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Types of Financial Aid Appeals

Below are the most common types of appeals the Commission receives. The majority of these appeals arise from a student failing to meet a requirement. If a student is appealing due to not meeting a requirement, the student must specify an extenuating circumstance which prevented the student from meeting the requirement. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Appeals based on forgetting or not knowing about a requirement will not be approved.

21st Century Scholars – Application Submitted with Errors 

  • Incorrect application type submitted:

    • Household income submitted for a student in foster care or in Legal Guardianship;
    • Legal Guardianship status indicated for a student who resides with biological parents;
    • Foster care status indicated incorrectly for a student who is in Legal Guardianship.
  • Application submitted without all household members listed;

  • Application submitted with incorrect income.

21st Century Scholars – Late Enrollment/ Missing Enrollment

  • Death of an immediate family member (student’s spouse, child, parent, guardian, grandparent or sibling) which prevents the student from enrolling;
  • Serious illness of the student or an immediate family member (student’s spouse, child, parent, guardian, grandparent or sibling) which prevents the student from enrolling.

PLEASE NOTE: An appeal based on the claim an enrollment application was submitted but not received is not a sufficient basis absent supporting documentation.

21st Century Scholars – Foster Care

PLEASE NOTE:
Per IC 21-12-6-5, only students who are active in the foster care system may apply after 8th grade. This does not include students who are in a legal guardianship. Further, only students who are active in the foster care system may apply beyond 8th grade without income.

21st Century Scholars – Pledge Violation 

PLEASE NOTE: To deny the scholarship due to a pledge violation, the program requires documentation of a conviction, suspension, expulsion or written admission by the scholar. Due to this high threshold, appeals based on removal for pledge violations will not be approved absent documentation of an overturned conviction.

21st Century Scholars – High School Grade Point Average Requirement

  • Disability documented by a medical professional and a copy of an IEP or letter from a school counselor explaining how the disability prevented the student from reaching the required GPA.

21st Century Scholars and Frank O’Bannon – Unmet Credit Completion Requirements

  • Death of an immediate family member (student’s spouse, child, parent, guardian, grandparent or sibling) which prevents the student from meeting the credit completion requirements;
  • Serious illness of the student or an immediate family member (student’s spouse, child, parent, guardian, grandparent or sibling) which prevents the student from meeting the credit completion requirements;
  • Active duty military service by the student which prevents the student from meeting the credit completion requirements;
  • Disability documented by a medical professional and a letter from a medical profession verifying how the disability prevented the student from meeting the credit completion requirements.

21st Century Scholars – Failing to Enroll in Postsecondary Education within one year of high school graduation

  • Death of an immediate family member (student’s spouse, child, parent, guardian, grandparent or sibling) which prevents the student from enrolling;
  • Serious illness of the student or an immediate family member (student’s spouse, child, parent, guardian, grandparent or sibling) which prevents the student from enrolling;
  • Active duty military service by the student which prevents the student from enrolling;
  • Participate in a religious or public service based volunteer program which prevents full-time enrollment.

Missing the FAFSA Deadline (April 15th)

  • Death of an immediate family member (student’s spouse, child, parent, guardian, grandparent or sibling) which prevents the student from filing before the deadline;
  • Serious illness of the student or an immediate family member (student’s spouse, child, parent, guardian, grandparent or sibling) which prevents the student from filing before the deadline;
  • Active duty military service by the student which prevents the student from filing before the deadline;
  • Participate in a religious or public service based volunteer program which prevents the student from filing before the deadline.

Residency

  • Serious illness of the student or an immediate family member (student’s spouse, child, parent, guardian, grandparent or sibling) requiring the student or parent to live out of state.
  • Active duty military service

COVID-19/Coronavirus

  • Students who used the 21st Century Scholarship, the Frank O'Bannon Grant, or the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship during the 2019-2020 school year will have 15 credit hours overridden and do not need to appeal for credit completion for Spring 2020 credit hours.

  • Students who fail to file the FAFSA by the extended FAFSA deadline for 2020-2021, April 27th, as a direct result of COVID-19 illness or disruption may submit an appeal to the Commission in ScholarTrack to waive the April 15th deadline. Students will need to explain in their appeal how they were unable to submit the FAFSA by the April 27th deadline either due to a lack of access to the application, or as a result of serious illness of the student or an immediate family member (student’s spouse, child, parent, guardian, grandparent or sibling).

Appeals the Commission Cannot Consider

The Commission cannot hear appeals for decisions made by the student’s college or the U.S. Department of Education. Student should direct issues with decisions made by entities outside of the Commission to the appropriate party. Examples of appeals the Commission cannot hear are:

  • Dependency Status
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Institution’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements (SAP)
  • Default on Federal student loan and/or overpayment of Federal grant

Acceptable Supporting Documentation

PLEASE NOTE: All documentation is used solely for the purpose of the appeal review process and will not be shared.

  • Tax documentation
  • Medical documentation
  • Death Certificate and/or Obituary
  • IEP (Individualized Education Plan)
  • Military Discharge documentation
  • Documentation of Indiana Residency (Driver's License, Mail, etc.)
  • Any additional documentation that may be relevant to your appeal and/or that is requested by the appeals committee.

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