The U.S. Department of Education established regulations to prevent fraud and abuse in the Federal Student Aid program by identifying students with unusual enrollment histories.  Some students who have an unusual enrollment history have legitimate reasons for their enrollment at multiple institutions. However, such an enrollment history requires our office to review your file in order to determine future federal financial aid eligibility.  If selected by the Department of Education, this must be resolved before you will receive financial aid.

At times, students are selected for unusual enrollment history after their financial aid has already been awarded.  In these cases future financial aid disbursements will be held until your file is reviewed and resolved.  If it is determined that you are ineligible for financial aid based on unusual enrollment history, any previous awarded and disbursed financial aid for the academic year will be returned to the appropriate sources and future disbursements will be cancelled.

Definition of Unusual Enrollment History

The specific pattern the Department of Education uses to select students includes those students who have received a Federal Pell Grant and/or Federal Direct Loans at multiple institutions  during the past four academic years. Once the Department of Education has indicated that a student has an unusual enrollment history, the Financial Aid Office must take action and review the academic history prior to determining federal financial aid eligibility for that student.

What Will be Required of You

If selected, our office will notify you of what is required. We will check your financial aid history at all previous institutions that you attended during the last four financial aid years. You are required to have received academic credit at any institution you received the Federal Pell grant or Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan while attending in those relevant academic years. We will notify you which institutions you need to request transcripts from for our office to review. No aid will be determined until all required documentation has been received. Once all transcripts have been received, our office will verify that academic credit was received at each institution during the relevant year. If so, we will notify you that you have satisfied this requirement. If you failed to receive academic credit at any institution where you received a federal Pell grant or Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan during the relevant award years, your federal financial aid will be denied and you will be notified.

Appeal Process

If you were denied because it was determined that you did not earn academic credit, you may appeal by submitting an acceptable explanation describing why you were unable to successfully complete the credits, as well as corresponding documentation. Please be sure to explain and document reasons for each semester you failed to earn academic credit. Your appeal will be reviewed by our office and we will notify you of the decision.  Decisions are final and are not appealable to the Department of Education.

Regaining Federal Student Aid Eligibility

Students that have been denied federal student aid based on an Unusual Enrollment History Appeal have the ability to regain financial aid eligibility by successfully completing one semester of at least half time enrollment (at least 6 credits) with at least a 2.0 semester GPA at Massasoit Community College.  Students could also obtain at least half time credit receiving at least a 2.0 GPA at another institution.  Students must notify the Financial Aid Office that a successful semester has been completed to request that your eligibility be reviewed again.  If credit was obtained at a college other than Massasoit Community College you must submit an OFFICIAL transcript to the Financial Aid Office.

If the student meets the college’s standards to regain eligibility for federal financial aid the eligibility would be effective under the same provisions that apply when a student gains or regains eligibility under other student eligibility requirements.  That is, for the Pell Grant and other Campus-based aid programs, eligibility begins with the payment period in which the student met the eligibility requirements (following the payment period of ineligibility), while eligibility for Direct Loans is retroactive to the beginning of the enrollment period.

Regaining eligibility is not guaranteed and is determined at the discretion of the Financial Aid Office.  Students must take courses that count towards their current degree program and must meet the college’s standards of the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy.