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Can I qualify for additional financial aid? Thumbnail

Can I qualify for additional financial aid?

  • I’ve been laid off / furloughed
  • My company shut down temporarily or went out of business
  • I’ve taken a pay cut
  • I had COVID-19 and had to stay home from work

Do these circumstances matter to the financial aid office at your son / daughter’s school?

Appealing for additional financial aid is an area that we look at extensively for opportunities with families as Certified College Planning Specialists™. For many parents, it can be an uncomfortable conversation with colleges, however it can be extremely valuable for those that qualify.

In today’s world where many are impacted with job losses and reduced salaries from COVID-19, there is a case for more families than typical to qualify for the “special circumstances” that can justify an increase in financial aid from the universities.

Here’s some background on how financial aid is determined:

  • Your child’s financial aid package for the 2020-2021 schoolyear is based on your family’s 2018 tax information. This is the most recent financial information that school’s have on your family.


Why you might fit the bill to appeal for more aid for this schoolyear:

  • If your family has a “special circumstance” or different financial situation now than they did in 2018. This could be related to a COVID layoff, death of a parent, or care of elderly parents etc. It’s not a cut in stone policy and different schools have different qualifying circumstances to be eligible to apply for additional aid.


How to apply for additional aid:

  • Each school requires different documentation depending on the qualifying reason to apply for additional aid. Check out this form from Wayne State University to get an idea of what documents they may need. Along with the documentation, most schools also require a written letter that will allow you to explain the reason for applying for additional aid.


The biggest thing to think about here is that you are simply updating a change to your financial situation. Unless you update the university, your family’s finances are the same as they were when displayed with your 2018 tax information. Therefore, applying for special circumstances is more about letting the university know where your family currently stands with finances, and less about negotiating an increase in the financial aid.

There’s no telling how successful you’ll be in applying for more aid, but it is a no loss situation. As the old saying goes, “If you never try, you’ll never know” and I think that definitely rings true here.

 As you can see, appeals for additional aid are a complicated process. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. We are here to help!


All the best,


Andrew Holmes, Certified College Planning Specialist™




Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client. Information herein includes opinions and source information that is believed to be reliable. However, such information may not be independently verified by FPS. Please see important disclosures link at the bottom of this page.

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