Financial Aid Appeal for Special Circumstances

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.

Special Circumstances Consideration

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 pursue the special circumstance request, UC Merced is still required to complete the verification process before financial aid funds will be disbursed.

How to Request a Special Circumstance Appeal

If you and/or your family find yourself in this situation and need to request a financial aid reevaluation, please contact the Students First Center at 209-228-7178 and ask to speak with a Financial Aid Advisor.