Appeal Financial Aid

Did you lose your financial aid or told you were not eligible for financial aid? If you feel you lost your aid due to extenuating circumstances, you can make a financial aid appeal.

What Counts As An Extenuating Circumstance

You might be able to claim an extenuating circumstances if you experienced something:

  • unexpected
  • that could not be planned for
  • or that was outside of your control

Examples of and Documentation Required to Support an Extenuating Circumstance

Circumstance Examples of Supporting Documentation
Your own mental or physical illness, injury, disability Letter from a licensed healthcare provider on the provider's letterhead
Death of a family member or significant person in your life Copy of obituary or death certificate
Illness, accident, or injury of significant person in your life Physician's statement, police report, or documentation from third-party professional (e.g., hospital billing statement)
Your own divorce or separation or of your parents Attorney's letter on law firm's letterhead, petition for dissolution, or copy of divorce decree
Employment changes Documentation of job loss or other changes in employment
You take on an additional degree program, or you complete your degree and start working towards a new degree Detailed statement of the reason for your changes and a copy of your My Progress plan from MyCollege

Circumstances such as lack of maturity, lack of effort, and typical work and family life balance will not be considered.

How to Make a Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress Appeal

Submit all appeal forms and documentation to the Financial Aid office at least fifteen business days before the semester start date. If you submit an appeals after this date, your appeal will be processed before the end of the semester. If you submit an appeal, the financial aid office will not hold your classes.

  1. Go to GetSAP.
  2. Log in using your Central Piedmont student ID and password.
  3. Complete the session in your Dashboard entitled “Understanding Satisfactory Academic Progress and the Financial Aid SAP Appeal Process.” The session should take 30-40 minutes. You will need an 85% or higher pass rate.
  4. Print the "Congratulations" page to confirm you passed the session.
  5. Under "Related Links," fill out the appeal form completely and print. Be sure to address each term your extenuating circumstances occurred.
  6. Submit your completed appeal form with your statement explaining the circumstances that led to your inability to meet satisfactory academic progress standards, including an explanation outlining circumstances and what steps taken to allow you to meet satisfactory academic progress standards in the future. Submit all paperwork – your appeal form, the "Congratulations" confirmation page, and supporting documentation of your extenuating circumstances – to a Central Piedmont financial aid office.
  7. An email will be sent to your Central Piedmont student email account within 7–10 business days after you submit your appeal and documentation.

Submitting an appeal does not guarantee that your financial aid will be reimbursed. You will be informed of your appeal decision by email (sent to your Central Piedmont email account). You may also view your satisfactory academic progress (SAP) status and the determination of your appeals in MyCollege.

If your financial aid appeal is approved, you will be placed on Financial Aid Appeal Probation and will be reinstated for financial aid eligibility. Approved appeals will clearly state the condition(s) for eligibility and/or reinstatement and your academic plan.

Your appeal must address why you failed to make satisfactory progress and what has changed in your situation that will allow you to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress in the future. The satisfactory academic progress appeal form must be submitted with a statement and documentation to the Financial Aid Office. The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee or a financial aid representative will review your appeal and notify you by sending a notification to your Central Piedmont email address. Appeals are not retroactive — they are approved for your current (if enrolled)semester or the next semester of enrollment. You are generally limited to two suspension appeals requests while attending Central Piedmont. The later appeal must be based on a different reason from the first appeal.

Professional Judgment Appeal

Central Piedmont's Financial Aid office may take your special circumstances into account to make adjustments to your expected family contribution for educational expenses, standard budget, and/or financial aid dependency status, as determined by federal guidelines. These adjustments only affect need-based aid. Adjustments must be reasonable and documented, and Central Piedmont is held accountable for its decisions. If you request consideration for any of these categories of adjustment, complete, sign, and submit the request for professional judgment form along with the required documentation. A committee will review your request in the order it was received. The committee’s decision is final. You will be notified in an email of your professional judgment decision within 3–4 weeks. 

Any professional judgment will require a Verification Worksheet to be completed and a copy of current tax information for both parent and/or student.

The Financial Aid office's policy is that we begin to use professional judgment to make adjustments to the expected family contribution beginning July 1 for the upcoming award year. Accuracy in your income projection(s) is very important. It is out policy to not process future adjustments for any student who underestimates his/her household income by more than 15% for an adjustment calculation. For adjustments to income processed after January 1 of the award year, you and your parents will be asked to provide current tax forms and W-2s.

Adjusting Your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)

The Financial Aid office may recalculate your or your parents' Expected Family Contribution for educational expenses if you can document that you (or your parent, if dependent, or spouse, if married), has had a change in financial circumstances due to certain reasons. The following are conditions/reasons for which you may request an adjustment to your expected family contribution. The listed required documents may not be the only documents needed once the professional judgment has been reviewed.

Death of A Parent or Your Spouse

Required documentation:

  • a copy of the death certificate
  • W2’s and current federal tax returns for student or for surviving parent

Loss of Employment (For at Least 3 months): Parent/Independent Student/Spouse

Required documentation:

  • letter from previous employer on company letterhead stating the last day of employment and the reason for unemployment
  • earnings up to the last day of employment
  • copy of current 1040
  • statement from Unemployment office stating benefits and beginning and ending dates
  • retirement pay statement (if applicable)
Loss of Earnings Due to Disability

Required documentation:

  • letter from a physician stating the nature and date of the disability
  • earnings up to the last day of employment
Loss of untaxed income and benefits

Required documentation: documentation certifying loss of benefits or untaxed income

Divorce or legal separation of parent or student

Required documentation:

  • copy or the Divorce Decree and/or a letter from the attorney stating date of separation.
  • W2’s and current federal tax returns for independent student or supporting parent.

One-time income

Examples: inheritance, IRA distribution, retroactive lump-sum payment

Required documentation:

  • documentation of one-time income, including type and dollar amount
  • statement and receipts showing how funds were spent, invested, or rolled over

Non-elective medical or dental expense not covered by insurance

Required documentation:

  • current federal tax return,
  • Schedule A itemized deductions, and/or
  • receipts of medical and dental payments not covered by insurance if you did not itemize on your Federal tax return. (Highlight your portion of payment and provide itemized totals on unreimbursed amount.) This needs to be the amount that you have already paid out.)

Elementary and secondary education tuition

Required documentation: copy of receipt from elementary/secondary school for this academic year

Maximum Time Frame Recalculation Request

If you have attempted more than 150% of the published credits required for their program of study, you are considered not meeting satisfactory academic progress. If you are disqualified from receiving financial aid due to exceeding the 150% maximum time frame, you may appeal that decision by completing the "Understanding Satisfactory Academic Progress and the Financial Aid SAP Appeal Process" on GetSAP. You must be meeting the cumulative 2.0-grade point average and 67% cumulative completion rate to submit a maximum time frame appeal.

If it is mathematically determined that you cannot complete your chosen program of study within the maximum time frame, you will be placed in suspension status.

Examples for federal maximum time frame:

  • associate degree with 60 total credits: 60 x 150% = maximum of 90 credits for financial aid funding
  • certificate program with 16 total credits: 16 x 150% = maximum of 24 credits for financial aid funding

The appeal must contain a description of the extenuating circumstances which led to the need for you to exceed the 150% limit without completing a program. You must also provide a timetable of the remaining coursework for program completion. The Financial Aid Office may create a plan, of up to four semesters, to assist you in completing your program of study.

Steps to Appeal Maximum Credits Time Frame

Steps to make a financial aid appeal

You may request a "recalculation" of the maximum time frame component if you:

  • have a change in your program of study
  • attempt multiple programs
  • have successfully completed a program and are returning to pursue another program. If deemed appropriate, the recalculation would include only the credit hours that are applicable to your current program(s) of study. In the case of multiple degrees, each program will be calculated separately to only include the credit hours that are applicable to each program.

If your financial aid Maximum Timeframe Recalculation Request is approved, you will be reinstated for financial aid eligibility. Approved appeals will clearly state the condition(s) for eligibility and/or reinstatement and your academic plan.

You may only request the recalculation twice in your academic career at Central Piedmont. A review of your remaining aid eligibility and your ability to complete will be taken into consideration if you are completing multiple programs. You must be meeting the GPA and completion rate requirements for a recalculation to be approved. You may request a recalculation of eligibility for maximum timeframe by submitting a Maximum Timeframe Recalculation Request Form to the Financial Aid Office.

Regaining Federal Student Aid Eligibility for Maximum Timeframe

If you successfully appeal the 150% time frame, you are required to complete 100% of everything attempted from that point forward to complete your degree (no withdrawals, no incompletes, no grades lower than a C). Once you are on maximum time frame, you will be unable to take action to reestablish progress unless your appeal is approved.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Status and Appeal Notification

You will be notified of your satisfactory academic progress at the end of each registered semester via email to your Central Piedmont student email account. You will also be notified of your academic status upon receipt of your Institutional Student Aid Report via a document tracking letter sent to your Central Piedmont student email account. You may also view your updated status on MyCollege under Financial Aid.

Appealing Unusual Enrollment

The U.S. Department of Education has established new regulations to prevent fraud and abuse in the Federal Pell Grant Program by identifying students with unusual enrollment histories. Some students who have an unusual enrollment history (UEH) have legitimate reasons for their enrollment at multiple institutions. However, such an enrollment history requires our office to review your file to determine future federal financial aid eligibility. If selected by the Department of Education (via the FAFSA), a resolution must be determined before the student receives financial aid.

Definition of Unusual Enrollment History

The specific pattern the Department of Education uses to select students includes those students who have received a Federal Pell Grant at multiple institutions during the past three academic years. Once the Department of Education indicates that a student has an unusual enrollment history, the Financial Aid office must then take action and review the educational history before determining federal financial aid eligibility for that student.

Unusual Enrollment Requirements

If selected for unusual enrollment, the Financial Aid Office will notify you. You would need to complete the Unusual Enrollment Appeal form and provide a copy of all transcripts from previous institutions attended during the past four years. You are required to have received academic credit at any school, while receiving the Federal Pell Grant, during those relevant academic years. The Financial Aid Office will verify academic credit was obtained at each school during the relevant years. If so, you would be notified that the requirement is satisfied. If you failed to receive academic credit at any institution during the relevant award years, your federal and state financial aid would be denied, and you would be notified.

Unusual Enrollment Appeal Process

You can appeal the financial aid denial by submitting an Unusual Enrollment History (UEH) Appeal Form; a letter explaining the unusual enrollment history; transcripts from all colleges attended; and, documentation to support the explanation provided in the appeal letter. All appeal forms and documentation will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office, and you will be notified of the decision.

Regaining Federal Student Aid Eligibility for Unusual Enrollment

If you are denied federal student aid based on an Unusual Enrollment History Appeal, you may have your financial aid eligibility reinstated once you have completed one academic term consisting of six credit hours of curriculum coursework in an eligible program of study. You must also meet the college's standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). You may not drop or withdraw from (officially or unofficially) any course after the term begins. At the end of the completed semester, you should submit a letter for reinstatement with your final grade report.

If you regain eligibility either by appeal or by completing a successful term, you would receive financial aid beginning in the payment period that the approval is given. For example, if you were denied in the fall term and attend a minimum of 6 credit hours and successfully meet the stipulations at the end of the fall term, you would be eligible for federal aid in the spring term.

Dependency Override Appeals

Federal financial aid regulations assume that your family has primary responsibility for meeting educational costs. If you are considered a dependent student according to the federal financial aid definition, your aid eligibility is determined by using parent income and asset information in addition to your information.

Your student dependency status is determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on your responses to specific questions on the FAFSA. For financial aid purposes, you are considered an independent student per federal regulations if you meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • Born before January 1, 1997
  • Married as of the date FAFSA signed
  • Have children who receive more than half their support from you, OR have legal dependents, other than a spouse or children, who live with you and who receive more than half their support from you
  • Attending graduate-level program of study during the 2020-21 academic year
  • Veteran of U.S. Armed Forces, or have attended a service academy and were released under a condition other than dishonorable
  • Currently serving on active duty in U.S. Armed Forces (other than for training)
  • Emancipated Minor or in Legal Guardianship as determined by the court in your state of legal residence
  • Orphan, Ward of Court, Foster Care (after age 13)
  • A self-supporting unaccompanied youth who is homeless or at risk of homelessness (as certified by governmental or school agency)

If you do not meet any of the above conditions, you are classified as a Dependent student.

A dependency override occurs when a financial aid administrator exercises professional judgment and overrides the Department of Education’s criteria for dependent students. An override may only be granted on a case-by-case basis if you have unusual and exceptional circumstances. These circumstances must show compelling reason for you to be considered independent rather than dependent. In addition, dependency overrides need to be approved each year.

The following are some examples of conditions that could warrant a dependency override:

  • Documented abandonment
  • Parental drug abuse
  • Parental mental incapacity
  • Physical or emotional abuse
  • Severe estrangement from parents
  • Parental Incarceration

By Federal Law, the following conditions do not warrant a dependency override:

  • Your parents refuse to provide information on the FAFSA application or for verification
  • Your parents do not claim you as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Your parents are unwilling or unable to contribute to your education
  • You demonstrate self-sufficiency
  • You are reluctant to request income information from your parents
  • You do not wish to communicate with parents

If you wish to seek a dependency override, Central Piedmont Financial Aid policy requires that you complete the Central Piedmont Dependency Override Appeal. Decisions made at other institutions are not accepted.

You should complete the Dependency Override form if you are considered a dependent student for federal financial aid and believe you have compelling extenuating circumstances which should allow you to be considered an independent student. Return the completed form with the required documentation to the Office of Financial Aid. We understand the sensitive nature of these circumstances. All documentation received by our office will be kept confidential.


  • Complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA online prior to completing and submitting the Dependency Override Appeal.
  • When submitting your appeal, you will be required to meet with a financial aid staff member.
  • The determination of whether or not to approve a dependency override is made by the Office of Financial Aid at Central Piedmont – not the U.S. Department of Education. All decisions made by the Office of Financial Aid on dependency overrides are final and not appealable.

Dependency Override Appeal Process

1. Personal Statement

On a separate sheet of paper, tell us in your own words why you are requesting a dependency override. Be sure to describe the following:

  • the nature of your relationship with your parents
  • the location of both parents and when you last had contact with them
  • why you cannot obtain information and/or support from your parents

Sign and date your statement.

2. Third-Party Statements

Provide at least two letters from third-party adult individuals who personally have knowledge of your situation and who can verify your circumstances. At least one letter (on letterhead) must be from a guidance counselor, physician, social worker, clergy person, or another individual who has been involved in the circumstances in a professional capacity. All letters must include details as to how the person knows you, how long they have known you, and how they have been involved and/or have first-hand knowledge of your situation.

The individuals submitting letters cannot be related to one another, nor can they reside at the same address. A telephone number and address where the individual can be reached for follow up questions must be included.

3. Dependency Override Appeal Form

Complete all sections of the appeal form.

4. Supporting Documentation

In addition to your personal statement, third-party statements, and the appeal form, you must provide the following documents with your appeal:

  • Copy of 2018 Federal Tax Return Transcripts. If you are not required to file, be sure to complete Section 4 of the appeal form and attach copies of your W-2’s or 1099 forms.
  • Complete a Dependent and Independent Worksheet.
  • Copy of your current lease or rental agreement. If you do not have either, attach a signed statement from your current landlord verifying your tenancy.
  • Documentation needed in the determination of dependency status

Meet with a member of Financial Aid Staff

Once you have completed the appeal form and gathered your statements and supporting documentation, contact Central Piedmont’s Office of Financial Aid to make arrangements to meet with a Financial Aid Counselor and to submit your appeal in-person.

After Filing the Dependency Override Appeal

  • If your appeal is approved, we will notify you via email, and will submit the override to the Central Processing System. Your financial aid will then be packaged based on independent status.
  • If your appeal is not approved, we will notify you via email of our decision. In order to receive a financial aid package, you must provide parent financial information and signatures on your FAFSA.

All decisions on dependency overrides are made based on Professional Judgment by the Office of Financial Aid at Central Piedmont. All decisions on appeals are final.

Appeals Statuses

Approved Appeal

If your appeal is approved, you will be placed on “Probation” for your current or next semester of attendance and will be notified of how many credit hours you will need to complete in order to regain satisfactory academic progress and how many terms are allotted to complete graduation requirements (in the case of a maximum time frame appeal). You would be placed on an academic plan that must be followed in order to continue enrollment. The plan may include requirements for academic performance and/or for meetings with an academic advisor or Central Piedmont counselor. If you meet the academic plan requirements, you will continue to be on probation for the next semester. Continued eligibility for financial aid is contingent on meeting your the requirements of each semester’s academic plan. Failure to meet the requirements of the academic plan will result in termination of financial aid in the next semester of attendance. Your academic progress status does not return to satisfactory until you earn a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a cumulative 67% progress rate and do not exceed the maximum timeframe for program completion.

You may not withdraw, fail, or receive incompletes while on a probationary status To successfully complete these credit hours, you must earn a 2.5 GPA each term and earn passing credits in 100% of the attempted classes each term until you regain satisfactory academic progress or graduate. If you fail to meet these requirements, your financial aid would be terminated.

A second appeal may be considered, but you will not be allowed to submit it for the same issue that led to the first appeal, such as the same instance for the same medical condition. You must have very unusual circumstances to warrant a second appeal.

Violated Appeals

If you do not meet the conditions of an approved appeal at the end of the probationary term(s), you will no longer be eligible for financial aid and will have one of the following statuses:

  • UBT - Violated Appeal – Both (not meeting the 2.0 GPA and the 100% completion rate requirement)
  • UGT - Violated Appeal – GPA (not meeting the 2.0 GPA requirement)
  • UCT - Violated Appeal – Pass Rate (not meeting the 100% Pass Rate requirement)

Denied Appeals

If your appeal is denied, or if you do not meet the conditions of an approved appeal, you will be asked to attend at your own expense and earn the deficiency either in the hours (Pass Rate), GPA, or both. You cannot make up a deficiency if your appeal was due to exceeding the maximum time frame to earn a degree.

Regaining Federal Student Aid Eligibility for Satisfactory Academic Progress

If you continue to attend each enrollment period without federal financial aid, you may regain eligibility for financial aid by earning a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a cumulative completion rate of 67%. You would need to take courses at your own expense until satisfactory academic progress guidelines are met. Satisfactory academic progress is automatically reviewed at the end of each semester.

Warning status or suspension status due to failure to make satisfactory academic progress can be changed only by successfully completing classes – you may not improve your status by simply "sitting out" a semester. Once you meet both satisfactory academic progress requirements – a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a cumulative completion rate of 67% – your status will change, and your will be considered in good standing for financial aid.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Success Plan

If you are placed on suspension and successfully appeal the decision, but your academic situation is such that it would be mathematically impossible for you to regain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) eligibility during the next semester as required by federal satisfactory academic progress guidelines, the Financial Aid office may, at its sole discretion, place you on a financial aid academic plan. This plan will outline steps of progress that, if you follow them each semester, will lead to your regaining satisfactory academic progress eligibility at a specific time in the future. The academic plan will be used to evaluate your satisfactory academic progress until it expires.

Your plan will be defined for you individually depending on your circumstances. The Financial Aid office may request that you provide an academic/graduation plan signed by your academic advisor in addition to an appeal form. In addition, the plan may include requirements for academic performance for one to four semesters and/or for meetings with an academic advisor or Central Piedmont counselor. If you meet these requirements, you will continue to be on probation for the next semester. Continued eligibility for financial aid is contingent on your meeting the requirements of each semester’s academic plan. If you do not meet these progressive steps each semester, you would immediately be placed on financial aid termination. You could then only reestablish your eligibility (and return your progress status to satisfactory) once you earn a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a cumulative 67% progress rate and do not exceed the maximum time frame for program completion.