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This appeal is for applicants who would like to request review of their dependency status for financial aid and do not meet the definition/criteria provided by federal regulations. Circumstances that do not qualify as “unusual circumstances” and that do not merit a dependency override include: parents refusing to contribute to the student’s education; parents unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification; parents not claiming the student as a dependent for income tax purposes; or student demonstrating total self-sufficiency. Please note: Being self-supporting and living on your own is not adequate justification to grant an exception.
Requests for professional judgement review are made by contacting the Financial Aid Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit us at the first floor of the Student Services and Administration Building or call us at 510-885-2784. Additionally, Financial Aid staff may request a review on the student’s behalf at their request. Requests are reviewed by financial aid staff members. If needed, additional documentation and requirements will be requested of the student to submit through our online forms portal.
Please do not wait to reach out to us if you would like to be considered for an Appeal. The Department of Education requires our office to process all aid (including those resulting from appeals) by the last day of the semester that you are enrolled. To ensure that we are meeting Federal Guidelines, please contact us with your request no later than one month prior to the last day of the semester that you are currently enrolled.
Once all documentation has been received, a financial aid counselor or member of FAO management staff will review the request and render a decision. Any professional judgement decisions made by CSUEB staff members are final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education (ED).
The law governing the FSA programs is based on the premise that the family is the first source of the student’s support, and the law provides several criteria that decide if the student is considered independent of his parents for aid eligibility. Note that a student reaching the age of 18 or 21 or living apart from their parents does not affect their dependency status.
Categories and required subsequent documentation for eligible situations to request a professional judgement review for dependency purposes are as follows:
- You have experienced loss of custodial parent, and the other parent is still living but you have not had contact with, or any financial support from this living parent for a significant length of time (more than two years).
- Required Documentation: Three letters of support; one from the student explaining the family situation for the past two years; two letters from objective third parties (i.e., school counselor, teacher, minister, family friend, social worker) which supports your claim for no contact and lack of support from living parent.
- Your family situation is unsafe or unhealthy as the result of physical or emotional abuse, or drug and/or alcohol abuse. In some cases, a professional may have counseled you to live apart from your parent(s).
- Required Documentation: Three letters of support; one from the student explaining the family situation for the past two years; two letters from objective third parties (i.e., school counselor, teacher, minister, family friend, social worker) which supports your claim of an unreasonable or dysfunctional family situation.
- Other Unusual Circumstances: (Be sure your situation is not listed above)
- Required Documentation: Three letters of support; one from the student explaining the family situation for the past two years; two letters from objective third parties (i.e., school counselor, teacher, minister, family friend, social worker) which supports your claim of unusual circumstances. In some cases of political refugee or eligible non-citizens, provide Department of Homeland Security documents.