Special circumstances

VCU Financial Aid will review aid appeals for the following special circumstances:

  • Loss of wages (student, spouse or parent)
  • Separation or divorce
  • Death of parent or spouse
  • Dependent care expenses
  • Unusually high medical, dental, vision or prescription expenses not covered by insurance 

Appeals will not be considered for the following:

  • IRA or pension withdrawals
  • Consumer debt or bankruptcy
  • Gambling winnings
  • K-12 private school tuition
  • Capital gains
  • Legal expenses
  • Cost of living adjustments

Some appeal circumstances may require additional information or documentation; please see below for further details. Once all documentation has been collected, the financial aid counselor will electronically submit the case to the professional judgment committee for review. The committee will provide a decision to the financial counselor, who will contact the student regarding the decision.

Decisions made by the committee are final. There is no appeal process to the U.S. Department of Education.

If your special circumstances appeal is approved, the office will determine if you are eligible for other federal aid programs, federal COVID-19 emergency grants, or institutional or state aid programs. In some cases, an approved appeal may not result in additional consideration for aid based on unique award eligibility requirements.

Appeal circumstances VCU will review

2020-21

2021-22

Dependency override

A student may have unusual circumstances that justify a change in status from dependent to independent. All dependency overrides are made on a case-by-case basis. A student must submit a Dependency Override Request Form that can be obtained from a financial aid counselor. Students who have previously received a dependency override must submit a Dependency Override Reaffirmation Statement.

Financial counselors may be reached (804) 828-1550 or by logging in to Navigate.