Rehabilitating an Appeal Decision

Authority StudentAid BC

Having been accepted into a post-secondary education program, Steven needed to pay for books and tuition. Like many students, he applied for a government-backed loan from StudentAid.

Unfortunately, Steven was told he was ineligible for a loan due to the results of a credit screening which showed a problematic debt dating back several years. Steven appealed the decision, providing additional information to explain his unique financial circumstances at the time. A few weeks later, Steven received another letter seemingly identical to the first. Not only did the letter not address the new information Steven presented, it did not provide Steven any way to address the concerns raised about his historical debt. At a loss, Steven contacted us.

Through investigation, we learned that StudentAid did not believe Steven’s circumstances warranted an appeal. Steven, StudentAid said, had not provided information to demonstrate attempts at financial rehabilitation – steps he may have taken to responsibly address his historical debt.

It appeared StudentAid did not provide Steven the list of documents required for an appeal, nor had they explained to him how one might demonstrate financial rehabilitation. As a result, we discussed with StudentAid the importance that decision makers provide clear information and reasons for their decisions. In response to our investigation, StudentAid reconsidered the decision and allowed Steven’s appeal to be heard. StudentAid also agreed to ensure that adequate information is provided in denial letters going forward so that students have clear reasons for funding decisions.

Names in our case summaries have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. This case study can also be found in the 2016-2017 Annual Report.

Category Education
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2016
Location The Lower Mainland