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Appeal and Complaint Policies

The following policies are for employees and residential or online students who wish to appeal their financial aid award, a policy decision, or submit a complaint for resolution.   

1. Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process

A student who is placed on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal this decision by submitting a Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form with third party supporting documentation to be reviewed by the SAP Appeal Committee. The appeal statement should explain why the student did not meet the SAP requirements. The Committee consists of the Assistant Director of Financial Aid for Advising, one Financial Aid Advisor and one Compliance Analyst.

After the Financial Aid SAP Appeals Committee reviews the submitted appeal, the student will be notified of the decision in writing. All financial aid awards remain canceled until the student follows these appeal procedures and receives a written notification of reinstatement. If a reinstatement is approved, the reinstatement will last from the date of the appeal approval until the next annual measurement event (SAP evaluations are completed at the close of fall, spring, and summer terms). In cases where a student receives financial aid in the form of subsidized employment, the student's worksite supervisor(s) will be notified of the reinstatement.

Financial aid eligibility will continue for students on financial aid warning or probation status, so they are not required to submit a letter.

Students who submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Office very late in a term or after the term has ended may lose financial aid eligibility because regulations may limit the time when aid may be re-awarded and/or disbursed.

Appeals may be submitted to:

Financial Aid SAP Appeal Committee
Liberty University Financial Aid Office
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA  24515
Fax: (434) 582-2053

2. Institutional Scholarship Appeal Process

Institutional Scholarship Appeal Process

A student may appeal the decision to cancel eligibility for a scholarship by sending a detailed, signed letter stating any mitigating circumstances to be considered.  The Financial Aid Scholarship Appeals Committee reviews the submitted appeal and supporting documentation.  Within 30 days, the students will be notified of the decision in writing. 

Appeals may be submitted to:

Financial Aid Scholarship Appeals Committee
Liberty University Financial Aid Office
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA  24515
Fax: (434) 582-2053

3. Financial Aid General Appeal for Assistance

Financial Aid General Appeal for Assistance

The Resident and Liberty University Online Student Advocate Offices assist students who have gone through all the customary operating procedures but have not been able to resolve particular challenges related to financial aid.  The primary function of these offices is to answer students' questions and resolve problems.

For Liberty University Online students, appeals and General Complaint forms may be submitted to:

Online Advocate Office
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA  24515
Fax: (800) 628-7977
Student Complaint form

For Resident students, appeals may be submitted to:

Resident Advocate Office
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA  24515
434-582-7200
studentadvocate@liberty.edu
www.liberty.edu/SAO

4. Virginia State Grant Appeal Process

Virginia State Grant Appeal Process

A formal appeal concerning the decision to deny approval for state grant eligibility may be filed by contacting the State Grants Coordinator in the Liberty University Financial Aid Office.  If the appeal is denied, the State Grants Coordinator will notify the student within 30 days.

State Grant Appeals to the State Grants Coordinator may be submitted to:

State Grants Coordinator, Appeal
Liberty University Financial Aid Office
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA  24515
Fax: (434) 582-2053

If the student disputes the decision made by the State Grants Coordinator, the student may appeal to the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV).  The student must submit a copy of the appeal and supporting documentation.

State Grant Appeals to the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) may be submitted to:

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
Office of Student Financial Aid
2011-12 TAGP Appeals Committee
James Monroe Building
101 N 14th St.
Richmond, VA  23219

The state office will then request any additional information that is need.  The office will also contact the school and request any documentation the school may have received and an explanation of the denial.  They will ask for the school to fax the following:

  1. Copy of the VTAG application
  2. Date student's application was received
  3. Date the student started school
  4. Date the student moved to Virginia
  5. Dates of enrollment and number of attempted hours for each semester
  6. Copy of denial letter
  7. Any other documentation that pertains to decision

The student may also submit a second appeal if they are denied by the first SCHEV Council at the state level.  The state may also ask student for copy of:

  1. Letter explaining case for approval
  2. Driver’s license, car registration, voter registration
  3. Letter from employer, missionary agency, social workers, school officials, etc.
  4. Copy of Virginia resident income taxes for parents, spouse, or student
  5. Copy of federal taxes
  6. Legal guardian documents
  7. Ward of court documents
  8. Custody documents
  9. Copy of DD-214, LES, or Home of Record
  10. Any other supporting documentation

5. Federal Student Loan Appeal Process

Federal Student Loan Appeal Process

Students who dispute how a federal student loan was processed or a decision regarding eligibility may contact the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman. The FSA Ombudsman resolves disputes from a neutral, independent viewpoint. The Federal Student Aid (FSA) Ombudsman will informally conduct impartial fact-finding about student complaints. The Ombudsman will recommend solutions, but does not have the authority to reverse decisions. The Ombudsman will also work to bring about changes that will help prevent future problems for other student loan borrowers. This free service is provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Ombudsman will research the problem and determine whether the student has been treated fairly. If the student loan complaint is justified, the Ombudsman will work with the student and the office, agency, or company involved in the problem. On the student’s behalf, the Ombudsman will contact other offices within the U.S. Department of Education, his or her private lender, his or her loan guaranty agency, and the servicing agency or firm collecting the loan.

If the student’s complaint is not justified, the Ombudsman will take the time to explain how the U.S. Department of Education reached this conclusion.  The Ombudsman may be contacted as follows:

U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
830 First Street, NE, Mail Stop 5144
Washington, DC  20202-5144
Phone: (877) 557-2575
Fax: (202) 275-0549

6. Submitting complaints of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse to the Office of Inspector General

Complaints Process to the Office of Inspector General

Anyone suspecting fraud, waste or abuse involving U.S. Department of Education funds or programs should contact the Inspector General's Office by:

  1. Submitting your online compliant information at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/hotline.html
  2. Calling the OIG Hotline's toll free number 1-800-MIS-USED. Hotline Operators take calls during the hours of Monday and Wednesday 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM, Eastern Time; Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM, Eastern Time except for holidays.
  3. Downloading a hardcopy of the special complaint form, complete, and mail to:

Inspector General's Hotline
Office of Inspector General
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue,S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-1500

Your report may be made anonymously or in confidence. To report suspected fraud, waste or abuse involving other Inspector General agencies, click this link for a directory: http://www.ignet.gov/igs/homepage1.html

7. Continuing Education (CE) Appeal

Continuing Education (CE) Appeal

Employees who are not eligible to receive a portion of their CE benefits (due to simultaneous coursework crossing the enrollment beginning or ending dates of a sub-term or due to the desire to take additional coursework that exceeds the 18 credit hour maximum per academic year requirement) may appeal the denial of their eligibility. The employee must submit an explanation of mitigating circumstances and additional pertinent documentation. Additionally, to appeal the denial of CE benefits due to simultaneous enrollment, the employee must submit the CE Application Form with an explanation of mitigating circumstances and additional pertinent documentation to:

Liberty University
Office of Human Resources
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA 24515

8. Athletic Scholarship Appeal

Athletic Scholarship Appeal

If a student-athlete wishes to appeal a scholarship decision and remain enrolled at Liberty, he or she has the right to a hearing by a body outside of athletics in accordance with NCAA bylaw 15.3.2.4. Upon written notification of the intent to remove the scholarship, the student-athlete must request a hearing in writing to the Athletics Financial Aid Liaison within 14 calendar days of receiving the notification.

Liberty University
Financial Aid Office
Athletics Financial Aid Liaison – Appeal
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA 24515

If a hearing is requested, the Athletics Financial Aid Liaison will organize a hearing at the earliest availability of the appellate committee. The committee shall consist of the senior vice president for Student-Affairs, University Registrar, the Faculty Athletics representative, the executive director of Financial Aid and assistant director of Financial Aid/Student Services. If a committee member is unavailable to attend, a replacement will be selected by the Faculty Athletics representative.

9. State Consumer Complaint Contact Information

State Consumer Complaint Contact Information

In accordance with requirements issued by the U.S. Department of Education, Liberty University is “providing its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its state approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student’s complaint.”  This information is now part of the standard Consumer Information and annual disclosure procedure of Liberty University.  It is subject to revision.[34 CFR 668.43(a)(12)(iv)(b), p.66954, vol. 75, no. 209, 10/29/10 ]

10. Undergraduate Resident Complaint Reporting

Undergraduate Resident Complaint Reporting

All complaints may be directed to the Dean of Students Office via telephone (434-582-2687), email (deanofstudents@liberty.edu/CN1830), or in person. The complainant will be encouraged to complete an official “Statement of Record” detailing the information relevant to his/her complaint in the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students or Vice President for Student Affairs and/or his designated representative will review the complaint.
The Dean of Students will direct the complaint to the appropriate University department for official investigation and appropriate follow-up.