In accordance with Federal regulations, University of Maryland Global Campus may take into account special circumstances that are not reflected in the information provided on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid, but may affect the family's ability to pay for a college education.

Administrators from the UMGC Office of Financial Aid can make adjustments to a student's expected family contribution for education expenses and/or financial aid dependency status as determined by Federal guidelines. These adjustments only affect need-based financial aid and are only made after receiving sufficient documentation from a student to justify an exception to normal Federal financial aid program guidelines.

Special Conditions Appeal

Significant changes in your family's income may merit recalculating your financial aid eligibility. Please review the information below to determine if you have an eligible reason for appeal.

Eligible Reasons for Requesting a Special Conditions Appeal

Note: It is highly recommended that graduate students apply for a Graduate PLUS loan if they are seeking additional funding for the 2019–20 academic year.

Special Conditions Appeal Process

To begin the appeal process for the 2019–20 aid year, please select and print the appropriate form from those listed above. Your form must be completed in full and returned to the Office of Financial Aid with supporting documentation for your specific circumstance. Please read the form carefully to identify what additional information needs to be submitted with the form.

After receiving your appeal, the Office of Financial Aid will notify you within 5 to 7 business days via e-mail if any additional information is needed to support your appeal. Please monitor your e-mail and MyUMGC so that you can respond promptly and appropriately to any requests made by our office.

Incomplete appeals will not be accepted or reviewed. If you are unable to submit any of the documents listed on the appeal form for your specific circumstance, please address the reason for not providing that information in your statement.

The filing deadline for 2019–2020 appeals is May 1, 2020.

A Special Condition Appeal form and supporting documentation can be submitted online at the Help Center. Appeal forms received after the deadline for a given semester will be reviewed for the following semester.

A decision will typically be rendered in 10 of business days after your completed appeal is received by the UMGC Office of Financial Aid. All appeal decisions are final.

A Special Conditions Appeal is different from the Exceptions to Course Drop and Withdrawal and Refund Policies (Academic Appeals). Get information about refund exceptions at UMGC.

Dependency Appeal

The U.S. Department of Education determines your student dependency status based on the information you provided on the FAFSA. In certain situations, students may submit an appeal to UMGC requesting that their dependency status be overridden. UMGC will use this process to review your situation and determine if you are eligible to be considered an independent student. An appeal can only be approved in certain limited and exceptional circumstances.

Important: The unwillingness and/or inability of your parents to financially support you and/or living on your own and paying your own bills are not by themselves reasons that demonstrate "exceptional circumstances" and cannot be considered.

Dependency Appeal Process

To begin the appeal process, you must submit a 2019–2020 Dependency Appeal Form. This form must be completed in full and returned to the Office of Financial Aid with documentation that supports your reason for appealing. Please read the form carefully to ensure that you submit all required documents. Your appeal must contain the following:

  1. A signed and dated statement that includes a complete history of
    • Your relationship with your biological and/or legally adoptive parents
    • Specific dates of events that caused your separation from your parents
    • Where you have lived since separating from your parents
    • Sources of income (include copies of your 2017 W2 form(s) and signed federal Tax Return)
    • An explanation of how you have supported yourself while living apart from your parents
  2. Two signed and dated letters from professionals (on their letterhead) documenting their first-hand knowledge of your exceptional circumstance. The Office of Financial Aid may contact these references for additional information or clarification of your situation.
    • Professionals include clergy, counselors, social workers, police, physicians, etc.
    • Letters should be detailed and refer to actual events—they should not be restatements of information you have shared about relevant events, but should reflect the writer's direct knowledge.
    • Police reports may, in some cases, substitute for one of the required letters.

The filing deadline for 2019–20 dependency appeals is May 1, 2020.

Your Dependency Appeal form and supporting documentation should be submitted together via UMGC's secure document submission page. Incomplete appeals will not be accepted or reviewed. If you are unable to provide any of the documents listed on the appeal form for your specific circumstance, please address the reason(s) for not providing that information in your statement.

If any additional information is needed, the Office of Financial Aid will notify you 5 to 7 business days after receiving your initial appeal submission. Please monitor your e-mail and MyUMGC so that you can respond promptly and appropriately to any requests made by our office.

A decision will typically be made within 10 business days of receipt of your complete submission. All appeal decisions are final and the student is responsible for any balance owed to UMGC, regardless of the outcome.

The U.S. Department of Education holds UMGC accountable for all appeal decisions made.

Dependency Appeal Renewal Process

If you have previously been approved for a dependency status override at UMGC, you will need to request a renewal for aid year 2019-20 (Summer 2019 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2020). Your renewal request must include:

  1. The completed and signed 2019-20 Dependency Appeal Renewal Form.
  2. A typed, signed and dated, one-page personal statement that addresses the items listed below. Be sure to provide specific dates for all events mentioned in your statement.
    • Your relationship with your biological and/or legally adoptive parents. (Include their first and last names and when you last spoke with each of them.)
    • Where you currently reside.
    • How you are continuing to support yourself while living apart from your parents.
  3. Copies of your 2017 W-2 / 1099 forms and a signed copy of your 2017 IRS Form 1040/A/EZ federal tax return. If you do not have a copy of your federal 1040, please request a free official 2017 Tax Return Transcript from the IRS at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript.

The submission deadline for 2019-20 dependency appeal renewal requests is May 1, 2020.

Your renewal form and signed statement should be submitted together via UMGC's secure document submission page. Incomplete requests will not be accepted or reviewed.

If any additional information is needed, the Office of Financial Aid will notify you 5 to 7 business days after receiving your initial renewal submission. Please monitor your e-mail and MyUMGC so that you can respond promptly and appropriately to any requests made by our office.

A decision will typically be made within 10 business days of receipt of your complete submission. All appeal decisions are final and the student is responsible for any balance owed to UMGC, regardless of the outcome.

The U.S. Department of Education holds UMGC accountable for all appeal decisions made.

Cost of Attendance Adjustment

We use Federal guidelines to develop an estimated Cost of Attendance, or a financial aid budget, based on indirect and direct costs associated with your education at UMGC. In some cases, you can request to have your COA adjusted to meet your actual expenses.

Additional Costs that can be Factored

If you incur additional expenses related to your education that are not included in the COA, the Office of Financial Aid may be able to increase your COA. Additional expenses must be for the semester/academic year for which you are requesting an exception. Previous years' or projected expenses cannot factor into the adjustment.

Additional Expenses

Potential Additional Expenses

Expense Required Documentation

Auto repair costs other than routine maintenance

Itemized bill/receipt and proof of payment

Books and/or supplies

Receipts or proof of payment

Day care expenses for dependents

Documentation showing each child's name and age, and the monthly expense for each child such as a statement from your day care provider or your bill along with receipts or proof of payment

Expenses associated with a disability that are not covered by a third party

Itemized bill/receipt and proof of payment

Housing costs beyond those allotted in the COA

Copy of lease agreement/mortgage statement and receipts/proof of payment

Paid out-of-pocket medical expenses

Itemized out-of-pocket expenses and the date paid; receipts or proof of payment

Note: Additional documentation may be requested.

Adjustment Request Process

To apply for a COA adjustment, submit a signed statement along with documentation that supports your request.  Your statement should include the reason for your request and a clear and concise explanation on how your expenses exceed your current COA.

Appeals that do not include documentation will not be considered. The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to request additional documentation.

Once a complete appeal is received, your documentation will be reviewed by the appeal committee and if your additional expenses qualify, we will adjust your COA and reevaluate your financial aid for the award year.

If you receive two appeal approvals within the same academic year, all other appeal submissions will be denied.

A decision will typically be made within 10 business days of receipt of your complete submission. All appeal decisions are final and the student is responsible for any balance owed to UMGC, regardless of the outcome.

The U.S. Department of Education holds UMGC accountable for all appeal decisions made.