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Unusual Circumstances and Appeals

The Office of Financial Aid has the ability to review you and your family’s unusual circumstances when determining how much financial aid you may be eligible to receive.

There are five different appeal processes:

Financial Aid Loss of Income & Medical Appeal Process

If the student or your family experienced a recent hardship that is not reflected on your FAFSA, such as loss of income or unusually high medical expenses, you may complete a Loss of Income & Medical Appeal to account for the change in your family's financial situation. 

How to Appeal

  1. Log in to CMU Forms.
    • Form Financial Aid - Loss of Income/Medical Appeal
    • Select the academic year for which you'd like to submit an appeal
    • Select the year of Loss of Income or Medical Expenses (Can only be one year)
    • Follow the instructions carefully. You are required to provide supporting documentation.
  2. A counselor will review your appeal and determine if an adjustment is possible, which may take about 2-4 weeks.
  3. You will receive email notification of your appeal decision or to request supporting documents if needed.

 Financial Aid - Loss of Income/Medical Appeal

Financial Aid Independent Status Appeal Process

For financial aid purposes, a student is considered a dependent of their parents unless the student is:

  • 24 years old or older
  • married
  • serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces
  • a veteran
  • a parent with dependents
  • an emancipated minor
  • homeless
  • assigned a legal guardian before the age of 18

If you have an unusual circumstance such as an abusive family environment, abandonment, incarceration of a parent, etc., you may appeal to be considered independently from your parents. Parents’ refusal to provide income information on the FAFSA is not a sufficient reason for dependency override approval. To begin the appeal process, complete the Financial Aid - Independent Status Appeal.

How to Appeal

  1. Log in to CMU Forms.
    • Form Financial Aid - Independent Status Appeal
    • Select the aid year for which you'd like to submit an appeal
    • Follow the instructions carefully. You are required to provide supporting documentation.
  2. A counselor will review your appeal and determine if an adjustment is possible, which may take 1-2 weeks.
  3. You will receive email notification of your appeal decision or to request supporting documents if needed.

 Financial Aid - Independent Status Appeal

Financial Aid Dependency Status Change Due to Marriage Appeal Process

Students who submitted a FASFA and were considered dependent, under the age of 24, and are married after submitting a FASFA, can fill out the dependency status change due to marriage. 

How to Appeal

  1. Log in to CMU Forms.
    • Form Financial Aid - Dependency Status Change Due to Marriage Appeal
    • Select the aid year for which you'd like to submit an appeal
    • Fill out family information (You, spouse, children, and other dependents) 
    • Follow the instructions carefully. You are required to provide supporting documentation.
  2. A counselor will review your appeal and determine if an adjustment is possible, which may take about 1-2 weeks.
  3. You will receive email notification of your appeal decision or to request supporting documents if needed.

 Financial Aid - Dependency Status Change Due to Marriage Appeal

Financial Aid Ineligibility Appeal Process

If extenuating circumstances prevented you from meeting financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, you may appeal your ineligibility status. If your appeal is approved, your aid may be reinstated for one semester on “financial aid probation.”

If you are placed on financial aid probation, you will be expected to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements by the end of your financial aid probation semester or successfully follow the academic plan designed specifically for you (as explained below in the appeal process). Failure to meet either of these expectations will result in financial aid ineligibility.

How to Appeal

  1. Log in to CMU Forms.
    • Form Financial Aid - Ineligibility Appeal
    • Select the next semester for which you'd like to submit an appeal
    • Follow the instructions carefully. You are required to provide supporting documentation.
  2. A counselor will review your appeal and determine if an adjustment is possible, which may take 1-2 weeks.
  3. You will receive email notification of your appeal decision or to request supporting documents if needed.

Financial Aid - Ineligibility Appeal

Financial Aid Scholarship Appeal Process

If you are going to be taking a semester off, attending a semester as part-time student or on scholarship ineligibility, you will need to appeal your merit scholarships

How to Appeal

  1. Log in to CMU Forms.
    • Form Financial Aid - Scholarship Appeal Letter
    • Select the next semester for which you'd like to submit an appeal
    • Follow the instructions carefully. You are required to provide supporting documentation.
  2. A counselor will review your appeal and determine if an adjustment is possible, which may take 1-2 weeks.
  3. You will receive email notification of your appeal decision or to request supporting documents if needed.

Financial Aid - Scholarship Appeal Letter