Financial Aid Appeals

Sometimes after you receive your financial aid package, you and/or your family may experience an unexpected change to your financial situation. In these circumstances, you may appeal for a re-evaluation of your financial aid award package. All special circumstances requests must be approved by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, and appeals are processed only when an initial award letter is issued and all additional documents are received.

If you choose to apply for an appeal, be sure to have any necessary available documentation of your change in circumstance.

Special Circumstances

Examples that constitute 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 which exceed 7.5 percent of the family's or student's adjusted gross income
  • Bankruptcy or foreclosure
  • Divorce or separation of parents (this may result in the need for a Noncustodial Parent CSS Profile)
  • 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
  • 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
  • Secondary tuition payments

Appeal Process

As part of the review process, the Financial Aid Appeals Committee looks at your current financial aid package, which means you must apply for aid and receive a financial aid award letter before you can submit an appeal. It is expected that all financial aid options are explored and exhausted before submitting a Special Circumstances Form to the committee.

If you're uncertain whether your change in financial situation constitutes a reason to appeal, please contact our office to help make that determination.

Special Circumstances Form

Once your form is submitted, our Financial Aid Appeals Committee will determine the results of your appeal and inform you of their decision. All communication regarding special circumstance requests are sent via email. The committee may request additional documentation, so be sure to check your email regularly if you've submitted an appeal.