How to appeal a decision that affects your financial aid
There are several reasons you might want to file an appeal:
If you’ve had a big change in income since you filed your FAFSA
If you’re classified as a dependent on your FAFSA but you feel you should be classified as independent
If we determine you are not making satisfactory academic progress
If you are seeking financial aid while taking preparatory coursework to gain admission to a graduate program
Each type of appeal requires different documentation. Read each section carefully and be sure to submit all signatures, explanations, and documentation required.
Learn more about each type of appeal below.
If you’ve faced financial hardship since you filed your FAFSA, you or your parents may be able to submit a change in income appeal. Note that filing an appeal will not necessarily result in an increase in aid. Contact Student Central to discuss your appeal options. You may access the dependent and independent forms online.
If you do not meet the federal criteria for independent status on your FAFSA but feel you have unusual circumstances and should be considered independent, you can file an unusual circumstance/dependency appeal. The following do not count as unusual circumstances that will qualify you for an appeal:
Your parents refuse or are unable to contribute to your education.
Your parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification.
Your parents do not claim you as a dependent for income tax purposes.
You live independently, financially support yourself and demonstrate self-sufficiency.
To be considered for an approved appeal, you must show that your student-parent relationship is beyond repair or that there are unusual, extenuating circumstances that show you should be classified as an independent student. You must submit letters of explanation and third-party documentation. The Unusual Circumstance/Dependency Status Appeal form may be submitted online. Requests will be reviewed as quickly as practicable, but no later than 60 days after the student enrolls or 60 days from when the student made the request. If required documentation is not received within the 60 day timeframe, the request may be denied.
If you previously had an Unusual Circumstance/Dependency Appeal approved and were reclassified as an independent student, you will need to notify us if your circumstances have changed. Please complete the Unusual Circumstance/Dependency Appeal Update form to notify us of your new circumstances.
Students who are not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress should review the policy. If you had extenuating, unforeseen circumstances beyond your control which led to your not meeting the standards, an appeal may be submitted online.
If you have received a bachelor’s degree and are taking preparatory coursework to gain admission to a graduate program, you may be eligible for financial aid. You must submit documentation from the graduate program you wish to enter that affirms you will be admitted to the program once your coursework is successfully completed. Students have one calendar year in their lifetime to receive aid for preparatory coursework.
Financial aid regulations state that dependent students are required by law to provide parental information and signatures to be considered for need-based financial aid. If your parent(s) have ended your financial support and refuse to provide information to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you may request to be awarded federal unsubsidized student loans and waive your rights to need-based funds. Contact Student Central at email@example.com to request the Federal Unsubsidized Student Loan Request With No Parental Data Appeal form. Please note that it is recommended that you review the unusual circumstance/dependency appeal information above to determine if you are eligible to file that appeal as it is more beneficial to a student than requesting unsubsidized student loans only.
If you received an IU Southeast scholarship and did not meet the GPA or credit hour completion standards required for renewal, you may complete the online appeal form. This form is for students who can explain in detail extenuating circumstances beyond their control and provide documentation as to why they were unable to meet these requirements.