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Financial Aid

Maximum Timeframe Appeals

Federal regulations allow undergraduate students to receive Federal financial aid up to one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the program’s published length, as long as it is mathematically possible to complete the program within this timeframe.  At MTSU, this limitation also applies to State and specified University scholarship programs. MTSU elects to apply the same standard to graduate programs, as allowed by federal regulations. Refer to Section V of our financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy at for more details.

Once it is mathematically impossible to graduate within the 150% maximum timeframe limitation, you will become ineligible for financial aid. You may appeal for an extension to your maximum timeframe only once as an undergraduate student and once as a graduate student in limited circumstances. Because an additional 50% of the hours required for a published program is used in the maximum timeframe calcluation, receiving grades of ‘F’ and ‘W’, changing majors, and attempting additional majors/dual programs/minors can occur but should be thoughtfully considered due to the risk of not being able to graduate within the maximum timeframe limitation. 

Extenuating Circumstances

Because of the additional 50% of attempted hours already allowed in your maximum timeframe calculation, changing your major or adding additional majors / dual programs does not typically justify an extension of the maximum timeframe limitation.  However, if you had extenuating reasons why you had to change your major or adding additional majors/dual programs is necessary, you may appeal this limitation one time. 

An appeal for one of these reasons does not guarantee an extension to your maximum timeframe hours.  The Financial Aid Office will consider the extenuating circumstance as well as review of your academic history (inclusive of change(s) of major).

Examples of circumstances that may be considered extenuating include but are not limited to the following: 

  • You are no longer able to physically perform the duties required by the related career path for your program, whether due to injury or illness 
  • You are a transfer student, and relocated due to military orders, and a program similar to your previous program is not offered at MTSU. 
  • Your previous school closed (permanently) and your program of study is not offered at MTSU.
  • You were pursuing a program that required candidacy and you did not meet candidacy requirements, preventing your continuance in that program which necessitated a change of major.

 Examples of circumstances that are not considered extenuating include but are not limited to the following:

  • You changed your major or added a second major/concentration because:
    • Your previous academic program/major was not a good fit for you, or because you changed your mind.
    • You were unsure of the career path you should pursue. 
    • Previous poor academic performance/grades. 
    • Due to an illness  of a family member 
    • You were young/uncommitted/immature early in your academic career. 
    • You have determined that the salary range for the related career path(s) is not sufficient 
    • Your GRE/GMAT scores did not meet admission requirements for your program of choice, and you changed your program once you met those requirements.
    • To improve marketability
  • You have transferred in coursework that does not count toward your current outstanding degree requirements (inclusive of F’s, W’s, or earned credits). 

What should you include in your appeal?

  • A detailed statement explaining 
  • Documentation verifying your circumstances
    • Examples include, but are not limited to, a physician’s statement on official letterhead, copy of a death certificate, or signed statements from a counselor or clergy member attesting to the extenuating circumstance.
  •  If you do not provide documentation verifying your circumstances, it is highly likely that your appeal will be denied.

Appeal Timing

You should be aware that, depending on the timing of when the appeal is submitted, the appeal may not be reviewed prior to when registration fees are due for the upcoming semester. You may need to be prepared to pay registration fees while your appeal is being reviewed. If the appeal is approved after the semester begins, the student will be considered for financial aid, if otherwise eligible. However, there is no guarantee that any appeal will be approved, and if you have paid your registration fees out-of-pocket for the term, you may not be eligible for a refund.  

What happens next?

If your appeal is approved, you will be placed on a financial aid academic plan and will be eligible to continue receiving financial aid so long as you meet the conditions of the plan. If your appeal is denied, you will remain ineligble for financial aid.

Please note that all appeal decisions are final.

To determine if you are eligible to appeal, you must speak with an Enrollment Coordinator in the MT One Stop.