Westminster understands that there may be circumstances that affect your ability to pay for college that may not have been apparent in your initial financial aid information. Financial Aid Appeals are available to all returning and admitted students. If you have any questions, contact the Financial Aid Office.
In certain situations, a request for additional funds from Westminster University to help cover the cost of tuition is warranted. These situations include: extension of institutional scholarships and grants, changes in enrollment status, and changes in living situation. The situations listed are meant to serve as a guideline and are not the only situations that can be taken into consideration.
Financial aid regulations allow Westminster University to use professional judgment to update your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after certain major life changes. The Special Circumstances Appeal process works to recalculate the FAFSA with your current income data.
It is important to understand that not all Special Circumstances Appeals will result in changes to your FAFSA and/or financial aid offer. The types of documentation required based on your circumstance will be indicated to you as you fill out the appeal.
Major life changes that can be taken into consideration:
- Income reduction or one-time payments received that are not recurring
- Death of a parent or spouse
- Unusual medical, dental, and nursing home expenses
- Financial support paid to extended family members
- Elementary/secondary school tuition costs
- Dependent care expenses
- Unusual debts
Major life changes that cannot be taken into consideration:
- Mortgage payments
- Property taxes
- Consumer debt (credit card, vehicle payments, etc.)
- Parent refusal to help cover educational expenses
In certain situations, an adjustment to the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) is warranted. The Financial Aid Office is sensitive to the financial challenges that students face; however, to comply with federal rules and regulations we can only consider direct costs necessary in supporting the student’s education. These costs must exceed what is already built into the student's COA. If you have any questions regarding the Cost of Attendance appeal process, you are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office prior to submitting appeal documentation.