Special Circumstances and Appeals

At HCU, we are dedicated to ensuring that a higher education is available and accessible for families. We understand that unexpected situations and unavoidable circumstances may impact your ability to afford the education. If your family has experienced a significant, life-altering event, special circumstance or unusual circumstance affecting your ability to pay for college, you have the right to submit an appeal for consideration.

Special Circumstances

Special and/or unusual circumstances we may consider:

  • Loss of employment
  • Permanent reduction in income
  • Significant medical expenses
  • Out-of-pocket costs from a natural disaster
  • Death or disability of a wage earner
  • Separation/divorce of student’s parents
  • One-time taxable income
  • Cost of attendance adjustment
  • Request for independent status
  • School tuition expenses
  • Unaccompanied homeless
  • Foster care

Special circumstances that will not be considered:

  • Vacation expenses
  • Credit Card expenses
  • Standard living expenses
  • Mortgage Payments
  • Car Payments
  • Personal Debt
  • All other discretionary expenses

Appeals Process

  1. Complete the Special Circumstance Appeal form.
  2. You will then receive an email with instructions to upload supporting documentation for your appeal at HC.studentforms.com.
  3. The Financial Aid Advisors will review the file and supporting documentation submitted.
  4. Results of the appeal will be sent to your HCU email via HC.studentforms.com.

All appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and decisions are based on the unique details of each case. Approval is not guaranteed. In some cases, approval may not result in an increase in aid. For any consideration, the Financial Aid Advisors must obtain documentation and retain it in each student’s file. This documentation must substantiate the reason for any adjustment. If no supporting documentation is received, your appeal may be denied. Students will be notified via email of the approval or denial once all documentation is submitted and reviewed by the Financial Aid Advisors. HCU’s Financial Aid Office may re-evaluate the FAFSA information, and in some cases, any adjustments approved will depend on available funds, eligibility, regulations, and policies.