Financial Aid Appeal

Financial Appeal Process

The financial aid appeal process and the parameters associated with it are described below. This process allows a student and/or family the opportunity to explain and demonstrate why the data on their FAFSA has significantly changed or no longer reflects their family’s current financial situation. Normal or minor fluctuations in circumstances typically do not result in any change to a student’s financial aid package. However, there are times when circumstances are so significant that they can result in a financial aid adjustment.

These circumstances may include the below list. We caution that this list is not exhaustive and that having had one of these events happen does not guarantee a financial aid adjustment.

Changes which may impact a financial aid package:

  • A family’s previous year’s income was affected by a significant, one-time event, not typical of the family’s financial earnings or ability to meet their required contribution
  • There are high and non-reimbursable medical and/or dental expenses not covered by the family’s insurance
  • A family is experiencing sudden or unexpected high dependent-care costs related to a special needs individual or elderly grandparent
  • A parent loses a job or experiences a significant salary reduction
  • A parent’s income varies annually due to the volatile nature of their job
  • A family member is seriously ill which impacts their ability to earn their typical income
  • A parent dies, becomes disabled, is incarcerated, or institutionalized
  • Social Security benefits or child support cease as a result of a child reaching the age of majority
  • A family suffers a natural or financial disaster

A student may also file for a “dependency override” which, although exceedingly rare, would mean that the student would no longer include their parent’s income on their FAFSA. In essence, they would file the FAFSA as an “independent student.” The criteria for being independent in the FAFSA context are extremely limited. For details, we recommend reviewing the details on the DOE webpage.  

Application Process for Appealing your Financial Aid:

  1. Contact the Office of Financial Aid regarding your appeal at and complete the applicable financial aid form below:
    • To start the Financial Aid Appeal Process for 2021-2022, please complete this form

    • To start the Financial Aid Appeal Process for 2022-2023, please complete this form.

  2. Provide clear and official documentation to support your claim such as pay stubs, letters from employer, unpaid medical bills, tax return, W-2 etc

The Office of Financial Aid may request additional supporting documents—Students must respond to all correspondence from the Office of Financial Aid and promptly provide all requested documentation and information by the given deadline.

For all financial aid appeal-related questions or concerns, please email the Office of Financial Aid at


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.