Financial Aid Appeals

Spalding uses the FAFSA information submitted when preparing a student’s comprehensive financial aid offer however, there are some specific situations where the student may need to appeal their situation. Appeals allow the student an opportunity to provide additional documentation about their specific circumstances. grounds for initiating an appeal are categorized as:

  • Unusual Circumstances — when a unique situation merits an adjustment to a student’s dependency status
  • Special Circumstances — when there are changes in a student’s/families’ financial situation
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress — when circumstances beyond a student’s control hinder their ability to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements

For more information about the different types of appeal, select from the options below.

Unusual Circumstances

Unusual Circumstances refer to the conditions that justify an aid administrator to make an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation this is more commonly referred to as a dependency override.

When filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), there are a series of questions asked to determine if the student will file as a dependent or an independent student, known as the dependency questions on the FAFSA. Federal regulations require that financial aid eligibility be determined using legal parent’s income and assets unless the dependency questions determine independent status. Occasionally, there are circumstances that allow financial aid administrators to reevaluate and possibly override the dependency status. Supporting documentation will be required.

Circumstances not considered include but are not limited to:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for the verification process
  • Parents do not claim student on federal tax return
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency

Circumstances that will be considered include but are not limited to:

  • Abandonment by parents
  • Abusive family environment threatens the student’s health or safety
  • Parent incarceration
  • Student is unable to locate parents
  • Human trafficking, refugee or asylee status

Request for a Unusual Circumstances – Request for a change in Dependency Status (Dependency Override) form [PDF]

Special Circumstances

Special Circumstances refer to the financial situations (loss of a job, etc.) that allow the financial aid office to adjust in certain circumstances the Cost of Attendance or the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The FAFSA helps us evaluate your and your family’s ability to pay for your education; however, there are some specific situations that may result in an inaccurate assessment of this ability.

To review these situations, we use the special circumstance appeal, which allows you and your family to document your individual financial situation. Our office will then determine if we are able to provide additional financial aid.

If you are facing one of the situations listed below, please consider submitting a Request for adjustment to Expected Family Contribution (EFC) appeal to the Financial Aid Office.

Special Circumstances include but not limited to:

  • Loss or change of employment
  • Reduction in income or assets
  • Loss or change in amount of child support, Social Security, or other benefits
  • Divorce or separation of parents
  • Death of parent(s)
  • Unusual medical expenses (not covered by insurance)
  • One-time taxable income used for life-changing events (e.g. IRA, pension distribution, back-year Social Security payments)
  • Tuition expenses at an elementary or secondary school for siblings of the student
  • Child or dependent care expenses
  • At the discretion of the Director, other circumstances may be considered if they are appropriate, reasonable adjustments to reflect a student’s situation more accurately

You may submit your appeal form using the link below. Once all requested documentation has been received, your appeal will be reviewed and you will be contacted once the review is completed.

Request for Special Circumstance Request – Adjustment to FAFSA Information form [PDF]

The Financial Aid Office has developed a realistic estimate of the costs associated with attending Spalding University. If you believe that the standard Cost of Attendance does not accurately reflect your basic educational expenses, you may submit a Cost of Attendance Adjustment Appeal. If your appeal is approved, you could receive additional loan funds. Due to annual and aggregate loan limits, it is possible that your eligibility could be restricted to a PLUS Loan and/or Alternative Loan.

Costs of attendance components may be adjusted on a case-by-case basis with sufficient documentation to address special circumstances. Items that can be adjusted include:

  • Tuition and Fees when they are higher than our average costs
  • Housing and Food when the actual costs exceed the budgeted amount
    • We will consider what is reasonable for the community in which the student resides
  • Books, supplies, course materials, and equipment that exceed our published costs
  • Transportation when they exceed our published costs
  • Dependent care costs
  • Study abroad costs

Items we will not consider for Cost of Attendance Adjustments. Any Consumer Debt that includes but not limited to:

  • Car payments or costs to purchase a vehicle
  • Standard Mortgage payments
  • Credit card debt
  • Loan debt
  • Vacation expenses
  • Relocation expenses
  • Pet or hobby expenses
  • Expenses for other family members
  • Bankruptcy
  • All other discretionary expenses

Request for a Cost of Attendance Adjustment form [PDF]

Satisfactory Academic Progress

If a student does not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at the end of the financial aid year, they will be notified of a financial aid denial status. An appeal process is in place for students who have had circumstances that affected their ability to meet Spalding’s SAP requirements such as, but not limited to death of a relative, divorce, illness, or other circumstances beyond their control. Financial aid will not be awarded until SAP is met and a SAP appeal is approved.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Request a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form [PDF]

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