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Undergraduate Financial Aid

Managing Your Aid

Special Circumstances

After you have received your financial aid package, and you and/or your family have experienced an unexpected change to your financial situation, you may appeal for a re-evaluation of your financial aid award package. Appeals will be processed only when an initial award letter has been issued and all additional documents have been received. The processing of appeals will begin in mid-March for new students and in June for continuing students. All Special Circumstances requests must be approved by the Financial Aid Advisory Committee.

Please note: As part of the review process, the Financial Aid Advisory Committee looks at the current financial aid package. It is expected that all financial aid options have been explored and exhausted before submitting a Special Circumstances Form to the committee. Please be sure that all grants, scholarships, and federal loans have been accepted before submitting an appeal.

Examples of a special circumstance
  • Loss or reduction of employment, wages or unemployment compensation
  • Additional costs incurred as a result of a student's disability
  • Excessive medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance (documentation required) which exceed 7.5% of the family's or student's adjusted gross income
  • Bankruptcy or foreclosure
  • Divorce or separation of parents (legal documentation required)
  • Request for forgiveness (whole or partial) of a one-time lump sum payment in the case that the money was used to offset the above mentioned circumstances (documentation required)
  • Loss of child support
Examples that do not constitute a special circumstance
  • Reduction in 401K values
  • Reduction in investment values
  • High debt-to-income ratios
  • Parent's refusal to contribute to the student's education
  • Parent's inability or unwillingness to borrow Parent PLUS loans
  • Lack of credit worthy co-signers

You are strongly encouraged to contact our office before submitting a Special Circumstances Form in order to determine if the change in your financial situation constitutes a reason to appeal.