Special or Unusual Circumstance

Appeal Information for a Special Circumstance or Unusual Circumstance

Under Federal law, a student and their family are primarily responsible to cover the cost of attending their college of choice to the extent that they are able. However, the U.S Department of Education and Benedictine University’s Office of Financial Aid recognizes that the information collected by the FAFSA may not accurately reflect each student’s unique circumstances. If you feel that the information reported on your FAFSA does not accurately reflect your family circumstance, Benedictine’s Office of Financial Aid may be able to adjust your financial aid eligibility based on your situation.

Circumstance Appeal Process

The Appeal process requires a thorough review by the Office of Financial Aid to determine what changes, if any, may be appropriate based on your FAFSA results. If you believe you have a unique circumstance, you can contact our office by coming in person, calling, emailing, or making a virtual appointment.

    1. Review Financial Aid award notification letter
      Review the Financial Aid Notification award letter to determine if there is existing financial need.
    2. Submit Documentation
      Determine what unique circumstance applies your situation and provide documentation to verify the circumstance in your appeal. It is best to gather as much written evidence of your situation as you can. It is the student’s responsibility to turn in any requested documentation in a timely manner.
    3. Processing
      The Office of Financial Aid determines if all the required documents have been submitted. If additional documentation is needed, the student will receive a request thru their BenU email account. Keep in mind that you will be selection for verification before any adjustments will be made to your FAFSA. Processing takes between 3-4 weeks after the submitted documentation has been received and verified.
    4. Decision
      The Office of Financial Aid will determine if a student’s appeal request meets the criteria to make data element changes to their FAFSA.

If the appeal is approved, appropriate changes will be made to the student’s FAFSA and submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.  The U.S. Department of Education will recalculate the Student Aid Index (SAI) for need-based eligibility. The student will be notified of the changes thru their BenU email account. In some cases, an adjustment does not increase the student’s total awarded amount or eligibility for grants.

If denied, a notice will be email to the student BenU’s email account.

For further questions, or to set up an appointment with the Office of Financial Aid, please contact us at [email protected] or (630) 829-6100. Our office is located on the 2nd Floor of Goodwin Hall

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