Once an award notification is sent to the student, there may be instances which warrant a change to the original notification. A Financial Aid Administrator (FAA) may review a student's circumstances, make an adjustment to an award, and release a revised award notification. This revised award invalidates the original award notice.
1. Revision Initiated by the Office of Financial Aid
The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) will automatically consider a revision in a student's aid package when the following occurs:
a. There is presence of conflicting information within the file.
b. There are changes resulting from verification.
c. There is a change in availability of funds.
d. There is an OFA staff member error.
The award notification acknowledges the rights of the OFA to make a change to any award. Students are sent a revised award notification as soon as possible. In the case of an office error, it is customary to contact the student personally, or send a personalized letter.
2. Revisions Initiated by Request from Student
Students may decline any portion of their award. If a student wants to add an award, the request will be referred to a Counselor.
It is the student's responsibility to notify the OFA of changes in a student's resources. If the student makes an appointment with an aid administrator and reveals a change in circumstances which may affect the student's family contribution, the student should document the situation on a verbal action sheet, or write a letter reiterating the conversation and including supportive documentation. If a change to the award is allowable, the aid administrator will release a revised award notification.
An overaward occurs any time a student has been disbursed financial aid (federal, institutional, and outside aid) and other resources exceeds the cost of attendance for the award period by more than an allowable tolerance.
a. Eliminating an Overaward
Before reducing a student's aid package because of an overaward, the FAA should always attempt to alleviate the situation by reducing or eliminating the overaward. The method used is to adjust undisbursed funds (part or all undisbursed financial aid funds must be cancelled/reduced in the case of an overaward).
b. Causes of an Overaward and/ or Overpayment
There are several causes of an overaward:
1. student wages - the student earns more than the awarded FWS allocation.
2. Change in the enrollment status - the student withdraws or drops below the projected enrollment status.
3. Reduction in cost of attendance - the student changes budget categories.
4. Additional resources - the student has resources greater than those used to calculate the award.
5. Administrative error - the aid administrator inadvertently makes an error.
6. Fraud - the student intentionally deceives or misrepresents information to obtain funds.
c. Treatment of an Overaward
If eliminating the overaward is not possible the aid administrator must reduce the overaward using the following sequence:
1. An overaward from an administrative error can be resolved by reducing any aid or by canceling next semester’s aid. The FAA will notify the student via an award notification.
2. If an overaward occurs due to fraud, follow the procedures outlined in the Fraud section of Policies and Procedures.