Some students may find themselves in situations outside of the normal financial aid process. Appeals are available to assist, where the aid program allows. Each appeal is reviewed on a case-by-case basis on the merits of that appeal, available funding, and within the confines of regulations and comparative situations to ensure fairness and equity.

Cost of Attendance Increase

Financial aid eligibility is based on a standard cost of attendance (COA). A student’s total financial aid offer may not exceed their COA. In some cases, additional aid a student applies for to cover educational expenses they incur, will exceed their standard COA and be denied. A Cost of Attendance Increase form can be submitted to increase the COA in these instances. Adjustments typically result in increases to loan or work-study eligibility, but are ultimately based on the type of funds available, eligibility policies, and regulations.

Expenses often considered for COA Adjustment include educational costs that exceed the estimated expense in the COA, or expenses that are not included, such as:

  • The cost of purchasing a computer (allowed only once during attendance at Miami).
  • The cost of transportation.
  • The cost of childcare expenses.
  • The cost of books, course materials, supplies, and equipment.

Emergency Funding Request

Students experiencing food insecurity, housing insecurity, technological challenges, or any other immediate financial crisis should submit the Emergency Funding Request Form.

Homeless Youth Determination

Students that are either (1) homeless and unaccompanied or (2) at risk of being homeless, unaccompanied, and providing for their own living expenses should complete the Homelessness Determination form to receive a homeless determination from Miami. The homeless determination will remove the requirement to provide parental information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and result in Independent student status for purposes of the FAFSA. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal

To maintain federal aid eligibility, federal aid recipients must make satisfactory progress toward their degree. Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative 2.00 GPA, complete at least 67% of the courses they attempt, and complete their degree within 150% of the length of their academic program. Graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 and complete their degree within five years from acceptance for Master’s programs and 10 years from acceptance for Doctoral programs. 

Students should submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal if they have a reason(s) that prevented them from meeting SAP and a  SAP Maximum Timeframe Evaluation Appeal if they have a reason(s) that prevented them from completing their degree in the allotted time frame. Appeals must include the reason(s) for the student not meeting SAP, any corrective action the student plans to take to improve academically, as well as documentation to support the appeal. Appeals are reviewed by a committee, and students will be notified of the outcome within three weeks after a complete appeal is received. Common reasons for an appeal include:
  • Personal illness or injury that needed a lengthy recovery time
  • Death or illness of a family member
  • Trauma that impaired emotional and/or physical health
  • COVID-19 related circumstances

Please visit for additional information.

Scholarship Appeal

Students submitting a Scholarship Appeal will need to select the appropriate reason for the appeal and provide all required documentation. The Scholarship Appeals Committee decides requests, pending available funding. Scholarships approved for part time students are prorated based on enrollment. Once an appeal decision has been made, you will be notified of the outcome. Examples for appeal include:

  • Scholarship canceled due to GPA
  • Apply scholarship to winter or summer term if planning to graduate at the end of the summer/winter term, and you have an unused semester of scholarship eligibility.
  • Apply scholarship when enrolled less than full-time because you are in your final semester and full-time enrollment is not required to graduate. 
  • Reinstate scholarship after re-enrollment from academic suspension, deferring, relocating from Miami Regionals, transferring from another university or withdrawing.
    • If you are relocating to Oxford from the regional campus, the fall/spring semester(s) at the regional campus will count as semesters used for Miami scholarships, even when the scholarship was not paid out.
    • If a student decides to attend a Miami Regional campus as a first-time incoming student, their original Oxford scholarship offer is forfeited, and reinstatement cannot be appealed.

Special Circumstance Appeal: Change to Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

Special Circumstances refer to financial situations that justify an aid administrator adjusting data elements in the expected family contribution (EFC) calculation. A student may request a review of aid eligibility if the family’s financial situation changed after the tax year used when filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Staff may use professional judgment to re-evaluate a student’s financial need by adjusting figures reported on the FAFSA. Common reasons for appeal include: 

  • Loss of Earnings
  • Loss of Untaxed Income or Benefits
  • One-time Lump Sum Exclusion
  • Separation or Divorce
  • Death of Student’s Parent or Student’s Spouse
  • Medical/Dental Expenses
  • Repayment of Educational Loans that Cannot be Deferred
  • Parent(s) or Student’s Spouse in College and Making Education Payments that are not Reimbursed

Bankruptcy and consumer debt are circumstances that will not be approved. Private school tuition is a circumstance that is typically not approved.

Once all required documentation is submitted, the appeal will be carefully reviewed. Incomplete appeals will not be reviewed. Students will be notified of the appeal results and/or any changes to their financial aid eligibility within 4 weeks.

Unusual Circumstances Appeal/Dependency Override

Unusual Circumstance/dependency override refers to the conditions that justify an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation, such as parental abandonment or incarceration, abusive environments, human trafficking, refugee or asylee status.

Most students are considered dependent students, and must provide parental information on the FAFSA. Students that have unusual circumstances may complete the Unusual Circumstances Appeal/Dependency Override form if they believe they should be considered an independent student. Please note that the benchmark for the Unusual Circumstance/Dependency Override appeal is a permanent separation and financial independence from both parents.

Appeals require supporting documentation. Students will be notified of the appeal results within two weeks. If the appeal is approved, your FAFSA will be selected for the Federal Verification process.The following situations do not qualify as an unusual circumstance and do not merit an unusual circumstance appeal:    

  • You are financially independent or demonstrate total self-sufficiency
  • Your parents refuse to contribute to your education
  • Your parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA
  • Your parents do not claim you as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • You were married after completing the FAFSA
Visit for more information on dependency status.