University of Connecticut

Appeals

Cost of Attendance (Budget) Increase

Students who face higher costs due to extenuating circumstances may request a budget increase by submitting a formal appeal. If approved, the budget increase would allow students to borrow additional loan funds, subject to annual loan limits and/or lender approval.To request a budget increase, please complete an Appeal for Increased Cost of Attendance and submit it to the Office of Student Financial Aid Services by faxing it to (860) 486-6629. Please include supporting documentation, such as receipts and bills, at the time of submission.

Appeal for Increased Cost of Attendance based on the following expenses will be considered:

Child care expenses, elder care expenses

  • Attach a letter from childcare or elder care provider detailing agreement (include fee, hours, etc.)

Additional transportation expenses

  • Attach a letter indicating mileage, frequency of travel and reason for travel.

Additional books & supplies

  • Attach copies of course syllabus and bookstore price list or receipts to substantiate your expenses exceed the office’s standard allowance.

Additional expenses related to an internship

  • Attach a letter indicating anticipated costs, such as transportation, clothing (clothing items must be needed to participate in the required internship).  Additional documentation from the organization may be required.

Additional rental/mortgage expenses

  • Attach a copy of lease, mortgage statement.

Computer Purchase (If not already included for the School of Business. This is a one-time approval).

  • Attach a dated sales receipt outlining the specific item(s) purchased, or a written estimate for a potential purchase ($2000 maximum purchase allowance)

On Time Status

The FAFSA must be received by the Federal Processor on or before March 1 (May 1, for entering graduate students) to be considered on time. The awarding of most forms of University of Connecticut financial assistance is reserved for applications received and logged in by the federal processor on or before the on time application deadline. Please note that all awards are based upon funds availability.  Students who have a compelling reason for filing their FAFSA after the March 1st deadline may submit an On Time FAFSA Deadline Appeal Form to the Office of Student Financial Aid Services for consideration.

Circumstances our office will not consider include:

  • Family or student waiting for actual tax/income figures
  • Non-UConn publications stating incorrect deadlines
  • Initiating the FAFSA web application process late and/or pending the receipt of a PIN.

Special Circumstances

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is considered to be a “snapshot” of the family’s financial situation as of the date it is submitted.  The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated according to a federal formula that uses the household and financial information to determine a student/and or family’s financial strength.  The EFC is used to determine your federal student aid eligibility and financial aid award.

Students and their families may face situations where the information that was entered on the FAFSA does not accurately reflect their current circumstances and ability to pay for college.  Even if you feel the FAFSA will not reflect changed financial circumstances in the current year, complete the FAFSA to the best of your ability.

If your financial situation has changed significantly from the information you provided on the FAFSA, and the situation falls into one of the following categories, you may be eligible to have your financial aid package reevaluated (all awards are based on funds availability):

  • Changes in family structure (e.g., death, divorce or legal separation)
  • Changes in untaxed income (e.g., child support)
  • Unusual expenses (e.g., medical and/or dental expenses not covered by insurance, costs associated with a natural disaster)
  • IRA/Pension Withdrawal or Rollover
  • Changes in employment status

If your situation falls into one of the above categories, please submit a letter outlining your circumstances to the Office of Student Financial Aid Services for review.  If your situation falls into one of the above categories, you will receive a Special Circumstance Appeal Form and documentation request.

Please note that a recalculation in financial need does not guarantee that additional aid will be awarded.  Once your appeal has been processed, you will be notified of any changes that may have occurred as a result of the appeal.

NOTE:  The Department of Education and Labor have established a website to assist those who are unemployed.  The website provides information on financial aid, labor tools, and other key resources available for unemployed workers.  The website is http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/opportunity/index.html


Dependency Status

Guidelines

Pursuant to the basic premise of student financial aid, parents and students have the primary responsibility to finance educational expenses.

Dependency for financial aid purposes is not the same as dependency for tax purposes. Your student dependency status is determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on your responses to the questions in Step Three of the FAFSA.

The following conditions would not merit a dependency override, either alone or in combination (according to U.S. Department of Education guidelines).

  • Parent(s) unable or refusing to contribute to the student’s education
  • Parent(s) unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or documents for verification
  • Parent(s) not claiming the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Student demonstrating total self–sufficiency

Dependency Appeal

A student may submit a dependency appeal request in cases of special or unusual circumstances contributing to an unintentional, uncontrollable break in a relationship between a student and their parent(s). Appeal reasons the Office of Student Financial Aid Services (OSFAS) may consider include:

  • An abusive family environment that threatens the student’s health or safely
  • A student is unable to locate his parents

To begin the appeal process, please submit a letter or email to our office clearly explaining your situation.

The Appeal committee will review your request and notify you by your UConn email account of the outcome. If your appeal is one OSFAS will consider additional information will be requested. You will be sent a Dependency Appeal Form to complete and return along with supporting documentation.

Renewal Process

If your dependency status does not change, each year you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Complete 2014-2015 FAFSA without parental data at http://fafsa.ed.gov on or before March 1, 2014. Your FAFSA will indicate that it is in Federal Reject Status, until OSFAS reviews and updates your renewal.
  • Complete the 2014-2015 Dependency Status Renewal Form