Unusual Financial Circumstances
Special Conditions Appeals
In the financial aid office, we are keenly aware the price tag for higher education can be overwhelming. We have a dedicated staff committed to supporting students and their families through the financial aid process. We also understand the process, while capturing a considerable amount of information, does not always reflect a family’s unique circumstances. Below is a summary of the financial aid process. We strongly encourage families to read this information and wait until you receive your complete financial aid package before appealing for additional financial aid.
- Gonzaga Merit Scholarships: All students who complete the Application for Admission are automatically considered for one of several need-blind scholarships. No separate applications are required. Academic scholarships awarded through the admissions process range from $5,500 to $19,000 per year, and these awards are communicated when a student receives an acceptance package.
- FAFSA Application: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only financial aid application Gonzaga requires. The FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible after January 1st , 2016 at www.fafsa.gov. Gonzaga’s school code is 003778. The financial aid office uses this information to determine eligibility for aid from institutional (Gonzaga), state, and federal sources.
- Financial Aid Award Letter: The financial aid office sends award letters, via regular mail, to students who have been accepted and submitted a FAFSA application to Gonzaga. Students who were accepted in the Early Action pool can expect an award letter by mid-February; students admitted after the February 1stadmissions deadline will receive an award letter by the end of March. Most students who submit a FAFSA application will receive additional institutional aid through the financial aid process (86% of last year’s freshman class received financial aid after filing a FAFSA). In an effort to be fair to all students applying for aid, Gonzaga will make the best possible award for the student based on the information we have from their admissions and FAFSA application.
Other resources to consider:
- Other Gonzaga Scholarships: We are proud to offer a number of scholarships to help fund your Gonzaga experience. Several of our scholarships are awarded based on the Common Application for admission and require a separate application. A list is available here.
- Outside Scholarships: Outside Scholarship Opportunities exist through many organizations within your community, and we encourage you to pursue them whenever possible. Contact your guidance counselor or check with service organizations such as Knights of Columbus, Rotary Club, and Elks Club. Other possible sponsors include employers, a parent's employers, trade associations, banks, credit unions, corporations, schools, and churches.
- Payment Plans: Gonzaga offers interest-free 10- or 8-month payment plans. More information is available at gonzaga.edu/paymentplans. More information will be available with your financial aid award notification and on the website by late spring.
Appealing for additional aid
In some cases, appeals for additional aid can be considered for a change in financial or household circumstance. A family may request that we review the student’s financial aid eligibility via a Special Conditions Appeal (SCA). Through the SCA process, the financial aid office has the authority to make changes to your FAFSA application in some cases. With the information you provide, the financial aid office will adjust your FAFSA application and recalculate your EFC. Your student will receive a revised financial aid award letter via email If the change in EFC results in additional aid eligibility.
Circumstances we can take into consideration:
- Loss of wages or benefit of a parent or spouse.
- Divorce or separation.
- Significant medical/dental expenses not covered by insurance and have been paid by the family.
- Loss of child support.
- Parent attending college and enrolled in an approved degree-seeking
program of study.
- National or natural disaster.
- Death of a parent or spouse.
- K-12 private school tuition costs.
- Support paid to extended family members.
Circumstances we cannot take into consideration:
- Inability to liquidate assets.
- Mortgage payments.
- Property taxes.
- Consumer debt.
- Parent refusal to help cover educational expenses.
Please complete the Special Conditions/Appeal From. As part of the appeal process we need to verify that the information originally submitted on the FAFSA is correct. We will also need a copy of the 2015 IRS 1040 that the family will submit or has submitted. We will carefully review the information and begin notifying families of the results of their appeal in April.