Financial Aid Appeals

We recognize that the Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) may not always portray a clear picture of your financial situation. If the FAFSA does not adequately reflect your current situation or your financial circumstances have changed since you submitted the FAFSA, you may request a reevaluation of your financial aid eligibility.

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Budget Increase

Students who feel that their "allowed" budget does not reflect their actual expenses should submit a Cost of Attendance Adjustment form.

Child/Dependent Care Expense

Students who need an increase in their Cost of Attendance due to child/dependent care expenses should submit a Child/Dependent Appeal.

Dependency Appeal

Students who have an adverse family situation that makes obtaining parental information impossible.  In order for your appeal to be considered, you must be able to document that all financial and emotional contact with your parents has been severed as a result of an adverse home situation.  Some examples of adverse conditions include the following: Severe estrangement from parents, an unsafe home environment, physical or emotional abuse, abandonment, etc...  A parents refusal to contribute to a student's education, an unwillingness to provide information on the FAFSA, not claiming the student as a dependent on a tax return or a student's demonstration of self-sufficiency does not constitute an adverse home situation or the need for a dependency override.  However, we may be able to assist you if a parent refuses to support you.  Please complete the Dependency Appeal and return it to our office complete will are required supportive documents.[top]

Request for Review of Special Circumstances

If you or your parents have experienced a significant and prolonged decline in family income, you might be eligible for additional financial aid funds for the current academic year. Financial aid advisors will work with your family to make sure you are receiving the most financial aid you are eligible to receive.

Circumstances that will be considered include the following:

  • Loss of employment
  • Other loss of income
  • Separation or divorce (parents marital status)
  • Death of a parent or spouse
  • High unreimbursed medical and/or dental expenses
  • One-time payment received

Please be advised that once you have initiated a special circumstance request, the student's FAFSA will be selected for a process called verification. The verification process requires us to collect you and your parent's prior year tax transcript, W-2s and certain UC Merced verification documents. This is in addition to any documentation needed specifically to complete the special circumstances request. All requirements will be added to your MyChecklist. If you later decide not to pursue the special circumstance request, UC Merced is still required to complete the verification process before financial aid funds will be disbursed. [top]

How to Submit a Special Circumstance Appeal

If you and/or your family find yourself in this situation and need to request a financial aid reevaluation, please complete a request for Special Circumstances Form found on the forms page, choose the academic year you are applying for and complete the form and submit the form and supporting documentation to the Office of Financial Aid Scholarships Office. [top]

On-Time Status

The California priority deadline for filing a FAFSA is March 2nd. Students who file a FAFSA after the due date may have limited eligibility for Financial Aid programs including University Grant, Cal Grant, or Work-Study. Students with special circumstances which prevented them from filing a FAFSA by the March 2nd deadline are encouraged to file an On-time Status Appeal in order to be awarded as if they were on-time applicants. [top]

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Undergraduate students wishing to appeal must submit a UC Merced SAP Appeal to the OFAS. Appeals are only accepted once, at the end of spring semester. The appeal form is available online and instructions are sent to all students that do not meet the SAP standards. A student may appeal SAP if he/she believes that extenuating circumstances prevented normal academic success or successful completion of the terms of SAP. To appeal, the student must complete the SAP Appeal Application, which allows the student to explain and document their circumstances and develop an Academic Plan in consultation with an academic advisor. Examples of extenuating circumstances include personal or family critical illness (both physical and mental), natural disaster impacting the student or family's home, assault, etc. If an SAP appeal is approved, the student will be placed on SAP monitoring and must abide by the conditions set forth in the appeal. [top]

For more information about Satisfactory Academic Progress

Scholarship Appeals

Undergraduate students who fall below the minimum GPA to maintain their scholarships are required to complete the Multi-Year Scholarship Appeal online.  Students will receive an email from our office indicating they have lost eligibility and will have to complete the appeal in order to be considered for reinstatement.

Additional Unsubsidized Loan

If the parent has been denied for the PLUS loan due to credit reasons and does not want to pursue a cosigner, please submit a PLUS Ineligible Request for Unsubsidized Loan Form. [top]