The school has a graduate student with only an unofficial transcript on file with the school at the time the term starts. Can Title IV aid be disbursed for the student?
It depends upon whether the student is considered a regular student or not. To be eligible for Title IV aid, the student must be admitted as a regular student under 34 CFR 600.2. That is, the student must be "enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential offered by that institution."
In order to meet institutional eligibility requirements in 34 CFR 600.2, the institution must admit as regular students only persons who have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent or who are beyond the age of compulsory (required) attendance in the state in which the institution is located. An institution’s failure to adhere to these requirements can result in losing eligibility to participate in any of the Title IV programs.
This is what page 1-3 of the 2019-20 FSA Handbook says about conditional acceptance, "Conditional acceptance. Some schools admit students provisionally, for example, until they provide further documentation, such as academic transcripts or test scores, or demonstrate an ability to succeed in the program by receiving acceptable grades in program coursework. Typically, the school will limit these students’ enrollment in terms of number of courses or enrollment status until they meet the necessary conditions.
Students admitted as conditional are regular students only if the school officially accepts them into the eligible degree or certificate program. The Department does not define official acceptance or admission. If the student is merely allowed to take some courses before being officially admitted to the program, she is not considered a regular student and is not eligible for FSA funds until she is officially admitted.
Schools may offer a trial or conditional period during which a student attends a program without incurring program charges or receiving FSA funds. If the student continues beyond the trial period and enrolls as a regular student, the school can pay him FSA grants for the entire payment period and loans for the period of enrollment. See Dear Colleague Letter GEN-11-12 for more information."
For additional information, try NASFAA's Student Aid Index. It is a central hub of all the important financial aid resources you need with direct links to legislation, regulation, Dear Colleague Letters, and other ED and NASFAA references. It is updated on a rolling basis with the latest news and changes. Search Institutional Eligibility.
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Publication Date: 4/23/2020