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Family Contribution Appeal

Sometimes the information students provided on the FAFSA no longer accurately reflects their or their family’s financial situation. There are certain circumstances where financial aid professionals at the University can review and update the student's FAFSA.

Please note that if the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA is "0" the student has already been awarded the maximum amount of aid they are eligible to receive. Also, not all appeals will result in additional financial aid.


*There are limitations to the circumstances the U.S. Department of Higher Education will allow financial aid professionals to consider for appeal. To remain equitable, our office will review all applications on a case-by-case basis. 

The following conditions may be considered for appeal:

  • Loss or reduction of income including but not limited to loss of employment, reduction of pay, death of a parent or spouse, and reduction/loss of child support
  • Divorce or separation
  • Non-recurring income
  • High medical and/or dental expenses paid out of pocket
  • Impacted by a natural disaster

The following conditions generally may not be considered for appeal:

  • Information on the FAFSA resulted in a 0 Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Loss of overtime or bonus
  • Bankruptcy, foreclosures or collection costs associated with outstanding debts
  • Consumer debt (credit cards, car payments, loans, etc.)
  • Payments on back taxes owed to the IRS
  • Lottery or gambling winnings or losses
  • One-time income used for non-life essential items (e.g. family vacation)

To request and complete a Family Contribution Appeal (student instructions):
  1. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. Go to wvu.verifymyfafsa.com 
    1. Please wait at least 48 to 72 hours after submitting your FAFSA. 
    2. If you have not set up your wvu.verifymyfafsa account, you may need to do so. See the Create Verify My FAFSA Account page for instructions.
  3. After you have logged in to wvu.verifymyfafsa.com, click on the "+- Request" button near the top of the page
  4. Find "Family Contribution Appeal" listed. Click the green plus + sign to add the request for the appropriate aid year. Example: 2019-2020 is for fall 2019 and spring and summer 2020.
  5. The system will ask you to briefly explain your reason for this request. This does not need to be in-depth. You will provide more information as part of the appeal later in the process.
  6. Once you have added the appeal, a tab should be listed on your account with a Family Contribution Appeal for the aid year. Click on the tab to see your appeal tasks.
  7. Click on appeal link that says either "Dependent" or "Independent PJ Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Appeal" to show the tasks associated with the appeal. This should include filling out the web form and submitting third-party documentation to support and strengthen your appeal.
  8. Once you have filled out the web form and uploaded your supporting third-party documentation, click the Submit button to submit your appeal
  9. Once all requested documentation is submitted, the student will receive an email notification of the outcome of the review within five to seven business days. Please note this time may be extended during peak processing times.

Possible Outcomes of a Family Contribution Appeal
  • No change: The change in circumstances did not impact the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or financial aid.
  • Reduced EFC but no change in financial aid offer: The change in circumstances reduced the EFC but not change it enough to impact the student's financial aid eligibility.
  • Reduced EFC and adjustments made to federal loans: The change in circumstances reduced the EFC and qualified the student for some subsidized loan funding to replace the equivalent unsubsidized loan funding.
  • Reduced EFC and adjustments made to state and/or federal grants: The change in circumstances reduced the EFC and qualified the student for additional state and/or federal grants.
  • Reduced EFC and adjustments made to state and/or federal grants and federal loans: The change in circumstances reduced the EFC and qualified the student for additional state and/or federal grants as well as qualifying for some subsidized loan funding to replace the equivalent unsubsidized loan funding.