The Financial Aid Office reviews each family’s ability to contribute towards educational costs and provides a financial aid notification based upon the information reported on the FAFSA, CSS Profile, and submitted tax documents. However, when circumstances arise that can significantly impact a family’s ability to contribute, students may request a review of their financial aid eligibility.
Please read the information in this section to determine if your situation would be considered a financial aid appeal.
Situations considered for a financial aid appeal:
- Special or Unusual Circumstances: Your family’s circumstances have changed substantially since the information was reported on the FAFSA and CSS Profile.
- Adjustments: change to family size or the number in college
- Corrections: changes to the initial information due to an error reporting the initial information.
- Involuntary loss or reduction of regular employment income
- Involuntary loss or reduction of untaxed income/benefits
- Unreimbursed medical expenses, as itemized on a Schedule A
- Unreimbursed expenses related to a natural disaster
- Death of a parent
- Students seeking to declare themselves independent of their parents: Generally students are considered independent if they meet one or more of the dependency criteria listed on the FAFSA. (For appeals being considered for the 2024-2025 academic year, refer to the 2024-2025 FAFSA dependency information)
The Holy Cross Financial Aid Appeal form can be found in the Financial Aid Forms and Links section of our website.
- Merit aid: Merit aid is offered at the time of admission through the admissions committee. Merit aid offering is considered final and is not appealable.
- Asking that we match an aid offer from another school: We do not match aid offers.
- Consideration of private secondary school tuition.
- Additional family debt: Credit card bills, car payments or previous educational debt
- Disputing method of determining aid eligibility: We use the CSS Profile and the FAFSA to determine eligibility for need-based institutional aid; in fairness to all applicants, we do not modify our methods.
- Voluntary loss or reduction of employment income: This is generally addressed once the relevant tax year is reported on the FAFSA and CSS Profile.
- Decrease in regularly fluctuating sources of income: examples include business earnings, bonuses, commissions—these situations are generally addressed once the relevant tax year is reported on the FAFSA and CSS Profile.
- Fluctuation in asset values since the FAFSA and Profile were submitted: Assets are considered as a “snapshot in time” and are not updated until the next year’s application is filed.
- Recent divorce/separation of parents after the forms were completed.
- For federal funding, the federal government requires the FAFSA to be completed by the parent(s) who contributes more financial support to the student. If that parent is remarried at the time of completing the FAFSA, then the step parent’s information needs to be included.
- For institutional funding, we ask for a contribution from both biological/adoptive parents regardless of their current marital status unless a waiver was previously granted.
Response time will vary based on our volume at the time the request is received. Timetable for appeal submission is as follows:
- Questbridge/Early Decision 1 (ED1): Expect a reply by your enrollment deposit due date if your appeal is submitted by January 2, 2024
- Early Decision 2 (ED2): Expect a reply by your enrollment deposit due date if your appeal is submitted by February 26, 2024
- Regular Decision: Expect a reply by your enrollment deposit due date if your appeal is submitted by April 22, 2024
- Fall 2024: Expect a reply to your appeal before your fall semester bill is due if your appeal is submitted by July 22, 2024
- Spring 2025: Expect a reply to your appeal before your spring semester bill is due if your appeal is submitted by December 16, 2024
- Spring 2024 Semester (if a 2023-2024 academic year appeal was not previously submitted or approved): Expect a reply to your appeal submitted in Mid January 2024 within 10 days of submission of a completed appeal
- 2024-2025 Academic Year: Expect a reply to your appeal before your fall semester bill is due if your appeal is submitted by July 22, 2024
- Please review all the information and follow the form instructions. Fill out all necessary sections as completely as possible. In addition to the appeal form, submit any substantiating documentation or other forms to support the appeal.
- If there was an error on the initial information about the family size or number in college, select and complete the corresponding document below, in addition to the corresponding year appeal form:
- If there was an error on the initial information about the assets reported, select and complete the corresponding document below, in addition to the corresponding year form:
- Only submit pages labeled 2-4 of the appeal form; we do not need the first page.
- Documentation and the corresponding appeal form and/or other forms MUST be uploaded using the College Board's IDOC document imaging service.
- We ask families to email the financial aid office at FinAid@holycross.edu once the documentation is uploaded. Families MAY NOT email the documentation to our office as our email is not secure.
Once all documentation is received, the appeal will be reviewed by our office’s appeals committee which includes several members of the financial aid staff. In the event additional information or documentation is required during the review process, the office will contact students and/or families. The appeal is not considered complete until all forms and documentation are received.
What to Expect After Submitting an Appeal
- Appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and decisions depend on availability of funding, among other variables.
- Once we are able to consider your appeal formally, we will issue a decision in a timely manner. Spring and summer are busy times in the Financial Aid Office. We will work to reach a decision prior to a student’s enrollment deposit date, billing due date, or other deadlines.
- Appeals are generally responded to within 10 business days of submitting the appeal information. (Please note that it may take longer if the Financial Aid Office needs additional supporting documentation).
After an Appeal Decision is Made
- If the appeal decision was based on estimated tax information, the appeal is not considered final and can/may be adjusted. The appeal will be considered final after all federal tax information is received and reviewed.
- Appeal decisions are considered final and will be made for the full academic year, unless it is a spring semester appeal. We are not able to provide any further consideration of the family contribution unless there is a new and substantial change in family circumstances not addressed in the original appeal.
- Appeal decisions are communicated via email to the student and/or parent who submitted the appeal.
- If you wish to explore various methods of meeting your family contribution, our website contains information about family financing options. We are also available to discuss these options.