Financial Aid

Special Circumstances

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Appealing Your Financial Aid Award

The formula we use to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is nationally standardized to allow for similar family contributions in similar circumstances.  Because the formula is standardized, modifications might be necessary to fairly assess the expected family contribution in some individual circumstances. If your family has unique, documentable circumstances that affect your ability to contribute toward your educational expenses, you may request that the financial aid office reevaluate your eligibility for assistance based on those circumstances. Requests for reevaluation must be in writing (see applicable forms below) and must include a detailed description of your family's unique circumstances.

Reevaluation of your financial aid eligibility is subject to federal regulations and institutional policies, and is based on:

• availability of funds
• timeliness of your original application for financial aid
• timeliness of appeal and nature of the change in circumstances

Factors We Will Consider

Loss of income, such as:

•    Involuntary loss of employment for parent (parent is terminated, fired, laid off) and, in some cases, loss of employment for student
•    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 2015-16 financial aid applications are filed
•    Death of a parent

Non-discretionary expenses, such as:

•    Unreimbursed medical expenses

If any of these special circumstances apply to you or your family, you may download and complete a copy of the 2015-16 Parent Reevaluation Request Form (pdf), 2015-16 Student Reevaluation Request Form (pdf), or 2015-16 Significant Medical/Dental Expenses Form (pdf) as applicable, and submit it to our office along with the required documentation (as outlined on the form) and a letter detailing your situation.  Special circumstances are defined as unique conditions that exist for an individual student, not conditions that exist for a whole class of students.  If you feel that you have other special circumstances that do not meet any of the criteria listed above, please write a letter to the financial aid office, describing your financial concerns, and providing as much information as possible.

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

Requests for Budget Adjustments

The cost of attendance (budget) used to determine your financial aid eligibility includes average amounts for standard educational expenses incurred by all students.  This cost of attendance includes tuition, fees, room & board (on or off-campus), books & supplies, transportation (from home state) and incidentals.  Budget increases are typically funded with additional student loan funds or Parent PLUS loans.

To request an increase in your 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

Where to Send Your Information

Please email, mail, or fax your Reevaluation Request form, letter, and supporting documentation directly to the financial aid office.  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 person who submits the request.

Financial Aid Office
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd
Portland, OR 97202
Fax 503-788-6682 or Email