Appeals

Financial Aid Services is aware that there are extenuating circumstances that a student or family may experience that can affect the information used to calculate the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), increase the student’s standard ‘cost of attendance,' change their dependency status, or interfere with the student’s ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress towards their degree requirements.

Appeal options are available for students to request consideration of their special circumstance. Adequate supporting documentation is required for appeal consideration. Students may reach out to their financial aid counselor to discuss their circumstances.

  1. Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Recalculation
  2. Cost of Attendance
  3. Dependency Override
  4. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Recalculation

An EFC Recalculation appeal may be requested based on a substantial decrease to the student or family’s base year income reported on the FAFSA.  Special circumstances could include:

  • Decrease or loss of income
  • Death of parent or spouse
  • Divorce or separation
  • Excessive medical/dental expenses
  • Private High School tuition paid

Students may initiate an EFC Recalculation appeal based on a substantial change of income by submitting the Special Circumstances Appeal Request Form for consideration.

Cost of Attendance (COA)

A Cost of Attendance appeal may be requested when the student or family has incurred and paid for additional expenses beyond the student’s standard allowances for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.

Expenses must be educationally related and may include:

  • Child/Dependent care expenses
  • Books/Supplies (including computer purchases)
  • Transportation (i.e. insurance, T pass)
  • Housing expenses beyond standard room allowance

Please note that a successful COA appeal will not result in consideration for grant or scholarship funds. An increase to a student’s cost of attendance may allow a student/family to apply for additional financing to cover their additional costs.

Refer to information on financing options for Undergraduate and Graduate students.

Students may initiate a Cost of Attendance appeal by submitting the Special Circumstances Appeal Request Form for consideration. 

Dependency Override

A Dependency Override may be considered for a student who is required to report parental information on their FAFSA application but, due to extenuating circumstances, the student does not and cannot have contact with their parent(s). 

Examples of circumstances that do NOT qualify for dependency override consideration include:

  • Student does not live with parents
  • Student is financially self-sufficient
  • Parents refuse to contribute to educational cost
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on FAFSA
  • Parents do not claim student on taxes
  • Parents live in another country

Students requesting consideration to override their dependency status will be asked to provide documentation from a professional third party (i.e. Counselor, Physician, Priest, Teacher or Social worker) on business letterhead to support their appeal request.

Examples of circumstances that may allow for dependency override consideration include:

  • Irreparable breakdown in the student's relationship with their parent(s) due to abuse/neglect
  • Parents are incarcerated
  • Student is supported by an agency (i.e., child protective services) for reasons other than personal choice
  • Custodial parent is deceased and the student has no contact or support from the non-custodial parent
  • Parents permanently reside in a country with which the U.S. does not maintain normal diplomatic relations

Students may initiate a Dependency Override appeal by submitting the Special Circumstances Appeal Request Form for consideration.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Financial Aid Services evaluates Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward degree requirements for financial aid applicants. Students who do not meet the minimum SAP requirements are not eligible to receive financial aid.  Financial aid applicants not meeting SAP standards will be sent notification by mail or email. Undergraduate and Graduate students have the right to appeal their ineligibility for financial aid when extenuating circumstances exist.