FINANCIAL AID

Appeals/Special Circumstances

Professional Judgment is the discretion granted to financial aid administrators by law to adjust a student's financial aid application due to special circumstances. All professional judgment decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and must be fully documented. In general, each professional judgment decision is made on its own; a financial aid administrator cannot automatically accept a professional judgment decision made for the same student by a financial aid administrator at another school. Professional judgment decisions are the sole discretion of a financial aid administrator and cannot be appealed to the university or the Department of Education.

INCOME APPEAL

Depending on the reason you are submitting an Income Appeal, the suggested documentation will vary. In most cases, we will ask for an estimate of all sources of income for the entire 2021 year (January 1, 2021-December 31, 2021), a signed statement explaining you or your parent(s) special circumstance AND a signed copy of the Income Appeal form. If you are not able to provide the required documents, please contact the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department at 1-818-677-4085 or by email financial.aid@csun.edu to ask for instructions or to speak with a financial aid counselor (include your CSUN ID if sending an email). Please read the FAQs below before you click on the Income Appeal form.

These are the conditions that are considered for an Income Appeal:

  • Unemployment or change in employment
  • Divorce/separation
  • Death of student’s parent or spouse
  • One-time income (e.g., inheritance, moving expense allowance, back-year Social Security payments, IRA or pension distribution, or gambling winnings). You will have to identify the source of income, the amount, and how funds were spent or invested. See FAQs below for details

Do not submit an appeal if the following applies to you. Submitting an appeal will NOT change your aid eligibility:

  • Your 2021-2022 FAFSA Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is $0
  • You are a 2nd BA degree student who has been offered $5,500 in a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • You are a 2nd Credential student, or are enrolled in an Intern Credential program and were offered $5,500 in a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • You are a Master’s degree student

Deadlines and Timeframes to request an Income Appeal

August 16, 2021 to November 5, 2021 – For those students who are only attending the Fall 2021 term

August 16, 2021 to March 11, 2022 – For those students who are attending the Fall 2021 AND Spring 2022 terms

Appeals may take up to 9 weeks to process once it is received with all completed documents

Click on this link to review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

COST OF ATTENDANCE APPEALS

A Cost of Attendance Appeal allows a student to demonstrate they have significantly higher educationally-related expenses than on the standard Cost of Attendance. All expenses must be incurred during the given academic year (for example, for the 2021-2022 year, all expenses would need to have occurred between July 2021 and May 2022). Documentation will vary depending on the situation. In most cases, approval for increase to Cost of Attendance will result in possible increased loan eligibility only

Please review the FAQs below before you complete the form. The Cost of Attendance Appeal form is located at https://www.csun.edu/financialaid/2021-2022-forms-and-documents under Appeals and Special Circumstances.

Deadlines and Timeframes to request a Cost of Attendance Appeal

August 16,2021 to November 5, 2021 – For those students who are only attending the Fall 2021 term

August 16, 2021 to March 11, 2022 – For those students who are attending the Fall 2021 AND Spring 2022 terms

Appeals may take up to 9 weeks to process once it is received with all completed documents

Click on this link to review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

DEPENDENCY OVERRIDE APPEAL REQUEST

Students who are considered dependent per federal/state definition must provide parental information on their financial aid application. In extraordinary and documented cases, a financial aid administrator may override a student’s dependency status for the purpose of applying for financial aid.  Complete this form if you are currently considered a dependent student for financial aid purposes, but believe you have extraordinary circumstances which warrant a review of your dependency status for 2021-2022.

Extraordinary circumstances may include:

  • Abandonment by parents (e.g. no contact and no support for one year or longer)
  • An abusive family environment that threatens the student’s health or safety
  • The student is unable to locate the parents
  • Incarceration or institutionalization of both parents for an extended period

The following circumstances, individually or in combination, do not qualify as extraordinary circumstances meriting dependency override consideration:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on the financial aid application, or for verification
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
  • Student supports themselves
  • Student does not live with parents

Click on this link to review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To print out an informational handout on how to submit a request for a dependency override, click here