Understanding the Financial Aid 150% Rule—Appeal the Denial of Aid

Financial Aid Appeal Letters Understanding the Financial Aid 150% Rule—Appeal the Denial of Aid

Learn Everything About the Financial Aid 150% Rule—Appeal Unjust Decisions

Are you a financial aid recipient? Did you get a notice from your school saying you’ve been denied further financial aid disbursements due to a 150% Rule breach? The bad news is that you won’t be receiving additional financial aid, but the good news is that there is a solution to the problem!

Use this guide to learn what a financial aid 150% Rule appeal is and how to file one in no time!

The Basics of the Financial Aid 150% Rule

The government introduced the financial aid 150% Rule in 2013 to ensure that schools meet the financial needs of the most deserving and hard-working students.

150% refers to the time you need to complete your degree. For example, if you’re enrolled in a program that lasts four years, the 150% Rule allows you to receive aid for six years.

The 150% Rule remains in effect even if you:

  • Repeat classes—You’re allowed 30 hours of remedial coursework. Any further classes you retake will count towards the final 150%
  • Switch schools—If you hypothetically switch from one four-year program to another in a different school after two years, you are still eligible for those six years of financial aid, but you have already used two of them
  • Take breaks—Breaks you make don’t pause the Rule time count
  • Switch programs—The Rule states that the initial 150% calculated after your admission doesn’t change when switching programs. This means that if you were enrolled in an 18-month program but decided to switch to a 12-month one right before you graduated, you won’t be eligible for any further financial aid because 150% of 12 is 18, and you were already enrolled and received aid for 18 months

What Happens if I Breach the 150% Rule?

If you breach the financial aid 150% Rule, you won’t be eligible for any further disbursements. The Rule applies even to students who never received aid before.

You Exceeded the Allowed 150%—What To Do Next

You should strive to stay below the allowed 150%, but if your school denies you aid, here’s what you can do about it:

  1. Gather evidence about any unfortunate circumstances you experienced regarding your health, finances, or family to prove how they prolonged your education
  2. File a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal. Most schools offer appeal forms on their websites, so you can print them out and complete them by yourself
  3. Make an academic plan to show your intent to graduate in a reasonable amount of time. Whether you need to do it yourself or with an advisor depends on your school’s policy
  4. Schedule an appointment at your school’s financial aid office to discuss the best course of action. You and an advisor will go over the academic progress you achieved so far to determine the total of hours invested

Keep in mind that the goal is to convince the school that you intend to graduate in the shortest time possible and that you will use financial aid only for the purpose of achieving that goal.

How To Prevent the 150% Rule Consequences

To prevent breaching the 150% Rule, ask yourself the following questions before you apply for financial aid:

QuestionExplanation
Can I cover further expenses in case of aid suspension?Go over all available options you can resort to if your school denies you aid. If you don’t have any savings, it might be best not to apply for aid if you can't complete your study program in time
Can I complete my studies in time?Avoid risking aid suspension if you’re not sure that you can keep up with the required Satisfactory Academic Progress
When is the right time to apply for financial aid?Apply for financial aid once you’re sure that you will get your degree before the 150% Rule kicks in

Are There Any Other Types of Financial Aid Appeals?

Other than the SAP appeal, you can object if your school rejects your initial financial aid application. The best way to do it without risking being on bad terms with the school is to write a friendly financial aid appeal letter. Subscribe to DoNotPay to substantially shorten the writing process and get a custom-generated letter in an instant!

Appeal Your School’s Decision and Get More Financial Aid With DoNotPay

If you feel like your school misjudged your financial needs, follow these steps to appeal its decision and get more aid:

  1. Open DoNotPay in any web browser
  2. Search for Appeal for More Financial Aid
  3. Answer a few brief questions about your financial aid application and include offers you received from other schools to put pressure on the one you’re writing to

After you complete all steps, allow a few moments for the service to incorporate your answers, and your letter will be ready to go!

Our learning center can help you advance your financial aid knowledge by answering questions, such as:

Before You Choose a School, Check Out What Types of Financial Aid It Offers

Take a look at the table below to find the best choice and take your education to the next level without worrying about making ends meet:

University of California, Berkeley Financial AidRutgers University Financial AidMIT Financial Aid
University of California, Davis Financial AidPurdue University Financial AidNew York University Financial Aid
Cornell University Financial AidPrinceton University Financial AidHarvard University Financial Aid
Stanford University Financial AidUniversity of California San Diego Financial AidColumbia University Financial Aid
University of California, Santa Cruz Financial AidUniversity of California, Los Angeles Financial AidYale University Financial Aid

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