Account Appeals and Complaints
The appeal and complaint policies are for those who wish to appeal their financial aid award, a policy decision, or submit a complaint for resolution. Appeals and Complaints are handled by the Compliance area of the Student Financial Services Office and are reviewed with appropriate individuals to reach a proper outcome.
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, if required, 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 through an email communication to the student’s Liberty email account. 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 measurement event. 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. A Financial Aid SAP Appeal is not required for financial aid warning or probation statuses.
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.
Students should complete the electronic SAP Appeal form available under “Financial Aid Forms” in ASIST. If requested, third party supporting documentation for appeals must be uploaded while completing the form in ASIST.
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.
To submit an appeal, go to liberty.edu/beacon, select “New” and “Scholarship Appeal”. Proceed with each prompt and submit the form.
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:
For Resident students, appeals may be submitted to:
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 Supervisor in the Liberty University Financial Aid Office. If the appeal is denied, the State Grants Supervisor will notify the student.
State Grant Appeals to the State Grants Supervisor may be submitted to:
State Grants Supervisor, Appeal
Liberty University Financial Aid Office MSC Box 710282
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA 24515
Fax: (434) 582-2053
If the student disputes the decision made by the State Grants Supervisor, 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
2021-22 TAGP Appeals Committee
James Monroe Building
101 North Fourteenth Street
Richmond, VA 23219
The state office will then request any additional information that is needed. 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:
- Copy of the VTAG application
- Date student’s application was received
- Date the student started school
- Date the student moved to Virginia
- Dates of enrollment and number of attempted hours for each semester
- Copy of denial letter
- 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 the student for copies of:
- Letter explaining case for approval
- Driver’s license, car registration, voter registration
- Letter from employer, missionary agency, social workers, school officials, etc.
- Copy of Virginia resident income taxes for parents, spouse, or student
- Copy of federal taxes
- Legal guardian documents
- Ward of court documents
- Custody documents
- Copy of DD-214, LES, or Home of Record
- Any other supporting documentation
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
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY 42633
Phone: (877) 557-2575
Fax: (606) 396-4821
You can also complete the secure and confidential Ombudsman Assistance Request Form. Remember, the Ombudsman Group can help resolve disputes about federal student loans. If you have a dispute about your private student loan, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Submitting Complaints of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse 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:
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 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., Eastern Time; Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., Eastern Time except for holidays.
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. You may submit a report of suspected fraud, waste or abuse involving other Inspector General agencies.
Fax: (202) 245-7047
Continuing Education (CE) Appeal
Employees who are not eligible to receive a portion of their CE benefits due to an unusual credit hour count, such as 5 hours, may appeal the denial of their eligibility for the first three credit hours of the five hour course, if eligible, and pay for the remaining two hours credit hours out-of-pocket. The employee must submit an explanation of mitigating circumstances and additional pertinent documentation to:
Office of Human Resources
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA 24515
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 126.96.36.199. Upon written notification of the intent to remove the scholarship, the student-athlete must request a hearing in writing to the Senior Supervisor of Financial Aid NCAA Compliance within 10 calendar days of receiving the notification.
Financial Aid Office MSC Box 710282
Senior Supervisor of Financial Aid NCAA Compliance – Appeal
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA 24515
If a hearing is requested, the Senior Supervisor of Financial Aid NCAA Compliance 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 Ombudsman, Faculty Athletics representative, Vice President of Student Financial Services and Associate Director of Financial Aid/Student Services. If a committee member is unavailable to attend, a replacement will be selected by the Faculty Athletics representative.
Resident Complaint Reporting
Official written complaints should be directed to the Liberty University Student Advocate Office by completing the Student Complaint Form. When a student has exhausted all normal channels and appeal processes and still desires to file an official written complaint, they can through the Student Complaint Form.
The Liberty University Student Advocate Office may be contacted in cases where a student is uncertain on how to proceed with a written complaint, or if a complaint remains unresolved after a reasonable amount of time (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Liberty University Student Advocate Office will assess the complaint and identify the appropriate person(s) to assist the student, and/or facilitate contact with the student with the appropriate office(s) to ensure resolution of the complaint.
Procedure for residential undergraduate and graduate student complaints:
- Students are encouraged to first express concerns to their assigned Professional Advisor within CASAS.
- Students may submit an official written complaint about an issue occurring during their current or previous term of enrollment.
- Student expresses grievance in writing via the complaint form. Only official written complaints submitted via the complaint form will be considered official complaints. Complaints submitted via other forums will not be considered official written complaints.
- Student Advocate reviews the written complaint and accompanying documentation.
- Student Advocate contacts (or assigns the written complaint to) other university office for research/decision-making purposes.
- Complaint decision is rendered based on research findings.
- The decision making party will rule on the written complaint and update the online complaint form.
- The student will be notified via email of the decision.
- If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of their initial written complaint, they may appeal within seven days of the rendered decision by providing additional support/documentation for review.
- A second review of the written complaint will be completed by a higher authority within Liberty University.
Student Official Written Complaint Form: https://www.liberty.edu/beacon
Online Student Complaint Reporting
Online students may submit an official written complaint by completing the complaint form. A designated representative will review the written complaint and respond to the student.
Student Complaint Resolution Process
Liberty University accepts the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)’s oversight in resolving student complaints from students taking distance education under the aegis of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). Once a student has exhausted all complaint/grievance resources at the university and the complaint remains unresolved, the student may file a formal complaint with SCHEV.
Virginia Department of Veterans Services Grievance Procedure
The Virginia State Approving Agency (SAA) is the approving authority of education and training programs for Virginia. Our office investigates complaints of GI Bill beneficiaries. While most complaints should initially follow the school grievance policy, if the situation cannot be resolved at the school, the beneficiary should contact our office via email at email@example.com.