Special Conditions Appeal (SCA) for Changes in Your Financial Situation

If you or your family have experienced a major financial change, a Special Conditions Appeal (SCA) might be beneficial. In certain cases, 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 income 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, or significant out of pocket expenses for necessary medical treatments. We are not able to accept appeals for things such as non-medical debt, the cost of private school tuition, or having a higher than average cost of living.

How to Start the SCA Process for 2021/2022

After you have received your financial aid award offer  for the year, you may fill out our Special Conditions Appeal Preliminary Review Survey. We will use this survey to figure out if an appeal is right for you. You may link to our survey here: https://oregonstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1QYmPDkpQYjmkpE

Important Things to Know About the SCA Survey

  • This survey is only for changes in income that are not related to medical debt. If your only change in income is from medical debt and medical bills, see additional instructions on this page.
  • After your survey is reviewed (processing time is usually 1-2 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.
  • There is no reason to appeal if you are already have an EFC of zero. In that case you are already receiving the maximum amounts 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.

Appealing Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses

To start the process of appealing to have out-of- pocket medical expenses considered on your FAFSA, please email our office and provide answers to the questions below. Please do not submit any supporting documentation until it is requested by our office:

  • What is the student ID number
  • What is your medical expense from?
  • Is the medical expense current or from a prior year?
  • What do expect to be your total out of pocket medical expenses in 2021?
  • What is the monthly minimum payment you need to make on your medical bills 2021?
  • Are your medical expenses accurately reflected on your 2020 return?

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. Because the FERPA release only applies to in-person and phone conversations, all email correspondences will be sent to the OSU ONID email.
  • 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 aid 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

SCA Filing Deadline

The deadline to submit an appeal is week 4 of spring term. Appeals may only be processed for the current or upcoming school year. We are not able to process appeals for students who have ceased enrollment for the term/year.