Students with unusual circumstances, on a case-by-case basis, may appeal to change their dependency status to that of an independent student. A justifiable reason to excuse parents from the student’s financial responsibility must exist and appropriate documentation must be provided to the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA). However, none of the conditions listed below will qualify as unusual circumstances and therefore are not sufficient reasons for determining a student's status as independent and will not merit a dependency override:
- Student’s parent(s) refuses to contribute to the student’s educational costs;
- Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification;
- Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes;
- Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency
If you or your family have experienced a loss of income, you may request a recalculation of your financial aid eligibility. Please submit information to the Aid Office here: https://www2.gmu.edu/financial-aid/contact-financial-aid
Please note, if your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is already zero, an income reduction will not change aid eligibility. Please contact the Aid Office to discuss your situation.
If a student-athlete's athletic grant-in-aid is reduced or cancelled during the period of the award or is reduced or not renewed for the following academic year, the student-athlete has the opportunity for a hearing to appeal the decision. For a complete description of the process, please see the Financial Aid Handbook.
Please refer to the section on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) about appealing the loss of financial aid due to failure to meet SAP standards.
Students who have been sent a notification of loss of scholarship from the financial aid office may appeal the loss by submitting a Merit Appeal form.
Your letter or email should explain in detail the circumstances that affected your ability to meet the minimum standards for scholarship renewal. Documentation of those circumstances should be included to the extent possible. You will be notified by the financial aid office if your appeal was granted. If you are granted reinstatement of your scholarship by the Appeals Committee (or, in the case of University Scholars, the director of the University Scholars program), please note that no additional requests for scholarship reinstatement will be granted should you fail to meet scholarship standards a second time.
All appeals for scholarship reinstatement must be received six weeks prior to the start of your next semester. Any appeals for scholarship reinstatement received after will be reviewed only for the following semester.