Loss of Scholarship Funds
The following circumstances will result in the loss of a scholarship award plus applicable earnings. The scholarship award plus applicable earnings will be removed from the Student Scholarship Account.
Scholarship funds will be permanently lost if the student:
- Does not attend an Eligible Educational Institution;
- Does not have qualified higher education expenses;
- Becomes deceased;
- Becomes disabled such that he or she is unable to ever attend an Eligible Educational Institution;
- Reaches the age of 30 and there are unused funds in the Student Scholarship Account; or
- Failed to claim the scholarship award by June 30th following the fifth anniversary of the qualifying test date.
The following are disqualifying events, which, if not disproved by the student, will result in the forfeiture of the scholarship award plus applicable earnings.
The Award will be disqualified if:
- The student is found to have provided false or misleading information in claiming the award;
- The student is misidentified as being eligible to receive an award;
- One or more of the student's required test scores used as the basis for the award are invalidated; or
- The student fails to provide documentation to clarify an error or contradiction regarding his or her claim information that is discovered after the Student Scholarship Account has been opened.
The ScholarShare Investment Board shall provide the award recipient with written notice of the disqualifying event that, if not resolved, would result in forfeiture. The written notice shall inform the award recipient that he or she has thirty (30) days from receipt of the notice to resolve the disqualifying event before a final determination of forfeiture is made by the Executive Director of the ScholarShare Investment Board and that funds will not be distributed pending resolution of the disqualifying event. If the award recipient receives an unsatisfactory final determination, the award recipient may appeal the determination. Such an appeal shall be submitted within thirty (30) days of receipt of the final determination (See Appeals).
After a final determination of forfeiture has been issued and no appeal has been submitted or the ScholarShare Investment Board has upheld the final determination, the forfeited funds will be withdrawn from the Student's Scholarship Account and deposited into the State's Forfeiture Account.
See the Contact List for each entity's preferred contact method.
A student may appeal: (1) a dispute about the administration of the Student Scholarship Account; or (2) notification that a disqualifying event has occurred which will result in forfeiture of the award.
There are four appeals levels* :
Appeal Level One
The student should first call the Governor's Scholarship Programs' toll-free number 1 866-477-9665 to determine if the problem can be resolved over the phone and to discuss the issue in order to understand his or her appeal rights. If informal discussions do not resolve the problem or if the student seeks to disprove a disqualifying event that would result in forfeiture of the scholarship award plus applicable earnings, the student must file a written appeal to protect his or her legal rights.
Appeal Level Two
The student must submit a written appeal letter within 30 days of receipt of a written notice of disqualification or ineligibility to the ScholarShare Investment Board.
The written appeal must include:
- A signed and dated letter explaining the dispute, and
- Documentation to support the student's position.
The ScholarShare Investment Board's Program Administrator will review the appeal and mail a written decision including the reason for the decision within 30 days of receipt of the appeal, unless another mutually acceptable time period is established.
Appeal Level Three
If the student is not satisfied with the resulting decision, he or she may request a review by the Executive Director of the ScholarShare Investment Board.
An appeal of the decision must:
- Be submitted to the Executive Director in writing explaining why an additional appeal is required, and
- Be received by the Executive Director within 30 days of receipt of the written adverse decision. The Executive Director will mail a written decision, and the reason for the decision, within 30 days of receipt of the appeal, unless another mutually acceptable time period is established.
Appeal Level Four
If the student wishes to appeal a final determination by the Executive Director, the student may request that the ScholarShare Investment Board review the decision of the Executive Director at a regularly scheduled meeting.
The request for review by the ScholarShare Investment Board must:
- Be in writing with supporting documentation that would justify a reconsideration of the Executive Director's decision, and
- Be received by the ScholarShare Investment Board within 30 days of receipt of the adverse decision by the Executive Director and at least 30 days in advance of a scheduled meeting of the ScholarShare Investment Board.
The ScholarShare Investment Board will mail a written decision, and the reason for the decision, within 90 days of its meeting.
The decision of the ScholarShare Investment Board is the final administrative decision. The address of the ScholarShare Investment Board is:
ScholarShare Investment Board
P.O. Box 942809
Sacramento, California 94209-000
* To prevent the loss of the scholarship award plus applicable earnings due to the occurrence of a disqualifying event, the student MUST fully comply with this appeals process on a step-by-step basis. The student may have a parent or legal guardian assist with the appeals procedures or represent the student during the appeals process.