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Re-evaluating Your Financial Aid

If you believe your financial aid file should be re-evaluated because your FAFSA does not reflect your current situation, after reading the following information please contact the Student Financial Services office to discuss your situation. 

The following three items must be completed prior to contacting SFS to discuss your specific circumstances:

1) Completion of the FAFSA for the academic year in question.

2) Receipt of the Award Letter for the academic year in question.

3) Completion of the Cost and Resources Comparison Calculator (CRCC): www.colum.edu/crcc based on the information provided in the Award Letter.  

Financial aid eligibility is determined by, but not limited to:


A drastic change to any of these factors may affect a student’s financial aid eligibility.  If you have special circumstances that were not captured on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Student Financial Services may be able to re-evaluate your need for the current year.  

Re-evaluations are considered for the following circumstances

Re-evaluation of Income Status:

Re-evaluation of Dependency Status:

Please be advised that although you may have very real circumstances that you believe require a Re-evaluation of Financial Aid, the allowable circumstance provided in the Student Financial Service Office’s policies is in accordance with federal regulations and requires that a request for a Re-evaluation is substantiated by appropriate documentation.  If you are unable to provide proper supporting documentation, you will not be able to pursue a Re-evaluation of Financial Aid.

Ineligible Circumstances for a Re-evaluation of Income:

Ineligible Circumstances for a Re-evaluation of Dependency Status:

Preparing for your Re-evaluation Consideration

After reviewing the above information, if you wish to inquire about a Re-evaluation of Financial Aid, please contact our Toll Free Consultation Line at 866-705-0200 to schedule a phone or office appointment with a Student Financial Services Consultant.  

A Re-evaluation of Financial Aid may be completed for one of the circumstances listed above, but please note that if a re-evaluation is performed, it does not guarantee that you will become eligible for additional Title IV aid and that balances will be resolved entirely. Re-evaluations may assist in covering a small portion of the balance, and therefore, students must have a plan to resolve the balance in its entirety.

To ensure we are able to assist you in the most accurate way during your consultation please complete the questions below prior to contacting or meeting with SFS.

Complete the Cost and Resource Comparison Worksheet and bring it with you to your appointment: www.colum.edu/crcc

Income Circumstance Questionnaire:

Dependency Status Circumstance Questionnaire:

Processing and Deadlines

After your initial consultation, if it is determined that you or your family have an allowable circumstance that would warrant a re-evaluation; you will be instructed of the necessary documents required for the re-evaluation process as well as the verification process. You will have 7 business days of your first consultation session to submit the required verification documents. Once verification is complete, you will have 7 business days from the completion of verification to submit required re-evaluation documents. If documents are not received, SFS will not be able to proceed, and the re-evaluation will be voided.

The entire process from start to finish may take a total of 60 business days. This includes the initial review, submission of documents, verification, secondary consultation, final review, FAFSA adjustments, revised awarding (if warranted) and posting of funds. Please note that all funds will remain pending until this entire process has been completed.

SFS will continue to communicate with you throughout the process. You will be informed by your Loopmail and parents will be informed by email if additional documents are needed as well as the approval or denial of your petition.

Change to Dependency Status

Dependent Students

Dependent Students must report their parent's income and assets as well as their own when applying for federal financial aid. The U.S. Department of Education automatically considers you dependent if you answer ‘NO’ to all of the following questions on your 2015-16 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

If you were able to answer ‘YES’ to any of these questions, you are considered an Independent student.  Independent Students only report their own income and assets (and those of a spouse, if married) when applying for federal financial aid. Please note certain circumstances require you to submit corresponding documents for our review. You will be notified by Loopmail if this is the case.

Homeless Determination

Homeless means lacking fixed, regular and adequate housing, which includes living in shelters, motels or cars, or temporarily living with other people because you have nowhere else to go.

Unaccompanied means you are not living in the physical custody of your parent or guardian.

If you are or were at risk of being homeless, in order to answer 'YES' to this question you must have a determination by a high school or school district homeless liaison, a director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program.

If you answered 'NO' to the question above but have unusual circumstances, a dependency override may occur. If you believe you have an unusual circumstance, you should discuss your situation with an SFS Consultant. If, after meeting with an SFS Consultant, it is determined that a dependency override should be pursued, your consultant will then inform you of what documentation will be necessary to document your situation.