Occasionally, unique circumstances occur that have an impact on the ability to pay for college. When these situations arise, the Financial Aid Office may be able to make adjustments to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which could result in a recalculation of aid eligibility. Review of appeals begin after receipt of all required, supporting documents and receipt of all Verification documents. Professional Judgement appeals are not guaranteed to result in any additional financial aid.

Please note: Although each family’s situation is reviewed on an individual basis, the following reasons are not considered as a special circumstance appeal: bankruptcy, foreclosure, home repairs, tithes, alms, credit card debt, loan debt, mortgage or car payments, weddings, and cosmetic or elective purchases.

The Process

  1. Step 1: Student/Parent should contact The Solution Center. A Solution Center Specialist will discuss your appeal request to determine if it meets the requirements to proceed with the appeal.
  2. Step 2: If situation warrants an appeal, student/parent will be sent further instructions and student must activate an account in the Financial Aid Portal if not already done.
  3. Step 3: A financial aid representative will contact the student/parent once official appeal request is received.
  4. Step 4: The financial aid representative will request further documentation for the student to upload into the Financial Aid Portal.
  5. Step 5: Financial Aid Office will contact student via email when appeal is complete.


If the Financial Aid Office has determined your situation meets the guideline of professional judgment appeals, verification is required before an appeal can be finalized. When instructed to do so, submit the requested verification documents via the Financial Aid Portal. Read frequently asked questions (FAQ) about verification.

Appeal Review and Decision

The Financial Aid Appeal Committee will review the request. Decisions may take 4-6 weeks. The Committee will base the decision on the circumstances detailed in this form and in the supporting documentation. We will notify students via their UMass Lowell email of the decision.

Submission of an appeal will not guarantee an adjustment to the student’s award or prevent the accrual of late fees on any unpaid student account balance. The availability of funds and the timeliness of the appeal will affect the appeal decision. UMass Lowell appeals fund will not be granted for students who have declined their student loans. Recalculation of financial need does not guarantee the awarding of additional aid.

Appeal Deadlines

The last day to request an appeal for the 2023-2024 academic year is April 1, 2024.

Information Guides

If your family is experiencing a loss or reduction of income in the current year please refer to the Change of Income appeal information guides:

For Additional Circumstances appeals, refer to the Professional Judgment Additional Circumstances website.