Need more money?

Even after receiving financial aid, some students need additional money. You may consider a parent loan, or PLUS, or a private, alternative loan.

Regardless, always be sure to file your FAFSA every year. Financial aid is the best way to pay for college.

Special circumstances

Sometimes circumstances change. You may need to file an appeal or adjust your family contribution. We can help you figure things out.

Appeals process

Through the appeals process, a financial aid counselor can assist you (and your spouse if you're married) if you have special circumstances that may affect your financial aid eligibility or the ability to apply for financial aid. They can review your circumstances and determine if an adjustment to your cost of attendance or the information used on your FAFSA will impact your financial aid eligibility.

For all appeal processes, you will need to submit an appeal form, attach a detailed letter of explanation and all requested supporting documentation, and return the information to the financial aid office as soon as possible. We recommend that you keep copies for your own records. Your completed appeal must be received in our office at least 30 days prior to your last date of enrollment for the current academic year. You will need to allow 4-6 weeks for processing.

Adjustment of family contribution

The expected family contribution (EFC) is the amount of money you are expected to be able to contribute to your education, as determined by the federal methodology need analysis formula approved by Congress. It is generated through the information you provided on the FAFSA. Your EFC depends on your dependency status, family size, number of family members in school, taxable and nontaxable income, and assets.

If there are unusual financial circumstances that may affect your ability to pay for your education, you may request an appeal for an adjustment to your family contribution. Please contact the student financial aid at (269) 387-6000 and request an AFC appeal. Special circumstances include:

  • Recent change in the household due to separation, divorce or death.
  • Unusual or excessive medical or dental charges paid but not covered by your insurance.
  • Student (or your spouse) recently became unemployed.
  • Reduction or complete loss of untaxed income such as social security or child support
  • Complete loss of unemployment compensation

Cost of attendance appeals

The cost of attendance (COA), also known as the budget, is an estimation of what it might cost you to go to school for a specific period of enrollment. The COA is calculated using an estimated cost of tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, personal expenses, travel, and loan fees. It is based on your: residency status for tuition purposes ; class level; housing preference; and enrollment status. The estimations are based on averages for each category and are not reflective of actual or projected costs. Actual tuition, fees, and University housing costs are published each year (generally after July 1) and are subject to approval by the WMU Board of Trustees.

Additional credit hours, fees, dependent care, study abroad or other educational expenses may be added to your COA. Please contact the student financial aid to discuss possible adjustments.


  • There must be a good reason for any adjustment to be made.
  • You will need to provide adequate proof for your appeal.
  • The decision by Student Financial Aid is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.

04/15/2013 3:37 PM

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Student Financial Aid
1903 W Michigan Ave
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5337 USA
269 387-6000