Completion rate for Financial Aid and changing schools
January 21, 2015 9:45 AM   Subscribe

If your completion rate is below 67% for one school and this causes you to lose your financial aid, does this carry across to another school?

That is the basic. Asking for a friend, because this is confusing for her and I'm the best at googling. She withdrew from her second semester at a community college because she took on a full time course load and didn't realize quickly enough she couldn't handle the full course load with her new full time job, a very large break up, and planning a wedding (maid of honour). So she withdrew from all of her classes at the time of midterms. Her completion rate is currently at 33%, although her GPA is 3.5.

She has appealed. It was rejected, and her letter states that while she can speak to the financial aid office about why, she shouldn't expect that it will change anything.

So now she is wondering if she can go to a different University, instead of the previous community college she attended, and start over from scratch. Googling any financial aid rules is incredibly confusing me for me, so I can't figure this out. And the financial aid offices at the CC are incredibly awful.
posted by motioncityshakespeare to Education (2 answers total)
My sense is that financial aid rules are different at every university, so I think the best bet would be to contact whatever school(s) she is considering transferring to and ask about their requirements.

The basic criteria for FEDERAL aid (i.e. not from the school itself) are available here:
This does include the following requirement: "maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school"
According to the federal aid site (, every school has different requirements for what this means. I'm guessing this is the requirement your friend ran up against with completion rate -- for that particular school, they didn't consider it to be satisfactory progress if one was not completing over half the classes they attempted. But, every school will define this a little differently, so the only way you can know will be to ask at each place.

Aside from federal aid, of course there are also private scholarships or scholarships directly from the school itself (and in some cases state aid). But, the requirements for these are often stricter. Still, it doesn't hurt to ask. Again, it will be different for every school/university, so the best thing is to contact each financial aid office separately.
posted by rainbowbrite at 9:59 AM on January 21, 2015

I think the best way to answer this for your friend, including specifics of the situation that might vary from location to location, is for her to contact the Financial Aid office at the University she intends to enroll at and give them the details. They will be able to advise her & go over options.

I would also recommend that she contact the financial aid office at the CC and inquire about her rejected appeal, regardless of whether it changes the outcome -- they may have valuable information, suggest other options, etc. In both cases, she should be able to get clear answers from the financial aid staff; this situation is not exactly uncommon amongst CC students, in my experience.
posted by dryad at 9:59 AM on January 21, 2015

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