If your family’s financial status has changed since you filed your FAFSA, you may be able to file a Unusual Circumstance Appeal.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)/Student Aid Index (SAI) change
If you already have an EFC/SAI of zero, you should not submit an appeal for an EFC/SAI change since it cannot be decreased further.
If your family is unable to contribute to your education as expected when you filed your FAFSA, you may be able to reduce your EFC/SAI. The following items may be taken into consideration:
- An involuntary decrease in income (Dependent students’ parent(s) or Independent students)
- Loss of one-time or nonrecurring income
- You (or your parent, if you’re a dependent student) were separated, divorced, or widowed since filing the FAFSA
Cost of attendance (COA) change
Be aware that an increase in your COA won’t necessarily allow for an increase in the amount of financial aid you’re awarded. For example, if you’ve already been awarded the annual maximum in Federal Direct Loan funding, you won’t be eligible for an increase in this funding due to federal annual loan limits. However, you may be able to receive a private loan or a Federal Direct Parent/Grad PLUS loan up to your new COA.
Certain types of expenses can increase your COA. If you had any of the following expenses not accounted for when you filed your FAFSA, you may be able to have your COA increased:
- Computer purchase (one time per undergraduate/graduate program)
- Dependent care allowance (documentation from child care provider is required)
- Vehicle repair (receipts/repair estimate required)
- Professional licensure exams (graduate students only)
- Other reasonable education-related expenses
If you feel you have a special circumstance that isn’t covered by the EFC or COA change, contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships for assistance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 574-520-4357.
If you don’t meet the federal criteria for independent status on your FAFSA but feel you have unusual circumstances that would qualify you, you may request a Dependency Override. If you were approved for an override during a previous aid year, you may be required to submit a Recertification Form.
Circumstances that may qualify you include an abusive family environment or being abandoned by your parents.
The following do not count as circumstances that will qualify you for a dependency override:
- Your parents refuse to contribute to your education
- Your parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification
- Your parents don’t claim you as a dependent for income tax purposes
- You demonstrate total self-sufficiency
If you have not been admitted into a degree-seeking program and if the courses you are enrolled in are required to enter a degree seeking program and you have a valid FAFSA on file, you may be eligible to receive limited aid. You must submit verification from an Academic Advisor qualified to certify the courses are required for admission to a degree program in order to be considered for limited federal financial aid. Taking courses to improve your Grade Point Average for admission does not qualify for this exception.
Your enrollment will be monitored each semester and aid is limited to a period of no more than 12 consecutive months. The 12 months is a lifetime maximum.
Submit a request and verification from your Academic Advisor to our office if all the following are true:
- You are taking courses at IUSB with the goal of being admitted to a degree-seeking program
- Your coursework is required to qualify for admission to a degree-seeking program (must be verified by an advisor in the department or school for each semester you request aid)
- You haven’t exceeded the maximum period of eligibility for federal student loans as a nondegree prerequisite student (one consecutive 12-month time period)
- Your enrollment during the verified semester matches the coursework listed on your verification form
- Your prerequisite courses for each semester are equal to or greater than half time*
Note that graduate students are not eligible for Grad PLUS loans while working on prerequisite courses.
*Required Half-Time Enrollment:
Undergraduate is 6 required credits
Graduate is 4 required credits