they got sick and couldn’t keep up with their school work. While I do feel bad for people when things like this happen, your school has no choice but to hold you to the standards of the rest of the student body. If something extraordinary happens in your life and you can’t keep up with your school work, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. A lot of people think that their school “will understand”. It is not that the school officials don’t empathize with you, but they do have policies they have to adhere to. So if you receive a Pell Grant and/or a Stafford loan and you cannot complete a semester, and you don’t officially withdraw from your classes then you may be faced with the following issues:

  • You will be required to pay back your Pell grant, since you did not maintain satisfactory academic progress. This will show up as an open balance to the school and you will not be able to register or take more classes until you pay that grant back
  • If your GPA drops below a 2.0 then you will not be able to borrow the Stafford loan for the next semester because you will have to get your grades up first, before you will be eligible again.
  • Your school can expel you if you don’t maintain a certain GPA

So the bottom line is, that while things don’t always go as you planned, you can’t just ignore your school work and deal with it later. The consequences of doing that can be severe, and can make it so that you cannot re-enroll in college because you have a large balance at the school that you are not able to pay for out of your pocket.

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