Appealing Your Financial Aid Award The federal formula that determines a student’s financial aid eligibility is based on the most recent year that a tax return can be filed.
This is known in financial aid as the Base Year.
For the 2012-13 academic year (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013) the base year is 2011.
However, there are occasions when a family’s financial situation changes during the school year from what it was in the Base Year.
Upon request, the Financial Aid Office will review such changes (known as “special circumstances”) in the hope of providing a more accurate reflection of the family's financial situation for aid purposes.
Not all changes in family income are accepted by the Financial Aid Office as a “special circumstance.”
To qualify, a special circumstance must cause an unexpected or unplanned reduction in the family’s finances, or be the result of circumstances beyond the family’s control.
Examples include employment layoff or the death of a wage earner.
A situation is not a special circumstance if it includes:
Appeals must include the following:
An appeal letter This letter must include your estimate of 2011 income and provide an explanation how your estimate was derived. Failure to explain your numbers may cause your appeal to be denied.
Documentation authenticating the special circumstance (e.g. letter of job termination, death certificate)
Signed copy of parents’ and student’s IRS tax transcript for 2011If no tax return was filed, you will indicate as such on the Verification Worksheet.
Completed Verification Worksheet
For job loss: documented unemployment benefits
For job loss or death of a wage-earner, provide copies of all W-2 forms for both the parents and student.
Appeals will not be accepted for the 2012-13 school year after Dec. 1, 2012.
Appeals filed after Dec. 1, 2012 will be considered for the subsequent 2013-14 academic year.
There is no specific turnaround time for a response to an appeal. This is because appeals are so varied by nature.
No appeal is final without confirmation from the Financial Aid Office, and while an appeal is in process all students must proceed with their financial aid award as it currently stands.
Family wage earners who stop being employed must remain unemployed for a minimum of 10 weeks before filing an appeal based on loss of job.
Return all paperwork to:
Phone: 610-902-8188, Fax: 610-902-8426