We understand that there may be circumstances that affect your ability to pay for college, which may not be apparent in your initial financial aid information. Perhaps your and your family’s income has changed since the application was filed. Or, you may have educational expenses that weren't included in your financial aid budget. Our counselors can help with our appeal process, which will allow us to evaluate the impact of your special circumstances on your eligibility to pay for college.
DEADLINE: Three weeks before the end of the academic year. Some funding may be limited so try to submit your appeal as early as possible.
EVALUATION PROCESS: Appeals are typically reviewed in 10-15 business days. During busy processing times (such as the summer), it may take longer for your appeal to be evaluated. Once the review is completed, if your appeal is approved you will receive a revised notification of eligibility on MyUCLA reflecting the changes made to your award. If your appeal is denied, you will receive an email to notify you of the reason(s) for the denial. If the Expected Family Contribution on your Student Aid Report is 0, submitting a projected year income appeal for students/parents will not further decrease your EFC. Given that zero is the lowest EFC number, you have been offered the maximum amount of Financial Aid available.
Students and families managing a significant income reduction in 2021 compared to the 2019 income reported on your financial aid application may be eligible to file a 2021-22 Projected Year Income Petition. There are separate appeal forms for parents of dependent students as well as students (and spouses) that have lost income since 2019. Students can explore appeal options by contacting our office.
Please take a look below at the list of most common reasons for an appeal.
Changes that affect your EFC
If a student’s or student's family finances change after filing the FAFSA or DREAM application, our office can consider an appeal to account for the change of circumstances. Please bear in mind that not all appeals are granted.
Circumstances that qualify for a reevaluation of income are:
- Loss of employment
- Death of a Parent
- Parents’ out-of-pocket medical and/or dental expenses (please submit a statement explaining the circumstances, copies of parents’ federal tax returns for the last year, verification of the medical condition that necessitated the expenditure and verification of out-of-pocket costs paid).
You can use a Projected Year Income Petition to submit an appeal based on loss of earnings. Please read the instructions carefully and submit the appeal form and all supporting documentation to Financial Aid and Scholarships office.
All appeal forms can be found on our Forms and Publications Page Please ensure you select the correct academic year.
Verification of Parent in College
Students whose parent(s) are currently enrolled in college, are required to submit a completed Parent/Sibling Verification of Enrollment Form found on the Financial Aid & Scholarship website as evidence of parent enrollment. Failure to provide this form will result in a change to the number in college, which can affect your Expected Family Contribution.
Changes that affect your cost of education (financial aid budget)
If the student’s qualified educational expenses during the academic year exceed their basic financial aid budget, an appeal can be submitted to request additional assistance. Student’s cost of education can only be adjusted to reflect student’s (not parents) expenses. If a budget increase is approved, the difference will be funded with additional loans.
These appeal forms can be used to document qualified additional expenses for the student. Please read the instructions carefully and submit the appeal form and all supporting documentation to Financial Aid and Scholarships office.
- A Housing Adjustment Form from our forms and publications page should be submitted to request a change in your housing status (for example off-campus to on-campus) or to request a budget increase because your housing costs exceed the standard allowance that is already included in your financial aid budget.
- A Budget Increase Request from our forms and publications page can be submitted if your aid needs to be increased to cover the following costs:
Student’s medical/dental/optical expenses not covered by insurance
Airfare – cost of travel to visit family for the holidays or in an emergency
Appealing for On-Time consideration
Financial aid is limited for students who do not submit their FAFSA or Dream Act Application before the March 2nd deadline. In addition to meeting the March 2 deadline, students applying for aid during summer sessions must submit their Application for Summer Aid before April 30 deadline to be considered on-time.
We understand that there may be circumstances, which prevented you from filing their application(s) in a timely manner. If you are in this position, we encourage you to submit a Late Application Appeal Form, explaining what prevented them from submitting their application(s) on time. If there is any documentation that you want to submit in support of your appeal, please include it with the letter. Please ensure that the student’s name and University ID are included on your correspondence.
These appeals will be judged on the basis of your circumstances (were the circumstances beyond your control?), past record (if you are a continuing student, have you applied on time in the past?) and availability of funds (awarding priority is given to applicants who meet the priority filing deadline and some funding sources are limited).
You will be notified of our decision via email once the appeal has been reviewed.
The form may be found on our Forms and Publications Page. Please ensure you select the correct academic year.
If you are required to provide parental information on your application for financial aid but are unable to do so because there are adverse circumstances, which make obtaining your parents' information impossible, you can submit an appeal to be reclassified as an independent student for financial aid consideration.
Please note that the criteria we can use to consider you independent for financial aid are different than the criteria used by the Residence Deputy to establish independence for tuition purposes. For example, you are required to document financial independence to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes. Financial hardship, parents' inability or refusal to provide support and/or student's ability to be self-sufficient cannot be used to classify you as an independent student for financial aid purposes.
The Independent Petition can be found on our Forms and Publications page Please make sure you select the correct academic year.
Students who are Homeless and/or Unaccompanied will typically meet the following Homeless/Unaccompanied definition(s) established by the U.S. Department of Education:
Homeless: lack fixed, regular and adequate housing, which includes living in shelters, motels, cars, or parks, or temporarily living with other people because the student had nowhere else to go, including situations in which the student is fleeing an abusive parent who would otherwise provide the student with financial support and a place to live.
Unaccompanied: means the student is not living in the physical custody of his/her parent or guardian
If you answered YES to the Homeless/Unaccompanied question on your Financial Aid Application, refer to your Document List in MyUCLA and hover over the "Homeless Verification" checklist item for instructions on how to proceed with verifying your status to our office. For guidance on how to upload documents via MyUCLA, refer to our MyUCLA Upload Guide.
If you answered NO to the Homeless/Unaccompanied question on your Financial Aid Application but are now Homeless and/or Unaccompanied, contact our office so that we can schedule an appointment with your Financial Aid Counselor for the purpose of documenting your circumstances. You do not need to make changes to your Financial Aid Application at this time. Our contact information is available under the Contact Us section of our website.
Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding
Students who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic in 2021, demonstrate exceptional financial need through the FAFSA or DREAM Act application, and can document additional funding needs, should submit the UCLA Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) Grant Appeal Form.
Awarding priority will go to those who have not already received a HEERF grant.
Appealing for additional unsubsidized loan due to ineligible parent borrowers
The Direct Loan Program regulations authorize a school to award additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds to a dependent student (up to the amounts normally available only to independent undergraduate students). If the parent is unable to borrow a Direct PLUS Loan due to exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to, circumstances in which:
- The parent is incarcerated;
- The parent's whereabouts are unknown;
- The parent is not a U.S. citizen or is unable to provide evidence that he or she is in the United States for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a citizen or permanent resident;
- The student's parent receives only public assistance or disability benefits, and the school has documented that the parent would not be able to repay the PLUS Loan;
- The parent has filed for bankruptcy and has provided documentation from the bankruptcy court stating that as a condition of the bankruptcy filing, the parent may not incur any additional debt; or
- The parent’s likely inability to repay the PLUS Loan due to an existing debt burden or the parent’s expected income-to-debt ratio.
If you are in one of these exceptional circumstances and interested in an additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan, contact our office so we can advise you on how to document your circumstances. Our contact information is available under the Contact Us section of our website.