Skip to main content

Can /Should I take legal action against my financial aid (FA) office?

Hoboken, NJ |


I found a clause in the official US Federal Student Aid Handbook that states the following:
"The regulations define a graduate/professional student as a student who is enrolled in a program or course above the baccalaureate level or in a professional program and has completed the equivalent of 3 academic years of full-time study either prior to entrance or as part of the program itself."

I am enrolled in a second degree BS program that is an accredited, professional program and I have completed at least 3 academic years of full study. Thus , I eligible for loans meant for professional students; however, the FA office is ignoring this clause and is trying to limit my aid to that available to undergraduates, which would force me to take out private loans.

Can/should I seek action

EDIT: I understand that the program is not "above the baccalaureate level;" however, it is "a professional program [recognized by the US Department of Education] and...[I have] completed the equivalent of 3 academic years of full-time study" prior to entering the program. EDIT (7/31; 12AM): There is another version of this question online. That version has a mistake in the quote. Please read this quote (taken from the FSA Handbook 2012-2013).

Attorney Answers 2

  1. The determination by your school is what most schools would conclude on these facts because a BS is not graduate level ("above the baccalaureate level") no matter how many other bachelors or other undergraduate degrees the student may have previously earned.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

  2. I stand by my previous answer

    The previous information is solely for informational purposes only. If you have further questions, please contact an attorney in your area for more specific answers. Responding to your question in no way creates an attorney/client relationship, and none of the specific guarantees of privacy exist. If you have found this information helpful, kindly check the "helpful" box.