The FAFSA doesn’t always tell the whole story, and for that reason, Congress has granted Financial Aid Administrators the authority to evaluate special circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Students must provide adequate documentation to show why their circumstances warrant special treatment. While Congress has given Financial Aid Administrators a large amount of freedom in making professional judgment decisions, there are firm limits to this power. We are permitted to make changes to data elements submitted on the FAFSA (i.e. Adjusted Gross Income, dependency status, etc.), but we as they do not pertain to data collected on the FAFSA, Financial Aid Administrators are unable to consider them.
If you believe that, due to your family’s financial situation or other special circumstances, the Office of Financial Aid should reevaluate your financial aid eligibility, you may file an appeal using our Appeal Review Request Form. A financial aid appeal is a formal request to the Office of Financial Aid to reconsider or reevaluate your family’s financial concerns or other special circumstances that may have an impact on your financial aid eligibility.
Before submitting an Appeal Review Request, please review the information below regarding types of appeals, our appeal review process, processing timelines and potential outcomes of our review. If you believe that your or your family’s circumstances warrant an appeal review, please review the appeal qualification information and have the information needed for us to consider your appeal.
Our Office has developed several Appeal forms to provide a common means for students to report their circumstances. Unless otherwise noted, all appeal forms are located here.
If you are unable to discern which appeal you should file, or if you have a situation you wish to be considered that appears to fall outside of these appeals, we encourage you to contact our office and speak to a Financial Aid Counselor to decide on the best course of action.
Examples of circumstances that may be considered
A Change in the income reported on the FAFSA due to:
- parent(s), student now unemployed
- parent(s), student has new lower earning job or now working part-time
- parent(s), student are separated or have filed for divorce
- Medical expenses you (or your parent – if dependent) “paid” in FAFSA tax year that exceeded 11% of adjusted gross income.
- K-12 private school expenses for younger siblings of dependent students (maximum considered to reduce parent income is $7,900 per child.
- Death of parent (or spouse if an independent student)
- Request to be considered as an independent student.
You will be required to submit documentation in support of these changes in financial circumstances. This can include parent (if applicable) and student tax returns and any additional forms or documentation to support your request.
Types of Appeals
- Reduction in Parent or Student income
- Expenses – Difficulty meeting parent (or student) contribution due to unusual expenses
- Request to be considered an Independent Student
- Student Request Adjust Financial Aid Policies due to disability
- Request for an Additional Unsubsidized Loan as a Dependent Student
- Request to increase the Student’s Cost of Attendance