Financial Aid Appeals

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Students at College of Western Idaho (CWI) have several avenues to appeal different aspects of their financial aid. Information about the different types of appeals can be found below.

If you believe you could benefit from an appeal or would like to learn more, please reach out to or schedule an appointment with a Financial Aid Officer. If you feel that you need an appeal but do not know which type best fits your situation, you are always welcome to contact us for additional information.

A decision on appeals will be made within 30 days of receipt of all required documentation.

  • Income Appeals

    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) collects information about the applicant's income and financial situation from the prior-prior tax year in order to determine eligibility for federal financial aid. For example, the 2024-2025 FAFSA form determines eligibility based on the 2022 federal tax return(s) for the applicant and their parents or spouse, as applicable.

    If your or your family’s financial situation has changed significantly since the tax year reported on the FAFSA, you may be eligible for a Special Circumstance Appeal. Through the appeal process, the Financial Aid Office will gather a variety of documentation to establish the change in your income.

    CWI must be included on your FAFSA, and you must complete any outstanding verification tasks before a Special Circumstance Appeal can be added to your account.

  • Dependency Appeals

    The U.S. Department of Education determines if an applicant is required to provide parental information. Generally, unmarried students under the age of 24 are required to provide parental data, regardless of the amount of actual financial support they receive from their parents. However, in some cases applicants may be unable to provide parental data due to unusual circumstances, including but not limited to an abusive family situation, deceased or incarcerated parents, or homelessness.

    If you believe that you are experiencing an unusual circumstance and are unable to provide parental information, you may be eligible for a Dependency Override Appeal. Through the appeal process, the Financial Aid office will collect documentation of your situation in addition to letters from independent professionals who can confirm your circumstances.

    Paying your own bills, living outside of your parent’s home, and/or not being claimed as a dependent on your parent’s tax return do not, on their own, constitute an unusual circumstance and will not make you eligible for a Dependency Override Appeal.

  • Cost of Attendance Appeals

    Eligibility for financial aid is partially determined by an applicant’s cost of attendance. Cost of attendance is an estimation of the total cost of tuition and fees, housing and meals, books and supplies, transportation, and other education costs that an applicant would need to account for to attend CWI for a given enrollment period.

    In some cases, a student may have eligible expenses that can be added to their cost of attendance through a Cost of Attendance Appeal to create additional room for financial aid. Examples of potentially eligible expenses include child or dependent care, required tools, and/or the documented cost of a personal computer for school.

    An approved Cost of Attendance Appeal will only create more room for financial aid, most often student loans. It will not provide any additional aid that a student is otherwise ineligible for.

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals

    Due to federal regulations, CWI can only award federal financial aid to students who maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). To learn more about how SAP is calculated and how students can maintain their financial aid eligibility, please visit Maintaining Aid.

    A student who does not meet SAP standards will be put on SAP Suspension and will be ineligible for federal financial aid until they regain good standing or have an approved SAP Appeal. To complete a SAP Appeal, the student must schedule an appointment with their Academic Advisor. In addition to the appeal form their advisor will help them complete, the student must provide a letter explaining why they were unable to meet SAP standards and what they will do differently in the future to ensure their success.

    If you have questions about why you have been placed on SAP Suspension or what your SAP status is, please reach out to or schedule an appointment with a Financial Aid Officer. If you need to complete a SAP Appeal, please schedule an appointment with your Academic Advisor.

    Submitting a SAP Appeal does not guarantee its approval.

  • Academic Record Appeals

    An Academic Record Appeal gives students the ability to appeal academic policies, academic deadlines, student account charges, and the content of the student’s official record. An Academic Record Appeal will not reinstate financial aid eligibility.

    For more information, please visit Academic Record Appeal Procedure.

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