Office of Financial Aid

Special Circumstances and Appeals

Change in Family Financial Circumstances

We recognize that families occasionally experience changes in income and/or resources during the application process and/or the academic year.   An appeal should be submitted when a family can document a significant change in financial circumstances, or if you believe there are special circumstances that were not included/considered on your initial aid application. Although considerations for specific situations are limited, we may be able to give additional consideration as described below.

Examples of Circumstances Considered:

  • Loss of employment or change of employment status for student or parent(s)*
  • One-time payment that created an unusual increase in income
  • Divorce or separation of parents or of independent student and spouse
  • Death of parent or student spouse
  • Loss of untaxed income (social security, pension, etc.)
  • Unusual medical or dental bills not covered by insurance
  • Documentation of annual secondary private school tuition
  • Incorrect financial information provided on initial application

Examples of Circumstances Not Considered:

  • Increase in standard living expenses
  • Purchasing discretionary items such as a car, home appliances, weddings, vacations, second homes
  • Reduction in the value of assets
  • Credit issues, line of credit changes, previous student loan debt, etc.
  • Siblings or parents who are also attending college (Siblings are already taken into account on the FAFSA and in the calculation of eligibility)
  • Changes in financial circumstances for international students

If you believe you have a special circumstance and would like to appeal, please submit the 2017-2018 Financial Aid Eligibility Appeal Form along with the appropriate supporting documentation.

Please Note: While we do our best to review all appeals in a timely manner, failure to fully document all circumstances will cause a delay in the review of the information provided until the full documentation is received.

 

*Appeals regarding changes in parent or student income as a result of  involuntary unemployment, forced retirement or other non-elective loss of income causing reduction in income ( at least 20%) in 2016 can only be considered after September 2016. 

 

Late Financial Aid Applicants

If you submit a financial aid application or supporting document after the published deadline, your financial aid eligibility may be reduced.  If unforeseen circumstances caused your to miss the published deadline you may submit a letter of appeal to explain the reason you did not meet the application deadline and include documentation of that circumstance.

Budget Increase

The estimated cost of attendance (budget) used to determine your financial aid eligibility includes an amount for tuition and mandatory fees, based on your enrollment plans, as well as average amounts for standard educational expenses such as room and board. Also included are books, supplies, local transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. For more information about the standard student budget, please visit your My Financial Aid portal.

If your actual education-related expenses are higher than your current budget, you may be eligible for a budget increase. Budget increases are considered on a case-by-case basis and limited by federal regulation and college policy.  If approved, budget increases are funded with Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Parent PLUS) or non-federal loans.

Budget increases that can be consider and documentation required for each type of expense is listed below.

Type of Expense Required Documentation
Books: Exceeding the amount included in the student budget.
  • Itemization of books required for courses.
  • Receipts showing amounts paid, or printouts from the Schedule of Classes verifying costs.
One-time Computer Purchase and Necessary Software: Must be purchased no earlier than June 1 prior to the start of the academic year.
  • Itemization of expenses incurred or requested.
  • Receipts to show items purchased or printout showing prices of items to be purchased
Course and Lab Fees: Not already included in the student budget.
  • Itemization of expenses incurred from student account statement.
Course -Related Equipment or Expenses: Necessary for your program of study. 
  • Itemization of expenses incurred or requested.
  • Letter or memo from instructor or other authorized person verifying that the expense is necessary for your class and the amount requested is reasonable.
Student Health Insurance Premium:
  • Itemization of expenses incurred from your student account statement.

For other education-related expenses not detailed above, contact the financial aid office for more information.