If you or your family have experienced a major financial change, a Special Conditions Appeal (SCA) might be beneficial. This appeal can be used by undergraduate students to recalculate eligibility for the Ford Direct Subsidized loan and Pell Grant. Institutional aid may be reduced based on the appeal changing the FAFSA Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and increased eligibility for federal aid. 

What Types of Circumstances can be Appealed with an SCA at OSU?

At OSU we accept appeals for major changes in finances that were outside the control of the student or family. This may include loss of employment, change in marital status, loss of one-time income, significant out-of-pocket expenses for necessary medical treatments, or other extraordinary financial changes for the student or dependent student's parent(s).

If you are seeking to request an increase to your estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) to make room for additional loan or outside scholarship funding, please see the Cost of Attendance Revision request.

2023-2024 SCA Process

At OSU, the SCA process starts with completing our online application survey. Please do not submit any 23-24 appeal statements or documentation until after your survey has been reviewed and the OSU Office of Financial Aid has requested the required information. The application survey is now open as of June 1, 2023.

Access the SCA Application

Since we are not able to accept appeals until after the enrollment confirmation date on May 1, we do not recommend making any enrollment decisions based on what may happen as a result of the SCA. We can never guarantee an appeal will result in additional aid. Please contact the Admissions Office for further guidance on confirming enrollment and the tuition deposit.

2023-24 Deadlines

For the 23-24 year, we will accept SCA applications for enrolled students up until May 1, 2024, and we will accept appeal documents until June 1, 2024. Below are the priority deadlines that may impact institutional aid awarding:

Survey Deadline for Incoming Undergraduate Students

New on-campus students must complete the Special Conditions application survey between 6/1/23 and 6/30/23 to be considered for additional institutional and federal funding. Surveys received between 7/1/23 and 4/19/24 will be reviewed for increased federal aid eligibility only. Note that if you are eligible for increased federal funding through the SCA, this may reduce your eligibility for some institutional grants.

Survey Deadline for Returning Students

Returning students are not considered for new institutional aid awards with a Special Conditions Appeal. In cases where institutional funding was received in a prior year and lost due to an EFC increase, students may appeal to have the prior year amounts restored for the current year. Returning students must be currently enrolled and complete the Special Conditions application survey by 4/19/24 to be considered for institutional aid restoration and any additional federal aid eligibility.

Appeal Document Deadline

Once we have reviewed your application survey, we will email a response to the email listed on that survey. All requested documents and completed forms should be submitted within 45 days of the date our office emails you the appeal forms. Eligibility and required documents may change if the documents are not received within 45 days. We will accept appeals for currently enrolled students up until 6/1/24 but we recommend submission within the 45-day deadline (if earlier than 6/1) to receive maximum consideration for aid.  Incomplete submissions or appeals that require additional documentation likely will not be able to be processed after 6/1/24.

Important Things to Know About the SCA Survey

  • After your application survey is reviewed (processing time is usually 3 weeks but longer during high volume times) we will email you to let you know if an appeal may be beneficial and what the next steps will be.
  • To ensure that the information submitted in the survey is as accurate as possible, it should be completed by the parent or student that experienced the change in income or financial circumstances.
  • There is no reason to appeal if you already have an EFC of zero (0). In that case, you are already receiving the maximum amount of need-based funds.
  • There is no reason to appeal if you are a graduate student. As a graduate student, you are not eligible for need-based federal aid.

What to Expect From the Appeal Process

  • After we have completed the review of your SCA Survey, we will email you the forms required for the appeal. The appeal forms and updated information about appeal processing will also be posted in the Notifications section of the student’s Financial Aid Portal.
  • Due to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) rules we will not be able to discuss specific student file information with a parent or other third party unless the student has submitted the Consent to Release Information form. 
  • Processing time for appeals may be 8 or more weeks and we are not able to guarantee that the appeal will result in additional aid.
  • In cases where our office determines that an income estimate for the year cannot be used, processing may be delayed until needed income documentation becomes available or taxes for that year have been filed. 
  • To get an idea of how your federal aid might be impacted by changes in income before getting your initial financial aid offer letter, you may use the finaid.org EFC estimator tool
  • Institutional aid may be reduced based on the appeal changing the FAFSA Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and increased eligibility for federal aid. 
  • We will only process one appeal per student for each academic year.