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Posted by on Feb 15, 2012 in Student Loans | 0 comments

What to Do When Your Credit Limit for FAFSA Benefits is Reached

In order to help as many students at possible, many of the grants and loans doled out through the FAFSA application come with a number of restrictions and requirements.

Most of these are easy to follow and keep within, but there is one that presents problems to many students.  That is the credit limit.  FAFSA would like to help as many students as possible, and the best way for them to do this is to motivate students to expedite their schooling process.

They do this by placing a credit limit on students who receive certain grants and student loans.  This makes students get to their graduation sooner by not really allowing them to change their major too many times.

That all seems logical and even noble in many ways.  However, there are very few students who know exactly what they want to do with their lives when they begin their schooling.  Many times it will take a few semesters, some classes, and some experience.

Most students change their majors or their specializations a number of times before landing on the study path that will lead to their eventual career.  This means that most students will burn through the allotted credit limit of FAFSA before graduation.

So, what can you do if you find yourself in this predicament?  Here are the steps of what you should do when you reach the credit limit for FAFSA benefits:

  1. Read the Letter From FAFSA: When you are put on financial probation or suspension from FAFSA, they will notify you via a letter.  Make sure you read this letter to make sure you know exactly what you have done to bring about this decision.
  2. File an Appeal: There will be a form or a link to the online form for you to file an appeal for the decision that has been made about your FAFSA benefits.  Fill this out, and make sure to provide all the information they will need.  The better you fill this out, the faster the process will be,
  3. Contact a FAFSA Representative Personally: Once you have filed your appeal, call the office yourself to speak with them in person.  They will be able to see your appeal and can help you expedite it, or give you an idea of whether or not it will be accepted.
  4. Complete the Degree or Certification That Can Be Finished First:  Even if you changed your major and your career goals, there may be a degree or a certification that can be completed before your new goal.  If you have surpassed your FAFSA credit limit, you will want to get that one completed first, because then you can re-apply for FAFSA with a new limit for the secondary degree.  Not only will this get your FAFSA benefits on track again, but it will give you multiple credentials to take to the real world field with you.
  5. Look For Other Means of Funding: Many times, FAFSA will overturn their decision when the appeal is made.  They will give you some more credits before the next limit is met.

This isn’t always the case, however, so while you are waiting for them to make their decision, it would be wise for you to get a good back-up plan in line.

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