Special Circumstances

Sometimes, your financial offer may not cover all of your expenses or your situation may have changed since filing your FAFSA.

Appeals process

Through the appeals process, we can assist you (and your spouse if you're married) if you have special circumstances that may affect your financial aid eligibility or the ability to apply for financial aid. We can review your circumstances and determine if an adjustment to your cost of attendance or the information used on your FAFSA will impact your financial aid eligibility.

For the special circumstance appeal, please contact Bronco Express at (269) 387-6000 to request a phone appointment with a Financial Services Specialist (located in the Faunce Student Service building). We recommend that you keep copies for your own records. Your completed appeal must be received in our office at least 30 days prior to your last date of enrollment for the current academic year. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing.

Adjustment of family contribution

The Student Aid Index (SAI) is an eligibility figure used to determine the amount of federal financial aid for which a student is eligible. This number is generated by the information you provided on the FAFSA, as determined by the federal methodology need analysis formula approved by Congress. It is generated through the information you provided on the FAFSA. Your SAI depends on your dependency status, family size, taxable and nontaxable income and assets.

If there are special financial circumstances that may affect your ability to pay for your education, you may request a review of the information provided on your FAFSA to see if your special circumstances can be considered for an adjustment to your SAI. Please contact us and request an appointment to discuss if an appeal is an option for you. Special financial circumstances include:

  • Recent change in the household due to separation, divorce or death.
  • Unusual or excessive medical or dental charges paid but not covered by your insurance.
  • Student (or your spouse) recently became unemployed.
  • Reduction or complete loss of untaxed income such as Social Security.
  • Complete loss of unemployment compensation.

Cost of attendance appeals

The cost of attendance is an estimation of what it might cost you to go to school for a specific period of enrollment. The COA is calculated using an estimated cost of tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, personal expenses, travel and loan fees. It is based on your residency status for tuition purposes, class level, housing preference and enrollment status. The estimations are based on averages for each category and are not reflective of actual or projected costs. Actual tuition, fees and University housing costs are published each year, generally after July 1, and are subject to approval by the WMU Board of Trustees.

Additional credit hours, fees, dependent care, study abroad or other educational expenses may be added to your COA. Please contact us to discuss possible adjustments. Remember, there must be a good reason for any adjustment to be made, you will need to provide adequate proof for your appeal and the decision by Student Financial Aid is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.