The Financial Aid Office is aware that there may be extenuating circumstances that a student or family is experiencing that might affect the reported FAFSA information used to determine financial aid eligibility. There are three different types of appeals for financial aid:
- Loss of income
- Wage reduction
- Loss of employment
- Death of parent or spouse
- Divorce or separation
- Excessive medical/dental expenses
- Private elementary/secondary tuition paid
There are times when the established cost of attendance developed is not sufficient.
A Cost of Attendance (COA) Appeal process which might allow the Financial Aid Office to adjust a student’s cost of attendance. A student’s COA is based on tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. The COA Appeal is based on a case-by-case review. Adjustments made must be educationally related and might include:
- Dependent care expenses
- Computer purchases
- Expenses above the standard COA components.
Dependency Override is where financial aid administrators have the authority, through the Higher Education Act, to change a student's status from dependent to independent in cases involving unusual circumstances. Answers to specific questions on the FAFSA determine a student’s Dependency status – Dependent or Independent. If the directions on the FAFSA instruct you to supply parental information then you are considered a Dependent student. As a Dependent student the Federal Government believes that the student and their parents are primarily responsible for paying the student’s education. However, there are limited cases when a Dependent student has an unusual situation and does not or cannot have contact with the parents.
- Parent drug and/or alcohol abuse
- Incarceration of parent
- Parental abandonment
- Emotional/physical abuse of the student by the parent
Failure by a parent to supply financial information on the FAFSA does not warrant a Dependency Override.
Please contact us if any of the above situations apply to you or your family.