Unusual Enrollment History Appeal Policy and Procedure

Students who are coded by the federal processor as 359 on the FAFSA and have not received a federal Pell grant and/or a Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan with us, or who are a code 360 and did not successfully complete course work during the valid academic year in which they also received a Pell grant and/or a Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan, will be required to submit a letter of explanation and appropriate documentation for review by a financial aid advisor.

The letter and documentation must show that an extraordinary or unusual case prevented the student from being successful in his or her studies. Situations such as family problems, serious illness for you or your immediate family member, serious or unusual circumstances, or extreme personal, emotional distress will be considered and third-party documentation must be presented. Such documentation might be a doctor’s statement in the case of illness, or a copy of the death certificate in the case of the loss of a close family member.

Student's Responsibilities

  1. Write a letter to the financial aid office which describes why academic credit was not earned during any period in which you received a Pell grant and/or a Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan and didn’t successfully complete your courses/studies. This letter should include how the circumstance that led to your academic difficulties has been resolved and the steps you have taken to ensure your own academic success. This letter serves to inform the financial aid office of your previous situation and show that you are ready and able to achieve academic requirements.
  2. Obtain third-party documentation of your situation from a physician, psychologist or other source approved by the financial aid office. The documentation serves as independent verification of your circumstances. While a letter from a family member is generally not sufficient, hospital discharge papers, a letter from your employer, a police report or documentation from a human services agency may suffice.
  3. Submit the above two items to the financial aid office. Keep a copy for your records.

Responsibilities of the Financial Aid Office

  1. Verify that your situation meets federal requirements and that appropriate documentation of the extenuating circumstance has been included.
  2. If all of the above requirements have been met, we will approve the appeal and notify you. If the request is approved, you will be expected to follow the federal SAP chart requirements as outlined in www.esc.edu/goodacademicstanding federal aid requirements.
  3. If any of the above requirements have not been met, the financial aid office will seek additional information, if appropriate, or notify you in writing that the appeal was not approved. If the request is denied, you have the right to question or appeal the decision with the financial aid office. You may regain eligibility by attending one term at Empire State College without federal aid assistance, passing each course/study for that term and requesting that the appeal be reconsidered. Likewise, if you chose to attend elsewhere and submit a transcript showing that you have been successful in your studies, you may ask for the appeal to be reconsidered.