Things that May Affect Your Aid
The Department of Education is making efforts to prevent fraud and abuse in the Federal Pell Grant Program by identifying students with unusual enrollment histories (UEH). The UEH is a specific enrollment pattern in which students attend an institution long enough to receive Title IV credit balance funds, leave without completing the enrollment period, enrolls at another institution, and repeats the pattern of enrollment just long enough to collect another Title IV balance without having earned any academic credit. There may be cases where students have a legitimate reason for enrollment at multiple institutions. However, such an enrollment history requires a review to determine whether there are valid reasons for the UEH.
The Department of Education will review Pell Grant disbursement information for the past three award years (2011-2012, 2012-2013, and 2013-2014) for all 2014-2015 FAFSA filers. The Department will assign a UEH flag of 'N', '2', or '3' to the student's Student Aid Report (SAR).
- UEH flag value of 'N' – there is no unusual enrollment history; no action is required by student or institution.
- UEH flag value of '2' – indicates an unusual enrollment history that requires review by the institution of the student's enrollment records to determine if the institution must collect additional information about the student's prior enrollment.
- UEH flag value of '3' – indicates that the institution must review academic records for the student and, in some instances, must collect additional documentation from the student.
IMPORTANT CHANGES TO UNUSUAL ENROLLMENT HISTORY FOR THE 2015-2016 YEAR
The Department of Education has expanded the selection of applicants for the UEH flag to consider:
- an applicant’s prior receipt of, in addition to a Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans (not including consolidated or PLUS loans) and,
- the prior four award years instead of three. The four award years are 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015.
If the institution approves the student's continued eligibility, the Financial Aid administrator may choose to require the student to establish an academic plan similar to the type of plan used to resolve Satisfactory Academic Progress appeals.
If a student did not earn academic credit at one or more of the relevant institutions and does not provide, to the Financial Aid administrator's satisfaction, an acceptable explanation and documentation for each of those failures, the institution must deny the student any further Title IV assistance. The authority for an institution to deny Title IV, HEA program assistance under UEH circumstances is section 484(a)(4)(A) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, which requires the student to sign a Statement of Educational Purpose. By signing the Statement of Educational Purpose as part of the student's submission of the FAFSA, the student certified that he or she would use Title IV, HEA program assistance received only to meet educational costs. The student can regain Title IV eligibility by completing one semester of successful academic performance as a cash paying student or by filing an appeal and appeal is approved.