The financial aid office at your college or career school will determine how much financial aid you are eligible to receive. The office uses the information you supplied in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASA) to determine how much need based and non-need based aid you can receive. If there are any changes to the information that you supplied on your FASA during the application period and/or academic year, you may be able to request an appeal for an adjustment to your financial aid eligibility.
If Your Situation Has Changed:
It is important to note that most information on your application cannot be updated because it must be accurate as of the day you originally signed your FAFSA form. For example, if you spent some of your savings after filing the FAFSA form, you may not update your information to show a change in that amount.
However, you should speak to the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend if:
(i) there will be a significant change in your or your parent’s income for the present year;
(ii) if your family has other circumstances that cannot be reported on the FAFSA form.
It is important that you reach out to your school’s financial aid office as soon as you are aware of these changes.
Note: You must update anything that changes your dependency status (for instance, you are now pregnant or are now in legal guardianship) except a change in your marital status. If your marital status changes, you must speak to the financial aid office to determine whether you may update the FAFSA form.
The financial aid appeal process will vary among schools, therefore you will need to contact the financial aid office of the school whose package award you want to appeal to find out how to begin their process.
An appeal means that you are asking for more money than what was originally offered. You should be prepared to provide documentation regarding the circumstances that you are claiming merit further aid. Examples of such circumstances are:
- Loss of Employment
- Out of Pocket Medical Expenses
- Reduction in Other Income Sources
Remember that re-evaluation of your financial aid eligibility is subject to federal, state and school guidelines. The school will notify you of their decision.
- University of California San Francisco: How Do I Decrease the Amount of My Student Loans?
- University of Minnesota: Change Your Loan Amount
- University of Central Florida Office of Financial Assistance: Direct Loan FAQ
- James Madison University: Financial Aid and Loan Change Forms
- FAFSA: Studentaid.gov, Official Government Site
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.