Some Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs) will be flagged for unusual enrollment history by the U. S. Department of Education as a result of the student having received Federal Pell Grants and/or federal student loans at multiple institutions in recent years.

What does this mean?


Some students will have an item on their To Do List called Unusual Enrollment History. SPC must review the student’s enrollment history and determine whether or not the student is enrolling only long enough to receive cash refunds of federal student aid. SPC is required to review the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to verify the names of all schools attended during the past four academic years. This information will be compared to the post-secondary academic transcripts submitted to SPC. If all academic transcripts have not been submitted, eligibility for financial aid cannot be determined.

How to resolve

Students with this requirement should ensure that all post-secondary academic transcripts have been submitted to SPC. If Federal Pell Grants and/or federal student loans were received and credit hours (passing grades: A – D) were not earned at each institution attended during these award years, the student may be determined ineligible for further federal financial aid.

Appealing the ineligibility determination

Students who have been notified that they are ineligible for aid because they have failed to earn academic credit at an institution during the period of enrollment under review may submit an Unusual Enrollment Petition to document unusual circumstances that resulted in the failure to gain academic credit.

Regaining federal student aid eligibility

Students whose aid eligibility is denied as a result of their Unusual Enrollment History can be re-considered for federal student aid after the completion of the unusual enrollment academic requirements:

  • Enrolling for three consecutive academic terms of enrollment only in courses that are required by their program, AND
  • Maintaining GPA of at least 2.5 for each of these academic terms, AND
  • Not officially or unofficially withdrawing (no grades of F, W or WF) from any courses after the term begins, AND
  • Meet all other eligibility requirements for federal aid