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How to File a Special Circumstances/ Loss of Income Appeal

Follow the steps below to file a financial aid appeal based on changes in your personal financial situation.

If your financial circumstances change after you filed your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office may be able to adjust your award accordingly, based on availability of funds.


Inform the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office of these "special circumstances" as soon as possible to make sure you receive the best possible financial aid package.

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Decide if you can appeal based on special circumstances or loss of income

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office can consider these factors:

  • Divorce or legal separation (you or your parents), or death of a parent or spouse that occurred after you filed your FAFSA
  • Loss or reduction in parent income caused by unemployment or disablement
  • Loss or reduction in your (the student's) income
  • Major medical/ dental expenses
  • Expenses caused by a natural disaster or major catastrophe
  • Termination or reduction in child support payments or Social Security benefits

Please note that we are unable to make adjustments that include cost of living adjustments, bankruptcy, and consumer debt. We know that these situations may have a real impact on a family’s ability to pay for college, however, they do not pertain to the data collected on the FAFSA, and as such we are unable to consider them based upon law.

File the appeal

  1. Select the appropriate PDF form from our website, or ask the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, (858) 534-4480, to mail a form to you.
  2. Follow the instructions carefully and thoroughly.
  3. Submit the appeal form and any required documentation to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, Student Services Center, 3rd floor north (or mail to 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0013, La Jolla, CA 92093-0013).
  4. All submitted documentation becomes the property of the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and will not be returned. Photocopies are accepted, but you may later be asked to provide original documents. The Financial Aid Office cannot make photocopies of your request or your original documents.

Await the decision

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will review the request and notify you of its decision via e-mail.

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