Appeals

Appeals

Appeal Procedures

Financial aid policies and procedures are established to insure equitable treatment for all students qualified to receive assistance. Because of individual circumstances, a particular student may feel an exception to policies and procedures is warranted. The appeals procedures provide the student with an opportunity to request such an exception. These steps should be followed:

  1. Appeal must be submitted in writing, requesting that special consideration be given to a specific situation.
  2. An OSFA committee will review each appeal; determine if more/other details or documentation is required and formulate a decision on the request.
  3. The committee approves or denies the appeal and notifies you.
  4. The committee's decision should be considered final. However, if there is additional information/documentation, you may appeal the decision to the Associate Director of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, providing the new support for your request.

Following are the most commonly requested exceptions to the policy, including a brief description of the minimum documentation required.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

If an appeal is approved for the following situations, SAP status will be updated to "probation."

GPA/75 percent Minimum Credit Hours

You must complete and submit an Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension form explaining the causes beyond your control that brought about the current situation. You should include with this form any documentation that would support the appeal (e.g., hospital records, etc.).

Maximum Time Frame

You must complete and submit an Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension form explaining why you have exceeded the maximum time frame, including valid reasons for an extension (e.g., transfer hours, change of major, etc.). The form must include a specific list of the courses you are required to take in order to complete your degree. The maximum number of attempted hours allowed through appeal is 150 percent of the number of hours required for the degree program.

Dependency

Independence is granted in cases with unusual circumstances where there is a legal or physical obstacle to obtaining parental information. For example, a dependent student whose parents are institutionalized, incarcerated, or under a restraining order would be considered a likely candidate for independent status. In such a case, you must submit a detailed letter explaining your position, accompanied by a court document verifying a legal obstacle to obtaining parental information, or two notarized statements (from a counselor, member of the clergy, teacher, etc.) verifying a physical obstacle.

Special Circumstance Appeals

Introduction

A Special Circumstance for Parents (SCP) or Special Circumstance for Students (SCS) may be used when a family's financial status is not accurately reflected on the FAFSA. Our office can evaluate your circumstance to determine if it could have an impact on the type or amount of financial aid that is available. Documentation is required for all SCP/SCS appeals. OSFA will complete a comprehensive evaluation that includes but is not limited to an assessment of all family income, assets and resources. Financial information may be required of both parents, regardless of current marital status. If requested, tax and income documentation may be required from multiple tax years. During the review, families may be asked to provide statements and copies of supporting documentation listing all sources of untaxed and/or unearned income, gifts, and/or resources of support from any/all sources. Documentation is expected to be complete and determined to be a reasonable representation of the family’s financial strength. Appeals with incomplete and/or unreasonable information will not be considered.

Allowable Circumstances

OSFA will consider making adjustments for the following situations:

  • Loss of job or unemployment.
  • Extraordinarily high out of pocket medical/dental expenses incurred in either the current or immediate past calendar year
  • Marital status changed to divorced, separated, or widowed after filing the FAFSA.

Appeal Requirements

To complete a Special Circumstance Appeal, you must:

  • Speak to a financial aid administrator to determine if you qualify to receive an appeal.
  • Have the current year's FAFSA completed.
  • Complete the verification process, if applicable.If the student's file was selected for verification and the IRS Data Retrieval feature is not used to complete or update the FAFSA, tax return transcripts and household verification will be required before we are able to process a SCP/SCS Appeal.
  • Be included on the FAFSA information.
  • Have a circumstance that is not already reflected on the FAFSA.
  • Provide all required documentation and any additional information that is requested.

Deadlines and Timeframes

- Appeals for the current aid year:

  • Submission:
    • For currently enrolled students and accepted students beginning in the Spring or Summer of the current aid year appeals may be submitted at any time.
  • Review:
    • OSFA will strive to finalize the evaluation of all appeals with complete documentation within 30 calendar days with the following exceptions:
      • Appeals submitted after July 1 will not be evaluated until after September 1.
      • Appeals submitted after December 1 will not be evaluated until after February 1
      • Appeals submitted after April 1 will not be evaluated until after July 1

- Appeals for upcoming aid year:

  • Submission:
    • For currently enrolled students and accepted students beginning in the Spring or Summer of the current aid year appeals may be submitted at any time.
    • For prospective students appeals will not be accepted until after financial aid offer letters are released in mid-April
  • Review:
    • Appeals submitted before April 1 will not be evaluated until after May 1
    • Appeals submitted after April 1 will not be evaluated until after July 1
    • Appeals submitted after July 1 will not be evaluated until after September 1
Cost of Attendance

Eligibility for financial aid is based on standardized cost of attendance figures. Certain other costs in excess of these amounts may be taken into consideration.

Undergraduate Institutional Scholarships and/or Student Financial Support

Appeal Procedures for a student to appeal the cancellation of award(s) and/or benefits associated with an institutional undergraduate scholarship, grant, student employment program and/or any other type of undergraduate student financial support provided by and/or through the Institute, with the exception of Athletic Grant In Aid. 

This website last updated on 10/30/19.