Guidelines for Requesting a Special Circumstances Review
Reed is committed to meeting a student's financial need based on information reported on the College Board's CSS Profile and the FAFSA. The formulas used to calculate the financial aid award are nationally standardized, allowing us to provide equitable treatment to all financial aid applicants.
We recognize, though, that a family's financial resources may change unexpectedly or significantly after the initial financial aid award is calculated which may affect the family's ability to contribute toward the student's educational expenses. In this type of situation, Reed College's Financial Aid Office will conduct a thorough and personal review of the family's individual circumstances.
Reviews are typically conducted because of a significant change in a family's financial situation or because incorrect information was provided on the aid applications. We will not respond to generalized requests simply for more funding.
Requests for reconsideration must be in writing (see applicable forms below) and must include a detailed description of your family's unique circumstances.
Factors We Will Consider
Loss of income, such as:
- Involuntary loss of employment for parent (parent is terminated, laid off, etc.)
- Loss of income due to disabling illness or injury
- Involuntary reduction in earned income, or reduction/elimination of child support, unemployment compensation, Social Security benefits etc.
- Separation or divorce after the current financial aid applications are filed
- Death of a parent
Non-discretionary expenses, such as:
- Unreimbursed medical expenses not already accounted for in the need analysis formulas
If any of these special circumstances apply to you or your family, you may download and complete one of the forms below, as applicable, for the corresponding aid year for which you applied. When complete, please submit your form to our office along with the required documentation (as outlined on the form) and a letter detailing your situation. Only submit a reevaluation request if you have already received a financial aid package from Reed College.
2024-2025 Aid Year
- 2024-25 Parent Reevaluation Request Form
- 2024-25 Student Reevaluation Request Form
- 2024-25 Significant Medical/Dental Expenses Form
2023-2024 Aid Year
- 2023-24 Parent Reevaluation Request Form
- 2023-24 Student Reevaluation Request Form
- 2023-24 Significant Medical/Dental Expenses Form
Factors We Will Not Consider
Lifestyle choices are not considered to be unique circumstances and adjustments to the need analysis formula will not be made to reflect these conditions, which include:
- Student or parent credit card debt
- Mortgage or car payments
- Early retirement (before age 65)
- Yearly fluctuations in income (due to loss of overtime, bonuses, etc.)
- Parental unwillingness to support educational expenses
Immediate Financial Concerns
The best place to start is with the financial aid office. The aid staff will be able to assess your situation to first determine if there are additional aid options available to you. If your concerns fall outside of the scope of what financial can cover, staff will direct you to other potential resources (emergency grant, emergency loan, etc.)
If you are on a college board plan and are experiencing difficulty budgeting your points to last throughout the semester and are unable to purchase additional points, you may contact Sandy Sundstrom in the Financial Aid Office for more information about additional resources.
Budget Adjustment Requests
Federal regulations govern the items that may be included in the cost of attendance (budget). The cost of attendance typically includes tuition, fees, on-campus housing and food (or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students); and allowances for books, supplies, and transportation. The amounts used are average amounts for standard educational expenses incurred by all students. Allowable budget increases are typically funded with additional student loan funds or Parent PLUS loans.
To request an increase in the cost of attendance, please submit a signed statement to our office and include one or more of the following reasons with supporting documentation, as applicable:
- Reed Health Insurance
- For independent students: an itemization of your rent, food, utilities, and other monthly expenses
- For students supporting a dependent, child care expenses
- Cost of a computer—you must include a copy of an order form, receipt, or other documentation confirming the cost of the computer. This may be included in your cost of attendance one time only during your enrollment at Reed.
Where to Send Your Information
Please submit your Reevaluation Request form, letter, and supporting documentation directly to the financial aid office through our secure document submittal portal.
Only submit a reevalutation request if you have already received a financial aid package from Reed College. All requests must be signed by the parent (if parental information is submitted) and/or student (if student information is submitted). A written response to the reevaluation request will be sent to the student via email.