Financial Aid Appeals

Some students and their families experience unique circumstances that affect the ability to pay college costs. If your financial circumstances change, contact the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible. You may request a re-evaluation of your aid or an appeal of a financial aid policy or decision. Our ability to provide additional assistance depends upon when you contact us, whether and when you are able to provide documentation of your circumstances and whether funds are available.


Families facing severe financial problems due to job loss, medical expenses, foreclosure, or business declines should contact the Office of Financial Aid for a review of their aid eligibility. If you have experienced a significant and prolonged loss of family income, you may be eligible for additional aid for the current academic year. We can work with your family to find the best mix of resources to keep you enrolled.

Circumstances that will be considered include:

  • Loss of income because of recent unemployment (unemployment must last for at least 10 weeks to warrant a reconsideration of a students aid eligibility)
  • Loss of income due to a change in health or a change in parents' marital status
  • High unreimbursed medical and/or dental expenses
  • Business loss (because of bankruptcy, foreclosure or natural disaster)
  • High Cost of Attendance because of higher-than-usual book or supply expenses or child care costs (this can only be adjusted if the student is (1) single and provides at least 51 percent of the child's support; (2) married, with a spouse/partner who is employed at least 20 hours per week; or (3) married, with a spouse/partner who is also a student.)

For many, the best available option for the current year may be a federal loan. Federally funded programs such as the PLUS Loan offer favorable terms, including good rates and the option to defer payments until six months after student graduation. Students whose parents are denied a PLUS Loan are eligible for additional unsubsidized Direct Loan funds.

Use of Professional Judgment: Evaluation of financial aid applications, re-evaluation of an aid package or an appeal of a financial aid decision, are handled through a review process using professional judgment by financial aid professionals in the U-M Office of Financial Aid. Any request to our office is considered using best professional practices and making such a request does not guarantee approval. Financial aid regulations are subject to change through legislation or policy changes by the U.S. Department of Education.

Timing of requests: All requests for re-evaluation must be received a minimum of three weeks prior to the end of the enrollment period.  The U-M Office of Financial Aid cannot guarantee that requests received after this point will be funded.  We cannot, under any circumstances, process a request received after the end of the enrollment period.  If you have questions regarding this restriction, please contact our office.


If you have a concern regarding a financial aid policy or decision, or you have a special circumstance for uto consider, you may follow the appeal procedures below:

  1. Present your situation to a financial aid officer. All options for resolving the situation should be explored with the officer before moving to the next step. If the situation cannot be resolved, the officer will determine the course to take in Step Two.
  2. One of the following actions will be taken:
    • Your situation will be presented by the officer to the Office of Financial Aid’s Special Circumstances Review Committee. This occurs when unusual circumstances are presented that may require exceptions to standard financial aid policies or procedures.
    • You may complete an appeal form and schedule an appointment to discuss your circumstances with an Office of Financial Aid Associate Director. This occurs when unusual circumstances do not exist but a financial aid policy is questioned, or when a student is not satisfied with a policy as explained by the financial aid officer.
  3. If, after completing Step 2, you feel the situation warrants further consideration, you may ask for a review and consultation with the Office of Financial Aid Executive Director.