Right to Challenge
Students have the right to discuss and review their financial aid file with a Financial Aid Specialist. No appointment is needed as there is always a Financial Aid Specialist on call during normal operation hours (some exceptions may apply). If unsatisfied with discussion/decision, students can request to meet with the Financial Aid Manager. If further assistance is needed, then students can meet with the Financial Aid Assistant Director. The final authority in the Financial Aid Department lies with the Financial Aid Director. The Administrative Specialist to the Financial Aid Director is the point person to assist the student in making appointments with the Financial Aid Manager, Assistant Director, and/or Director in the department.
It is the policy of the department to document discussions with students; we do this by using Banner - the application system we use to process financial aid files. Staff members are instructed to record a summary of each conversation; this is used to comply with federal, state, and institutional rules and regulations, as well as for tracking purposes.
If a Financial Aid applicant exercises their right to challenge a Financial Aid decision after exhausting the established Financial Aid Department referral protocol, the Director of Financial Aid will direct the student to follow AP 5530 (Student Rights and Grievances) through the Student Life Office. The Student Life Office will assist the student with understanding their rights, responsibilities, procedures, and timeline to file their grievance including any evidence that supports why the Financial Aid decision was erroneous.
In accordance with the Student Rights and Grievance procedures, a Grievance Review Committee will be convened to make a determination if the grievance meets one of the following: 1) the complaint is not grievable; 2) there is insufficient evidence to warrant further action; or 3) the case should proceed to formal action. If the Grievance Review Committee determines that the complaint is not grievable, or if the committee finds that there is insufficient evidence, the Grievance Review Committee will provide a written decision, within 25 school days of the outcome and rationale for the decision.
If the Grievance Review Committee determines that the complaint should be forwarded to a Grievance Hearing, the student will be given the opportunity to present evidence to support their complaint and may be assisted by an advocate at their own expense if they so choose. The decision of the Grievance Hearing Committee will be based solely on the evidence provided at the hearing, and a written notification of the decision will be sent to the student, the Financial Aid Director, the Student Services Vice President and the College President within ten (10) school days after the decision of the Grievance Hearing Committee. The written decision will include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision.
In accordance with the Student Rights and Grievance procedures, the student has the right to appeal the decision of the Grievance Hearing Committee to the College President. If the college official or committee finds the student’s financial aid record to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights, the financial aid record will be amended and the student will be notified in writing of the outcome.
The written decision from the grievance review or hearing will become part of the student’s Financial Aid record for as long as the record is maintained by the Mt San Antonio College Financial Aid Department.