Re-evaluating Financial Aid

If you believe your financial aid file should be re-evaluated because your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) does not reflect your current situation, please read the information below. After reading the following information, please contact the Columbia Central office to discuss your situation. 

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 FAFSA, Columbia Central may be able to re-evaluate your need for the current year.

Circumstances Considered for a Re-evaluation

Please be advised that although you may have very real circumstances that you believe requires a re-evaluation of Financial Aid, the allowable circumstance provided in Columbia Central’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.

  • Re-evaluation of Income Status
    • Loss of employment and inability to regain employment after three months
    • Change or reduction income
    • Loss of child support received
    • Unusually high medical and/or dental expenses paid during the year on which financial aid is based
    • One-time income from IRA, pension, annuity, or retirement
  • Re-evaluation of Dependency Status
    • Abusive or unsafe home environment
    • Parental abandonment, i.e. whereabouts of parent(s) unknown and cannot be located
    • Parent(s) incarcerated or institutionalized
    • Death of a single parent 
  • Ineligible Circumstances for a Re-evaluation of Income
    • Loss of untaxed social security benefits or other untaxed income not reported on FAFSA
    • Consumer debt expenses (e.g. credit cards, mortgage, auto, loans, etc.)
    • Home equity, IRA 401k loan payments
    • Primary or secondary tuition costs
    • Bankruptcy (Chapter 7)
    • Medical insurance premiums
    • Income changes that occurred outside of the year on which financial aid is based
    • Elementary or secondary tuition expenses for siblings (dependent students) or children (independent students)
  • Ineligible Circumstances for a Re-evaluation of Dependency Status
    • Student is not claimed as a dependent on parent(s) income tax return
    • Student does not live with parents

Requesting an Appointment for a Re-evaluation

If you wish to inquire about a re-evaluation of financial aid, please contact our Consultation Line at 312-369-7140 to schedule a phone or office appointment with a Columbia Central counselor.  

A re-evaluation 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.
  • Preparing for your Re-evaluation Appointment
    The following three items must be completed prior to contacting Columbia Central 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. Creation of financial plan using resources currently available to you.
  • Income Circumstances

    To ensure we are able to assist you in the most accurate way during your consultation, please consider the below questions regarding the income circumstances that may apply to you:

    • What are the circumstances surrounding this change?
    • What documentation can you provide to substantiate this circumstance?
    • When did this change occur?
    • How much are you currently earning?
    • When did you become unemployed/ have a change in employment status? (Please specify date)
    • Did you receive a severance package? If YES: When was that income received? What amount did you receive?
    • Are you currently receiving unemployment benefits? If YES: When did unemployment benefits start/end? How much do (or did) you receive per month/week?
    • When did (or will) child support cease?
    • What is the monthly amount of child support that you’re currently receiving?
  • Dependency Status Circumstances
    Please be prepared to discuss your current relationship with your parents as it relates to paying for college.

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.

Columbia Central will continue to communicate with you throughout the process. You will be informed via your student email, and you will have 7 business days after your first consultation session to submit the required documents.

Once all of your documents have been received and reviewed, you may be asked to submit additional documents.
  • Re-evaluation Process
    The entire process from start to finish may take a total of 60 business days. This may include:

    • The initial review
    • Submission of documents
    • Verification
    • Secondary consultation
    • Final review
    • FAFSA adjustments
    • Revised awarding (if warranted)
    • Posting of additional funds
  • Important Dates for Re-evaluation
    October 15: Last day to submit a Re-evaluation documents for Fall-only students
    March 1: Last day to submit Re-evaluation documents for Spring students
    May 15: Last day to submit a Re-evaluation documents for Summer term students
    June 1: Submission for all income-based Re-evaluation begin
Academic Dates and Deadlines