Distance Education: Admitted Students

Special Circumstances

In certain cases students may wish to submit information about their special financial circumstances, or an appeal to request an adjustment to their financial aid eligibility.

How to Appeal

Submit your request and copies of appropriate supporting documentation as indicated through Required Info and Forms page on your FAST page. Make sure your USC ID number appears on each document. You will be contacted if additional documentation is required.

Appeal Funding

Re-evaluation of your financial aid eligibility is subject to federal, state and university regulations, and is based on:

Availability of funds;

Timeliness of your original application for financial aid; and

Timeliness of your appeal and the nature of the change in circumstances.


We will notify you upon approval or denial of your appeal, or if we require additional information.

Aid Adjustment

Decreasing or Increasing Your Loan Amounts

Submit a request:

If your financial aid does not include the maximum annual Federal Direct (Stafford) Loan amount and you wish to have your loan increased.

If an approved loan amount is more than you wish to borrow.

Include the amount you wish to borrow for each semester that you are enrolled.

Class Level or Enrollment Changes

If you enroll in a different number of units than originally planned, please submit an Financial Aid Supplement with your updated information.

If you need to change the semesters for which you have been awarded aid, you may submit a written request or submit a new Financial Aid Supplement.

Budget Increase

The estimated cost of attendance (budget) used to determine your financial aid eligibility includes an amount for tuition and mandatory fees, based on your enrollment plans, as well as average amounts for standard educational expenses such as room and board. Also included are books, supplies, local transportation, and miscellaneous expenses.

If your actual school-related expenses are higher than your current budget, you may be eligible for a budget increase. Budget increases are considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to federal and university policy. If approved, budget increases are typically funded with PLUS loans or private financing.

Before submitting a request we ask that you visit https://nslds.ed.gov to see your current total loan debt and consider how this additional loan may affect your repayment amounts after graduation. Prior indebtedness may be considered in determining whether a budget increase will be approved.

Types of budget increases that can be considered are listed below. Submit a request along with supporting documentation as indicated. To allow sufficient time for loan processing, appeals should be submitted at least two weeks before the end of your enrollment period.

Graduate Plus Loan Denial

If your application for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is denied, you may appeal the decision or reapply with an endorser. For more information, contact the Federal Direct Loan Servicer at studentloans.gov or (800) 557-7394.

How to Submit Your Appeal

Follow the instructions on studentloans.gov. The Department of Education reviews all appeals of loan denials.