Financial Aid Appeals


Financial Aid Appeals

Income Adjustment Appeal

What is it the Financial Aid Income Adjustment Appeal Process? 

The Office of Financial Aid at Rowan University recognizes that situations occur which may affect a student’s eligibility for federal need-based financial aid. Through the use of professional judgment, financial aid administrators have the authority to make adjustments on a case-by-case basis to a student’s FAFSA provided that supporting documentation has been submitted to our office. Some examples of situations which may qualify for an adjustment include: loss or reduction in income; private secondary education tuition payments; unemployment; disability.

Appeal Guidelines: You must clearly demonstrate a change in the family’s financial situation occurred either during the 2015 tax year or later. Our office will use the information provided to determine if your appeal could make an impact to your financial aid award. Please note: Submission of this worksheet does not guarantee a change in aid. If you have incorrectly reported information on your FAFSA application, this review could negatively impact your EFC resulting in a loss/reduction of your current financial aid. Please review the information on your FAFSA application for accuracy before submitting an appeal. If the student’s FAFSA is selected for federal verification, that process must be completed before this appeal can be considered.

What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

The EFC is the amount you and/or your parents are expected to contribute toward your educational expenses as determined by a federally-mandated formula, which uses the information you provide on your FAFSA.

Initiation of Appeals 

Appeals can be initiated by completing the 2017/2018 Income Adjustment Appeal and submitting the required documentation to the Financial Aid Office. Once your appeal is received and the situation has been documented, a financial aid advisor will review it and notify you of the result.

The approval of the appeal and changes made by the financial aid officer may or may not result in increased financial aid eligibility. 

Depending upon availability and certain State deadlines, you will be re-considered for Federal and State funds including: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Student Loan Programs and Tuition Aid Grant.

The deadline to submit income adjustment appeals for the 2017/2018 academic year is Thursday, February 15, 2018*.

*Dates subject to change. 

Appealing Your FAFSA Dependency Status

The federal student aid programs are based on the concept that it is primarily your and your family’s responsibility to pay for your education. And because a dependent student is assumed to have the support of parents, the parents’ information has to be assessed along with the student’s, in order to get a full picture of the family’s financial strength. If you’re a dependent student, it doesn’t mean your parents are required to pay anything toward your education; this is just a way of looking at everyone in a consistent manner.

However, some student situations will require extra discretion in determining the student’s ability to provide parental information on the FAFSA. Our office provides the opportunity for students to appeal their FAFSA Dependency Status by submitting documentation of your situation. You must clearly demonstrate an adverse family situation in order to be considered independent for financial aid purposes. Adverse family situations may include: physical or emotional abuse, severe estrangement, abandonment, parental drug or alcohol abuse, mental incapacity or other circumstances. To submit an appeal, download and complete the Dependency Override Appeal Form.   

Federal guidelines stipulate the following conditions do not solely qualify as circumstances meriting a dependency override:

  • Parent refusal to contribute to the student’s education
  • Parent unwillingness to provide information on the FAFSA or to provide required verification documentation
  • Parent does not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency

If your situation does not meet the requirements for a Dependency Override, but you still cannot provide parental information, you have the choice to submit the FAFSA without parental data.  If you do not provide their information on the FAFSA, the application will be considered “rejected,” and you might not be able to receive any federal student aid. The most you would be able to get would be a loan called an unsubsidized loan. The FAFSA will tell you what to do if you are in this situation. Learn more about how to fill out the FAFSA when your parents aren’t supporting you and won’t provide their information.

Additional Information

All appeal forms and documents must be submitted to the Rowan University Office of Financial Aid. 

You may scan and email or mail the documents to Rowan University Office of Financial Aid:


Mailing Address: Rowan University 201 Mullica Hill Road Glassboro, New Jersey 08028, Attn: Financial Aid: Savitz Hall, 1st Floor

*Please include your Rowan ID number on all documents you are submitting.