The OSFA routinely makes decisions concerning a student's eligibility to initially receive or continue to receive student financial aid. You may appeal in writing all decisions that impact your eligibility to receive student financial aid. The appeal decision is made by the counselor, who is charged with the overall processing and updating of the individual student file. Procedures have been developed in an effort to expedite the appeals process, to reach consistent decisions, and to center the initial decision at the counselor level.
The following is a chronological list of the general procedures for a student appeal:
- You appeal in writing, requesting that special consideration be given to a specific situation.
- The committee uses professional judgment to make a decision on the request.
- If the appeal is approved, you are notified as to the specific restrictions of the approval.
- If the decision is denial, the appeal is automatically presented to the Internal Review Committee.
- The committee approves or denies the appeal and notifies you.
- 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 OSFA, 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 (i.e., 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% of the number of hours required for the degree program.
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.
Adjustment to Income
The OSFA will consider adjusting your (or your parent's) income figures to reflect a change in employment if the change was involuntary, permanent, and resulted in substantial loss of income. You must submit a letter explaining the change in income. The letter must include valid reasons why the OSFA should consider an adjustment. You also must submit substantial third-party documentation of income change (e.g., separation from employment notice). Additionally, you must submit a statement of projected income to include sources of income and any other supporting documents such as check stubs or letters from employers. Click here for additional information on Special Circumstances Appeals.
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.