Monday, August 1, 2011

A Warning To Older College Students W/ Transfer Credits

I wanted to share this information with you because it's something I wish I had known when starting school. I am an older adult student, starting school this fall for an AS degree. I have attended college before, and came with 55 transfer credits on my record. These were basic gen ed courses, as I switched my major a few times. I never thought these courses would hinder me, as I needed some of them to count toward my AS degree. I was totally unaware of the SAP policy my school has in place. (Check your school, as every one is different.) SAP stands for satisfactory academic progress, of which there are two main components, grades and time frame. If you don't meet a certain GPA or finish your degree withing a certain number of attempted credits, you will be disqualified for financial aid.
Like I said, each school is different. My school has a cap of 93 credit limits. So I only get 93 credits at an "attempt" of finishing a degree. All of my transfer credits are included in that. So with my 20+ credits I have taken at the current school while waiting to start the program, I am nearly at 93.  This does not seem fair to me. I wasn't attempting a degree at my current school when I took these 55 credits. So now I have to appeal this policy in the fall so that I will be eligible for aid. I am not looking forward to it.
My point being: check your financial aid policy and know what you are getting into. I would have done some things differently if I was aware of this. The major blow for me? I was approved for the first time ever for a pell grant. Now I might risk losing it because of the maximum time frame. I was so upset when I found this out. I don't have extra money for college, and I really need financial aid, even if it is a loan. Sometimes life can just really suck. Plus, the decision of the appeal is final. I still have two more years in school that I have to figure out how to pay for.

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