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Once you have received and reviewed your financial aid award letter, you may appeal the award if your family's financial situation has changed significantly since you filed your application. You may also appeal if the application does not adequately reflect some unusual aspect of your financial situation.

Any of the following circumstances may result in the granting of additional financial aid:

  • Loss of income through unemployment or underemployment for eight weeks or longer
  • Divorce or separation after filing the FAFSA form
  • Death of spouse or parent
  • Unusual expenses related to special education needs of siblings
  • Medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Change in student's off-campus living expenses
  • Additional expenses for computer purchased for educational purposes

To initiate an appeal, please download and complete the appropriate appeal form which can be found in the Forms section of our website. You will need to include a written explanation and supporting documentation detailing your situation, and will be subject to a verification process. To ensure that your appeal is processed accurately, Financial Aid Services will request special documentation. It may include a statement of unemployment and/or termination of benefits, copies of medical bills not covered by insurance, a federal tax return, or expected income for the year.

To determine whether your appeal warrants further consideration, please contact Financial Aid Services before filing. Due to the large number of appeals received, processing may take up to six weeks. Because UMass Amherst commits most aid funding during its first review of on-time applicants, students are encouraged to seek alternative financial resources to meet any additional need.