The Office of Financial Aid has the ability to review you and your family’s special circumstances when determining how much financial aid you may be eligible for. 

Financial Aid Appeal

2023-24 Loss of Income & Medical Appeals
If your financial situation recently changed due to a loss of income or high medical expenses, you can submit an appeal. See instructions on who is eligible and how to appeal below. 

If you or your family experienced a recent hardship that is not reflected on your FAFSA, such as loss of income or unexpected medical expenses, you may complete an income calculation to account for the change in your family's financial situation. The income calculation will determine if your financial aid needs to be reevaluated. Qualifying for grants based on an appeal is rare and highly unlikely. If your appeal is approved, aid is typically provided in the form of additional loan eligibility.

The deadline to complete an appeal is three weeks before the end of the term for which you are requesting the reevaluation. We cannot negotiate financial aid offers or match another school’s offer.

Circumstances we typically consider:

  • Loss of employment
  • Substantial change in income
  • Medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Separation or divorce
  • Death of a parent or spouse
  • Loss of child support or alimony
  • House fire or other natural disaster affecting the home in which you live

Circumstances we do not consider:

  • Different university offering more aid
  • Reduced 401K values
  • Reduced investment values
  • Credit card debt or car payments
  • Parent's inability or unwillingness to borrow Parent PLUS loans
  • If student already has Student Aid Index (SAI) of -1,500 to 0

How much financial aid will I receive?

It depends. The following are examples of special circumstances which illustrate the likelihood of a reevaluation of financial aid eligibility. Please note that each family's situation is unique and we take many factors into account.  

Please be aware that these income scenarios do not reflect assets or investments, which could change your eligibility.

Family Income: $30,000

  • Colorado resident
  • Parent job loss, new income $20,000 ($10,000 loss)

A student in this scenario is already receiving the maximum amount of financial aid available and an appeal would not result in additional financial aid.

Family Income: $250,000

  • Nonresident
  • Parent job loss, new income $150,000 ($100,000 loss)

Revised financial aid would be limited to loans, possibly switched from unsubsidized to subsidized (deferred interest). The updated income is still too high to qualify for grants.

Family Income: $115,000

  • Colorado resident
  • Medical expenses of $25,000 not covered by insurance

Student would be encouraged to submit supporting documentation as their revised income would likely result in additional grant eligibility.

Am I eligible for grants?

Grants are typically given to low-income students and eligibility is based on your Student Aid Index (SAI). Your SAI is a formula created by the FAFSA to determine your family's ability to pay for college. It is not the amount of money your family will need to pay, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive.

  • In previous years, it's unlikely you'll be eligible for a grant if your SAI is more than 18,000 (residents) or more than 6,656 (nonresidents).
  • To meet your cost of attendance, you may consider loan options.


How to Appeal

To determine if a change in your family income impacts your financial aid eligibility, use our income calculator and provide updated financial information. The calculator will allow you to see how the change could potentially impact eligibility for financial aid.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Log in to Buff Portal and navigate to the Financial Aid Card
  2. At the bottom of the card, click More Items
  3. Select Income/Medical Appeal
  4. Select the academic year for which you'd like to submit an appeal
  5. Follow the instructions carefully. The calculator will give an immediate result based on the info you provide. You may be prompted to complete your financial aid appeal by providing additional information. If so, this step is required to be reevaluated for financial aid.
    • If you're required to submit additional information, a financial aid advisor will review your information and determine if an adjustment is possible, which may take about 4 to 6 weeks.