The FAFSA doesn’t always tell the whole story, and for that reason, Congress has granted Financial Aid Administrators the authority to evaluate special circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Students must provide adequate documentation to show why their circumstances warrant special treatment. To that end, our Office has developed several Appeal forms to provide a common means for students to report their circumstances. Unless otherwise noted, all appeal forms are located here. Please note, that depending on the time of year, not all appeal forms will be available.
While Congress has given Financial Aid Administrators a large amount of freedom in making professional judgment decisions, there are firm limits to this power. We are permitted to make changes to data elements submitted on the FAFSA (i.e. Adjusted Gross Income, dependency status, etc.), but we are not allowed to alter the EFC (expected family contribution) formula that the FAFSA uses. This distinction rules out certain types of adjustments that are frequently sought by students and families including: cost of living adjustments, bankruptcy, and consumer debt. These situations may have a real impact on a families’ ability to pay for college, but as they do not pertain to data collected on the FAFSA, Financial Aid Administrators are unable to consider them.
The descriptions below outline the appeal processes used by our office. If you are unable to discern which appeal you should file, or if you have a situation you wish to be considered that appears to fall outside of these appeals, we encourage you to contact our office and speak to a Financial Aid Advisor to decide on the best course of action. Visit us or contact us.
If a student believes the cost of attendance used in determining their Financial Aid was insufficient, they may request to increase their budget (and aid eligibility) with a Student's Request for a Budget Increase (SRFBI).
How it Works
If a Budget Increase is approved, the maximum amount of total Financial Aid awarded to you will increase. Due to fund limitations, the difference between your current budget and your increased budget will be funded with additional loan eligibility.
To apply for a Budget Increase, you must have a Financial Award Letter from our office.
How to Apply
To apply for a Budget Increase, download the Student's Request for a Budget Increase form and submit the form, along with supplemental documentation, to our office.
The Student Request for Budget Increase is available in the fall, for the current academic year. Due in late-February.
Budget Increase for Computer Purchase
Our office recognizes that personal computers are a part of a student’s educational expenses. As a result, Financial Aid recipients may qualify for additional Financial Aid to assist with the costs associated with the purchase of a computer, including a monitor and a printer. This program is intended to assist students who do not have a computer, not for students who want to upgrade or replace their computer.
How It Works
If a Budget Increase for Computer Purchase is approved, the maximum amount of total Financial Aid awarded to you will increase to match the cost of the computer. Due to fund limitations, the difference between your current budget and your increased budget will be funded with additional loan eligibility.
To apply for a Budget Increase for Computer Purchase, you must:
- Have a Financial Award Letter from our office
- Have not already received a Budget Increase for a Computer Purchase
How to Apply
To apply for a Budget Increase for Computer Purchase, download the Request for a Budget Increase for Computer Purchase form and submit the form, along with supplemental documentation, to our office.
The Budget Increase for Computer Purchase is available in the fall, for the current academic year. Due in late-February.
Request for Review (RFR)
If a student or their custodial parent(s) have been adversely affected by extraordinary circumstances that have reduced their ability to pay for college expenses, our office can review those circumstances in order to recalculate the expected family contribution.
How it Works
If a Request for Review (RFR) is approved, this could potentially increase eligibility for need-based Financial Aid subject to the availability of funding.
To apply for a Request for Review, you must have a Financial Aid Award Letter from our office.
How to Apply
Complete a Request for Review form and submit it to our office. Remember that Requests for Review are reserved for extraordinary circumstances only and will require the student or parent to provide additional documentation supporting these circumstances.
The Request for Review is available in May, for the upcoming academic year. Due in late-February.
On-time Status Appeal
The California priority filing deadline for the FAFSA is March 2nd. Students that file a FAFSA after this date may have limited eligibility for some Financial Aid programs including University Grant, Cal Grant, and Work-Study. Students that have special circumstances that prevented them from filing a FAFSA by the March 2nd deadline are encouraged to file an On-time Status Appeal to be awarded as though they were an on-time applicant. As a general rule, these appeals will only be considered the first time an applicant fails to meet the March 2nd deadline. We expect that students should be well aware of the deadline after their first appeal. Subsequent appeals will only be considered under extreme circumstances.
On-time Status Appeals will be available in late March for the upcoming academic year.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal
Financial Aid recipients are expected to meet the minimum academic standards set forth by the university. Students that fail to do so are placed on Financial Aid suspension and become ineligible for all Financial Aid programs for one year. Students have the right to appeal this suspension status. A successful appeal will allow the student to be placed on Financial Aid probation and have their eligibility reinstated immediately. These students will then be monitored on a quarterly basis to ensure they are meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Read more about Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals will be available on Tab 3 of My Aid Status for applicants that have not met SAP critera.
The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy also outlines the maximum time frame for which a student is eligible for Financial Aid. Students are eligible to receive aid for 150% of the time normally required to complete an academic program. The Duration Appeal is available for students that are seeking to extend their eligibility for aid beyond this timeframe. Students submitting this appeal are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor, and must provide details as to why they were unable to complete their degree in the allotted time as well as the classes they plan to take to complete their degree.
Duration Appeals will be available on Tab 3 of My Aid Status for applicants that have not met SAP Duration critera.
Additional Unsubsidized Loan
Undergraduate students may be offered additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan funding when their parents are credit denied for a Parent PLUS loan. The limit of this additional eligibility is $4000 for freshmen and sophomores, and $5000 for juniors and seniors. These figures reflect maximum possible eligibility for additional loan funding and eligibility may be reduced for a number of reasons. Under extreme conditions Financial Aid Administrators may use professional judgment to qualify a student for additional loan without a PLUS denial (i.e. parent is going through a bankruptcy and is forbidden from applying). These types of situations are very rare, and we expect that most students seeking additional unsubsidized loan will have a PLUS denial on file. A parent’s unwillingness to borrow is not grounds for receiving additional unsubsidized loan eligibility.
Additional Unsubisidized Loan forms will be available beginning in fall quarter for the current academic year.