You might lose federal student aid eligibility for a number of reasons. For instance, you might no longer meet one of the basic eligibility criteria, or you might have changed majors and no longer be enrolled in a program that makes you eligible to receive a specific type of funding (for instance, a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant). We recommend you talk to your financial aid office about those and any other circumstances that cause you to lose eligibility.
Meanwhile, below we provide some tips on how to get your eligibility back if you find yourself in one of the following situations:
What if I defaulted on my student loan but now I want to get more federal student aid?
You’ll need to get out of default before you can receive aid again.
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What if my grades slipped, or I haven’t completed enough credits, and my financial aid office told me I can’t get federal student aid?
You need to make satisfactory academic progress in college or career school in order to keep getting federal student aid. Talk to your school about whether you can appeal the decision that made you ineligible to continue receiving federal student aid.
What if I was an eligible noncitizen but my status expired or was revoked?
You’ll need to reinstate the status that made you an eligible noncitizen, or become a citizen or permanent resident, before you can receive federal student aid. For information about reinstating your status or becoming a citizen, contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
What if I was convicted of a drug offense but now I want to get more federal student aid?
If you’ve lost eligibility due to a conviction for a drug offense, and you are not scheduled to regain eligibility this academic year, it is possible to regain eligibility early.
What if I’m incarcerated?
Your incarceration affects your eligibility for different types of aid in different ways. If you are ineligible for a particular type of student aid due to your incarceration, you’ll need to wait until you’re released before you can get that type of aid.
What if I accidentally received more federal student loan or grant money than I was supposed to?
In certain cases, you’ll need to repay the amount that was beyond the maximum that you were allowed to receive. You can either repay the excess all at once, or you can make arrangements to repay it a bit at a time. Once you’ve repaid—or made arrangements to repay—the excess, you’ll be able to receive additional federal student aid (assuming you haven’t reached the maximum amounts for all programs for which you are otherwise eligible). In other cases, your financial aid office might be able to adjust the amount of money you’ll be getting from another federal student aid program to make up for the excess you received. If you have questions about repaying aid or getting additional aid, talk to the financial aid staff at your school.
What if I thought I had a high school diploma, but it turns out that I actually don’t?
This situation might arise if, for instance, your high school is a “diploma mill” (a school that charges a student a fee and requires him or her to complete little or no course work to get the diploma). If you don’t have a high school diploma or an equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, you’ll need to talk to the financial aid office at your school to find out what to do.
What if I was convicted of, or pled nolo contendere or guilty to, a crime involving fraud to obtain federal student aid funds?
You’ll need to repay the funds to the U.S. Department of Education or—in the case of a federal student loan—to the holder or servicer of the loan.
What if I have property subject to a judgment lien?
If you have property subject to a judgment lien for a debt owed to the United States, you will have to pay your debt in full or make arrangements to pay the debt.