An appeal committee will review the appeal and supporting documentation. If necessary, additional information may be requested. The student will be notified of the committee's decision within two weeks of the submission of a complete appeal.
To file a Dependency Appeal, a student must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid* first and then must provide the following documentation:
- A signed, completed Dependency Appeal Form.
- A signed, detailed letter from you explaining the extenuating circumstance, including the relationship with both biological or adoptive parents.
- A separate letter from an independent 3rd party source (ex. counselor, medical authority, clergy, court, government agency) who can attest first-hand to your extenuating circumstances. This signed letter must be detailed and include as much information about your situation as possible.
- If a letter from an independent source cannot be provided, you must give the reason it cannot be provided in your appeal letter. In this case, you may submit a signed letter from another source (family member for example) in its place.
* In the Dependency Status section of the FAFSA, the student will answer the preset dependency questions and then indicate on three (3) subsequent pages that he/she has a special circumstance and is not able to provide parental information. The FAFSA will be submitted without calculating an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If the dependency appeal is approved, the Office of University of Scholarships and Financial Aid (USFA) will make updates to the FAFSA which will allow the calculation of a new EFC.
- Irreconcilable differences within the family
Reasons that cannot be considered include:
- The student is financially self-sufficient
- Parent(s) no longer claim the student on their tax return
- Parent(s) refusal or inability to pay for the student's education
Approval of a dependency appeal does not guarantee independent status in future years.
A new Dependency Appeal Re-evaluation must be submitted each year.