Financial Aid Appeals

The UALR Office of Financial Aid follows federal, state and institutional regulations in administering financial aid.

  1. If you have exceptional circumstances that you feel are not addressed by the policies of this office, you may submit a type written request for review.
  2. All supporting documentation should be submitted with the appeal form. Failure to do so will result in denial of the appeal, a request for additional information, or a refusal to take action.
  3. All information will become a part of the student’s financial aid record. Items cannot be returned.
  4. You will receive a written response within four weeks. Appeals submitted at the beginning of a semester may take longer to receive a response.
  5. Students who file an appeal are responsible for payment of tuition and fees and other charges. Failure to make the appropriate payment arrangements by the published confirmation and/or payment deadlines may result in one or more of the following consequences:
    • cancellation of registration
    • assessment of late fees
    • referral of an unpaid account to a collection agency

Types of Financial Aid Appeals

Academic Appeal

A request to reinstate financial aid eligibility after a failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards

  • Students who fail to meet UALR Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards , and have exceptional circumstances, may file an appeal with the UALR Financial Aid Appeals Committee.
  • Required Documentation
    • Typed and signed statement from the student which explains both the extenuating circumstances that caused the failure to make satisfactory academic progress and the change in circumstances that will allow the student to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards at the next evaluation.
    • Supporting documentation that verifies the circumstances referenced in the appeal statement
    • Current copy of the student’s degree plan, signed by your advisor
  • Committee Response
    • The decision of the Committee is final. No additional appeal is permitted.
    • All appeals will receive a written response within four weeks of the submission of all required documents. Response time may be longer if the appeal is submitted at the beginning of a semester.

Scholarship Appeals

A request to reinstate scholarship eligibility after failure to meet renewal requirements

Academic Scholarships Students who fail to meet Academic Scholarship Renewal Requirements, and have extenuating circumstances, may file an appeal with the UALR Financial Aid Appeals Committee.

  • Required Documentation
    • Typed and signed statement from the student which explains the extenuating circumstances that caused the failure to meet the scholarship renewal requirements.
    • Supporting documentation that verifies the circumstances referenced in the appeal statement
    • Current copy of the student’s degree plan
  • Committee Response
    • The decision of the Committee is final. No additional appeal is permitted.
    • All appeals will receive a written response within four weeks of the submission of all required documents. Response time may be longer if the appeal is submitted after the appeal deadline date.

Private Scholarships

Students who fail to meet renewal requirements for a private scholarship and have extenuating circumstances may file an appeal with the Office of Development

  • Required Documentation
    • Typed and signed letter of appeal from the student which explains the extenuating circumstances that caused the failure to meet the scholarship renewal requirements.
    • Supporting documentation that verifies the circumstances referenced in the appeal statement
    • The Private Scholarship Committee will review the appeal and notify the student of the outcome within four weeks.

Other Requests for an Exception to Financial Aid Policies

Request for Financial Reconsideration

The federal needs analysis formulas use the most recent federal income tax information to calculate financial need. For example, financial need for the 2014-2015 academic year is based on income reported on the 2013 federal tax If the student’s and/or family’s financial situation(s) have changed since the reported tax year, due to unusual or extenuating circumstances, a request for financial reconsideration may be submitted.

Note that the change in financial circumstances must be involuntary in order to qualify for financial reconsideration. Loss of income due to a return to school is considered a choice, and does not support a financial reconsideration. In addition, a reduction in income does not automatically guarantee an increase in financial aid eligibility.

Required Documentation

  • Typed and signed explanation of the change in financial circumstances
  • Documentation of the reason for the reduction in income (termination letter, verification of layoff or job termination; documentation of required job transfer, etc.)
  • Statement from previous employer confirming last date of employment
  • Documentation of year-to-date earnings for all wage earners in household: student (and spouse, if married), and ,if student is dependent, parent and parent’s spouse
  • Documentation of year-to-date unemployment benefits
  • Documentation of any other expected income, including job severance pay
  • Verification of FAFSA income (if not previously provided):
    • Verification Worksheet
    • Copy of student’s (and parent’s, if dependent) most recent federal tax transcript

Response

  • All requests will receive a written response within four weeks of the submission of all required documents.
  • Students who have filed a request for financial reconsideration are still responsible for payment of tuition and fees and other charges (including penalties assessed for failure to pay by the deadline dates).

Request for a Change in Dependency Status

Students who do not meet the criteria for independent status are considered to be dependent students. Dependent students are required to provide parent information and parent signature on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The parent data is taken into account when determining financial aid eligibility for a dependent student. Students who have extenuating circumstances may file an appeal to be considered exempt from the requirement to provide parent information on the FAFSA.

The following conditions do not support a dependency status change:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency

 

Required Documentation

  • Typed and signed statement explaining the extenuating circumstances that prevent you from providing parent information and parent signature.
  • Supporting letter(s) from a professional, such as a high school counselor, member of the clergy, attorney, caseworker, counselor or therapist. The individual writing the letter of support cannot be a family member, and the letter must confirm the circumstances listed in your statement.
  • Copy of your most recent federal tax return.

Response

  • All requests will receive a written response within four weeks of the submission of all required documents.
  • Students who have filed a request for dependency override are still responsible for payment of tuition and fees and other charges (including penalties assessed for failure to pay by the deadline dates).

Other Types of Appeals

Request for Refund of Tuition and Fee Charges

Questions concerning tuition and fee payment and/or refunds should be directed to the Student Accounts Office in Student Services Center, Room 120, (501) 569-3450, or by email at studentaccounts@ualr.edu.