Changes to Income and Expenses Appeal

If you experience a significant change in your financial circumstances or if you have extenuating circumstances that are not reflected in your FAFSA, you may submit a letter of appeal. Documentation that supports your appeal should be turned in as well. Appeals generally take two weeks for a response. If you experience any of the following situations, please submit it in writing to the Office of Financial Aid.

Example of extenuating circumstances are:

  • Change in employment status, income, or assets.
  • Change in housing status (e.g., homelessness).
  • Tuition expenses at an elementary or secondary school.
  • Additional family members enrolled in college.
  • Medical, dental, or nursing home expenses not covered by insurance.
  • Child or dependent care expenses.
  • Severe disability of the student or other member of the student’s household; and
  • Other changes or adjustments that impact on the student’s costs or ability to pay for college.

Please note: The following reasons are not considered as a special circumstance appeal: bankruptcy, foreclosure, home repairs, tithes, credit card debt, loan debt, mortgage or car payments, weddings, and elective purchases.

Additionally, if your FAFSA is selected the verification process, verification must be completed before we can review your appeal request.

The Appeal Process

  • Step 1: The student should connect directly with their financial aid counselor or admission counselor to ask about the financial aid appeal process – Please email as early in the semester as possible.
  • Step 2: The financial aid or admission counselor should refer the student to the appeal process that is outlined on the financial aid webpage and here, as well as in the financial aid guide that is included in all financial aid award packages. The webpage and guide outline the criteria for consideration.
  • Step 3: The financial aid staff or admission counselor should provide the student with the link to the online appeal request form (for new students) and special circumstances form for current students.
  • Step 4: When completed, this information goes directly to financial aid and select members of admission who sit on the appeal committee. The student is responsible for submitting the form, and any documentation with this form.
  • Step 5: The Financial Aid Appeal Committee comprised of members of admission and financial aid, will review the request. The committee meets at least once a month. Decisions may take two to four weeks. The Committee will base the decision on the circumstances detailed on this page and in the supporting documentation.
  • Step 6: Students are notified of the decision via their email address.

Submission of an appeal does not guarantee an adjustment or increase to the student’s financial aid. The approval of an appeal is based on a one-time special circumstance, availability of funds, and timeliness of application.

All changes in circumstance requests will require the submission of supporting documentation.

Examples of admissible documentation that corroborate the letter of appeal are:

  • most recent year signed federal tax returns and W-2/1099 information (mandatory)
  • Interview with/ Documented Phone Call
  • Statements from third parties – counselors, physicians, social workers, clergy, attorneys, landlords, former employers
  • Notice of unemployment, termination letters
  • Proof of payment – receipts, cancelled checks.
  • Rental leases, mortgage documents, business contracts, insurance statements, utility bills.