Filing A Special circumstances Appeal
A financial aid appeal is a way for a student and his/her family to communicate with the Financial Aid Office about changes beyond the family’s control that have occurred since the FAFSA was filed or that were not reflected or explained on the FAFSA.
Therefore, if an appeal is approved, financial aid eligibility is re-evaluated for federal aid since in most cases additional institutional aid is not available. Important note: Changes to income on the FAFSA as a result of an approved appeal, will not change the income for any New York State scholarship, including the Excelsior Scholarship.
examples of Eligible Appeal Circumstances
- Significant or catastrophic loss of family income/benefits (student and/or parent) due to loss of job, retirement or disability.
- Parent/student who is widowed/separated/divorced after the FAFSA was filed.
- Necessary medical and/or dental expenses which have been paid out of pocket, and were not covered by insurance, and will not be covered by insurance in the future.
- Personal bankruptcy that occurs during the current financial aid year.
- Other special circumstances outside of the student’s control.
How To File A special circumstances Appeal
- File the aid year specific FAFSA (i.e., 2017-18 FAFSA for fall 2017 and spring 2018, 2018-19 FAFSA for fall 2018 spring 2019). Binghamton University’s Federal School Code is 002836.
- Be admitted to Binghamton University.
- Submit a letter explaining your circumstance(s), along with all documentation requested to verify your circumstance, to Financial Aid and Student Records. The Special Circumstance Form is available on the Forms webpage, located under the applicable aid year.
- Note: The review process does not begin until late-March of each year. Appeals will not be reviewed until initial financial aid offers are made, since they are a re-evaluation of an original offer.
- Once the review process begins, you will be notified whether additional documentation is required or a final determination has been made regarding your request.
- There are some circumstances where a Special Circumstances form is not required.
- Requesting an increase in your budget increases your loan eligibility for PLUS and alternative loans.
- Simply write a detailed letter and attach documentation to confirm your additional educational costs.
examples of circumstances eligible for a budget increase
Required increase in cost during the students period of enrollment (typically August- May)
- Additional transportation expenses for students residing outside states other than New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania.
- Additional educationally-related costs due to a disability or unexpected medical cost.
- Childcare expenses required to attend classes. See the appropriate aid year's Childcare Expenses form, located on the Financial Aid Forms page.
- Other reasonable, educationally-related expenses reviewed and approved by the Financial Aid Associate Director or Director at Binghamton University.