Are you worried about failing a class? You’re not alone. Aside from trying to find parking, the possibility of failure is every college student’s worst nightmare.
Failing a class can cause a lot of stress. It can lower your grade point average and make it harder to pursue a graduate degree. It can also prevent you from completing your degree on time. Perhaps most pressingly, it can affect your financial aid.
If you’re failing a class, don’t panic. Remember that you are not the first to fail a class, and you certainly won’t be the last.
Here’s everything you need to know about how failing a class can affect your financial aid. After reading, you’ll know where you stand and what steps you can take to retain your financial aid.
What Will Happen If You Fail a Class in College with Financial Aid?
Most financial aid packages come with eligibility requirements. To qualify, you must stay above a minimum grade average, enroll as a half/full-time student, etc.
To continue receiving aid, you will have to meet renewal requirements. It may include maintaining a specific GPA and enrollment status, etc.
Failing a class puts you at risk of not meeting these requirements. An F in your class might lower your grade point average (GPA) below the minimum. It might also force you to drop the class, which will affect your part/full-time enrollment status.
Note that every financial aid package has different renewal requirements. The requirements of a private scholarship, for instance, might be stricter than those of a federal student aid package.
To see the exact terms of your financial aid, contact the respective institution. Many institutions determine your eligibility by looking at your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
What You Need to Know About Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is a standard that indicates you are successfully working towards your degree. As long as you meet SAP standards, you will be eligible to receive financial aid. (Note that the institution you are receiving aid from may have additional requirements.)
Every college has its own SAP standards. They will also differ depending on whether you are working towards an undergraduate or graduate degree, etc.
Typically, to have satisfactory academic progress, you must:
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 for your degree
- Successfully complete 67% of your attempted credit hours
- Complete your degree within 150% of the required credit hours
- Maintain an enrollment status of at least half-time
Failing a class can affect your ability to meet these standards. A failing grade can drop your GPA below a 2.0 or cause you to fall behind on your degree progress.
Be sure to review the SAP standards for your college to see if an F in a class puts your financial aid at risk.
What to Do If You Failed a College Class
Failing a class isn’t the end of the world. Here’s what to do if you find yourself in this predicament:
Talk to Your Professor
If the semester isn’t over yet, talk to your professor. See if there is anything you can do to bring up your grade in the class. It can be intimidating, but remember that professors are there to help you.
Also, consider auditing your grades. Look for missing or incorrect grades. Every point adds up, and the difference between a D and an F can be enough to save your financial aid.
Consider Dropping the Class
If there is no hope of raising your grade, you should consider dropping the class. Dropping can have several benefits. It will keep an F off your transcripts, perhaps improving your chances of pursuing a graduate degree. It will also keep your GPA from dropping too low to be eligible for financial aid.
However, you shouldn’t make this decision lightly. Dropping isn’t the right decision for everyone. For instance, if you drop beyond the withdrawal deadline, you may be ineligible for renewal.
You may also be ineligible if dropping would affect your enrollment status. For instance, let’s say a scholarship requires you to be full-time (12 credit hours). Your current enrollment is 12 credit hours for the semester. If you are failing one of your classes and want to drop it, you would only have 9 credit hours. Dropping below full-time status would render you ineligible for renewal.
Another drawback of dropping classes is the cost. You might have to pay back the tuition for the class. If money is tight, you’ll want to consider this decision carefully.
Go to Your School’s Financial Aid Office
If you are in danger of failing a class, go to your school’s financial aid office ASAP. It’s their job to help you in situations like these.
Your advisor will make clear the requirements of your federal student aid. They will help you determine if an F in your class will impact your eligibility.
From there, they will recommend the best course of action. They may advise you to work with your professor to raise your grades. They may suggest you drop the class or attempt to reinstate your eligibility.
The advisor may also help you appeal suspension from aid. It is possible if special circumstances have impacted your GPA (illness, a death in the family, etc.).
Remember: The sooner you go to the financial aid office, the more they can help you. If you wait too long, there might not be anything they can do.
How to Reinstate Your Eligibility
If you end up losing your student loans, it may not be gone for good. You can take steps to reinstate your eligibility.
It would be best if you asked your college advisor about how to qualify for renewal. Steps you may have to take include:
- Paying back classes you failed/dropped
- Proving that you failed the class due to special circumstances
- Improving your grades
- Taking remedial classes
- Proving that you are joining study groups or working with a tutor
If you’re failing a class, you have every right to worry about your financial aid. But there are steps you can take. Most importantly, talk to your professor and advisor to see what you can do.
For more resources, sign up at GrantEd today! We have experience helping students like you pass classes and continue receiving aid.