Westminster understands that there may be circumstances that affect your ability to pay for college that may not have been apparent in your initial financial aid information. Financial Aid Appeals are available to all returning and admitted students.

Financial Aid Appeal

In certain situations, a request for additional funds from Westminster University to help cover the cost of tuition is warranted. These situations include: extension of institutional scholarships and grants, changes in enrollment status, and changes in living situation. The situations listed are meant to serve as a guideline and are not the only situations that can be taken into consideration.

Special Circumstances Appeal

Financial aid regulations allow Westminster University to use professional judgment to update your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after certain major life changes. The Special Circumstances Appeal process works to recalculate the FAFSA with your current income data.

It is important to understand that not all Special Circumstances Appeals will result in changes to your FAFSA and/or financial aid offer. The types of documentation required based on your circumstance will be indicated to you as you fill out the appeal.

Major life changes that can be taken into consideration:

  • Income reduction or one-time payments received that are not recurring
  • Death of a parent or spouse
  • Unusual medical, dental, and nursing home expenses
  • Financial support paid to extended family members
  • Elementary/secondary school tuition costs
  • Dependent care expenses
  • Unusual debts
  • Divorce/separation

Major life changes that cannot be taken into consideration:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Property taxes
  • Consumer debt (credit card, vehicle payments, etc.)
  • Parent refusal to help cover educational expenses

Cost of Attendance Appeal

In certain situations, an adjustment to the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) is warranted. The Financial Aid Office is sensitive to the financial challenges that students face; however, to comply with federal rules and regulations we can only consider direct costs necessary in supporting the student’s education. These costs must exceed what is already built into the student's COA. If you have any questions regarding the Cost of Attendance appeal process, you are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office prior to submitting appeal documentation.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

Students need to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to continue receiving federal and institutional aid at Westminster. This means that students need to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and complete 70% of their courses to keep moving toward degree completion within an acceptable time period (e.g., a 4-year degree must be completed in 6 years). Students who do not meet SAP requirements have the right to appeal.