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friendofjimmyk
06-17-2009, 01:47 AM
As most of you know, I graduated with my associates in May. My next move, which I have already enrolled, was set to start in August. I was set to work on my bachelors in psychology. You have to have a bachelors before you move onto masters level.

Everything was set. Schedule made, orientation attended, financial aid awarded...or so I thought. The government okayed me for it - as I have not yet hit my undergraduate monetary limit. However, I received a letter yesterday informing me that the school has denied my financial assistance because I have too many undergraduate credit hours.

I was crushed!!! This is my future! This is also my fault! I had absolutely no direction when I started attending school and I took many classes to see where my interests lay.

I can appeal this decision. I have to do so in writing. I thought I'd share the letter with you guys to get your thoughts and opinions. I have to explain why I have so many credit hours and how I can ensure that I have a plan if my aid is reinstated. I started with a rough draft. I had a friend who is very well spoken read it for me and this version I'm posting is how he took my words and stated them more eloquently then I had.

I am writing this letter today because I was recently denied financial aid, due to the fact I have too many undergraduate credit hours. I was told that I could appeal this decision by writing you.

When I started college, I was unsure of my direction. I had many interests, but no clarity as to the path that was right for me to take. I took many electives and when my interest was sparked, I proceeded with further classes in that area. In every previous instance, my interest waned. However, in 2005, I became involved in the substance abuse recovery community. I was living in **** and saw an article in a Sunday edition of the ****** Morning News. It stated that there are too few professionals in the recovery field. At that moment, I was determined to become a helping professional. Over the last four years, my interest in this field has not waned. In fact, it has become more focused.

Finding myself in *****, I discovered that ****** Community College offered an Associate in Applied Science in Health and Human Services - Chemical Dependency Counseling. I started classes in the summer of 2006 and excelled throughout my time there, graduating with honors in May 2009.

I currently have an interest to continue my education in this field, as I would like to help those who are dually diagnosed. In order to do this, I have to be able to obtain both a Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree. I have even considered pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. I have never been surer of my direction.

I would like to continue my education here in ******, at the University of *****. When I met with an academic advisor, I was informed I only need four semesters to complete a Bachelors Degree. I have enclosed a letter outlining my proposed educational path. I would be eternally grateful if the board would consider reversing the decision to deny financial assistance based upon my history of having too many undergraduate credit hours, as I have truly found my calling and have demonstrated this over the last four years. Thank you again for your time and consideration in regards to this matter.

So, what do you guys think?

Aethian
06-17-2009, 02:01 AM
Letter looks good.

Mom got denied to one because of the school not giving her a little piece of paper to sign. It was fishy, they not giving you the promised money is fishy.

Greenday
06-17-2009, 02:02 AM
What the hell is financial aid? My sister got financial aid when she went to college. Since she did, I thought I would. My freshman year was her senior year. She got financial aid again that year. I didn't. They said my family had enough money that I don't need it. My family barely can afford our bills. I know we are definitely behind on a couple.

Amina516
06-17-2009, 02:11 AM
Sorry, FOJK. That sucks.

Your letter sounds good though & I hope you get what you need and can continue your education.

Aethian
06-17-2009, 02:13 AM
What the hell is financial aid? My sister got financial aid when she went to college. Since she did, I thought I would. My freshman year was her senior year. She got financial aid again that year. I didn't. They said my family had enough money that I don't need it. My family barely can afford our bills. I know we are definitely behind on a couple.

Need to talk to a counselor about that. Some numbers might have gotten turned around.

blas
06-17-2009, 02:20 AM
As someone who has been denied fiancial aid twice, and is debating even trying for a third time, you have my full sympathy and support!

friendofjimmyk
06-17-2009, 02:57 AM
There are different kinds of financial aid. I was always under the impression that federal financial aid is available to all who apply...regardless of income. I didn't start receiving money until I was 25...well beyond the consideration of my parents income.

Then there are personal loans of which I am sure I don't qualify. I could try...but with a bankruptcy fresh on my credit report...it's unlikely.


All I can do is hope that my appeal is granted. If not, I am not giving up. I have goals and dreams and there is always more than one way to get there! It will work out...maybe just not the way I originally had it planned.

Greenday
06-17-2009, 03:15 AM
There are different kinds of financial aid. I was always under the impression that federal financial aid is available to all who apply...regardless of income.

Nope. I am living proof that they don't have to give you anything. So now I'm thousands of dollars in debt. Can't wait until I'm done taking out loans.

taxguykarl
06-17-2009, 02:33 PM
Your letter looks good to me. Good luck.

Chanlin
06-17-2009, 02:46 PM
Your letter looks good.

On tiny nitpick, but I figure if your sending this in for an appeal you want it to be as perfect as possible.

I am writing this letter today because I was recently denied financial aid, due to the fact I have too many undergraduate credit hours.

This is what you have for your opening line. The comma is not needed here.

I think the rest of your letter looks good.

Two things that may help your case.

1: If you have a professor you think would write a letter of recommendation for you that would be good.

2: See if you can find a job that will either A: hire you if you get your bachelors or B: help pay for your bachelors. If you do find such a job have them write a letter to go with yours.

dispatch
06-17-2009, 03:05 PM
OUCH! little bastards! This is part of why I dropped out, I don't like jumping through hoops or groveling, especially when I'm paying out the ass for an education and will be doing so for a long time after I graduate/drop.

I know for FAFSA, unless your parents are dead, incarcerated, or gave you up for adoption you have to include their financial information with your application until you are 25. I was told with my stafford loan through wells fargo that it would be at a fixed intrest rate of around 6% thanks to the no child left behind act, we'll see how true that is in 6 months.

Keep at it, FOJK. In the time we've been working together I've noticed a huge change and I know you've got the drive to finish this.

blas
06-17-2009, 03:35 PM
You're right on the dot with that one, dispatch.

And no one will ever believe that yes, there are kids out there who are not getting a single penny from their parents, no matter how much money their parents may have.

How hard is that to believe? Lots of parents try to leave money aside for their kids for college, but I'm sure there are lots of parents like mine out there, who said "If you don't get good enough grades, you're going through college with no help."

AdminAssistant
06-17-2009, 03:54 PM
When I filled out my first FAFSA, I was 23 and I didn't include my parents' information. But it was for post-graduate work, so maybe that's different. :shrug: I was already disqualified from getting any kind of grant or anything....just loans.

RichS
06-17-2009, 10:00 PM
I'm sure there are lots of parents like mine out there, who said "If you don't get good enough grades, you're going through college with no help."

That was me, but it was my own fault - my parents paid for my first semester, and I did lousy. My GPA was a 1.4 after that - and my parents cut me off.

What did I do? Sucked it up, got a job, and paid my own way. Went to a community college to get my grades up and to get used to college, and was readmitted. Even through a motorcycle and auto accident, I went. I could only go part-time, and some semesters I had to take off because of lack of funds (and, well, the accidents), but I still went.

Then I met my wife, and, well, priorities changed. I wanted a family more than a degree.

The good news is that, about 22 years after I left, I am 6 work hours, three papers, and an employee evaluation away from my Associates. :)

Like other posters before said, keep at it, and you'll succeed.

taxguykarl
06-18-2009, 02:36 PM
I'm with Rich and Blas here.
That you put yourself through school part-time and working shows a better work ethic and drive than most of the Ivy, UofC and NWU EW's I have had the displeasure of interviewing.:rolleyes:
Stick with it--even if it means a class or two at a time. I might add that as long as an institution is accredited (check on that and by what entity), it rarely matters where you graduated.

Primer
06-18-2009, 10:41 PM
My little nitpick: in the last paragraph, where you write, " When I met with an academic advisor, I was informed I only need four semesters to complete a Bachelors Degree." you have a misplaced modifier. It should read, "I need only four semesters..."

Sorry, but it's my pet peeve.

friendofjimmyk
06-18-2009, 10:51 PM
Thank you everyone for your thoughts on the matter. I really appreciate it. It's tough. Mom and dad divorced when I was 18, many years ago. I never wanted to go to college when I was in high school. I started by my mother's egging on when I was about 19 or 20. Mom was paying for it until I started dropping classes all the time and then she stopped...for awhile. Then, I moved to Texas and she helped me for a little bit...but then I started taking loans to help myself. Even though I have crazy debt now.

I turned the appeal in yesterday. They said I should hear something in 3 weeks! I'll keep you posted.