Financial Aid & Scholarship Office

Special Circumstances Appeals

2024-25 Special Circumstances Appeals: Open date delayed until July 1 due to circumstances beyond our control. We are not able to make changes or corrections to your financial aid until Federal Student Aid allows schools to make changes, starting in July. We are very sorry for the delay. 

Special Circumstance Appeal Timeline - please submit your appeal by the following date to allow sufficient time for processing:

  • Attending fall only - submit by November 1
  • Attending fall and/or spring - submit by April 15

Financial aid eligibility may be reconsidered based on new financial information not reflected on your FAFSA or CA Dream Application. If you or your parents (if applicable) have special circumstances you may submit an appeal.

Some Special Circumstances Categories:

  • Family Contribution:
    • Significant reduction in income due to job loss, reduced hours, divorce, death or other circumstances
    • Substantial non-reimbursed medical, dental and/or vision expenses
    • Financial support of extended family members
  • Substantial non-reimbursed travel or commuting expenses
  • Childcare or dependent care expenses or elementary/secondary school tuition
  • Change in student marital status
  • Loss of home or property due to fire or other disaster
  • More than one student in college within family

Step by Step Instructions

If you feel your circumstances meet the criteria for an appeal, complete and submit the appropriate appeal(s). Students filing a 2024-25 FAFSA or CA Dream Application must use the 2024-25 Appeal. Click a drop down box below for step by step instructions on how to complete your appeal. 

  • Step by Step Instructions for 1) Income Reduction, or 2) Non-Reimbursed Medical/Dental/Vision, or 3) Support of Extended Family Members Appeals
    1. Log in to your Financial Aid Account(opens in new window). If you have not logged into your Financial Aid Account before, you will need to create an account. (To create an account, enter your name exactly as it appears on your FAFSA or CADAA).
    2. Select the "Manage Requests" button at the top right corner of your Financial Aid Account and click the plus sign to the right of " Professional Judgement: Special Circumstances - EFC Calculation Appeal" for the appropriate academic year. 
    3. Enter a short one-sentence reason for your appeal, then click submit.
    4. You will see the message "Your request has been successfully created!" Click "Ok".
    5. Under "Needs Action" click the "Professional Judgement" box.
    6. Click the red bar with the words "Exceptional Circumstances Appeal".
    7. Select the appropriate option
      • Income Reduction, or
      • Dependent Non-Reimbursed Medical/Dental/Vision Expenses, or
      • Support of Extended Family Members
    8. Click "Fill Out"
    9. Follow the instructions to complete the electronic form and e-sign it. If you or your parents are unable to e-sign the form, download it and sign it.
    10. After submitting you appeal form be sure to upload any required supporting documentation.
    11. Finish your appeal by clicking the “submit” button at the bottom.
    12. Appeals will be reviewed in the order received. You will receive notice of our decision in your Wildcat email. For more information visit our appeals web page.
    13. Call us at 530-898-6451 if you have any questions.
  • Step by Step Instructions for 1) Childcare/Elementary/Secondary School Tuition, or 2) Travel Adjustment, or 3) Student Change in Marital Status Appeals
    1. To request one of these appeals select the "Manage Requests" button at the top right corner of your Financial Aid Account and click the plus sign next to the appropriate appeal. If you have not logged into your Financial Aid Account before, you will need to create an account. (To create an account, enter your name exactly as it appears on your FAFSA or CADAA).
    2. After selecting the appeal enter a short one-sentence reason, then click submit.
    3. Under "Needs Action" click the box with your appeal. 
    4. Click on the red bar.
    5. Click "Fill Out".
    6. Follow the instructions to complete the electronic form.
    7. Complete the electronic form and e-sign it by entering your password and clicking "E-sign". Click "Ok". If you or your parents are unable to e-sign the form, download it and sign it. 
    8. Upload supporting documentation if required.
    9. Finish your appeal by clicking the “submit” button at the bottom.
    10. Appeals are reviewed in the order received. You will receive notice of our decision in your Wildcat email. For more information visit our appeals web page. 
    11. Call us at 530-898-6451 if you have any questions.

PLEASE NOTE: We recommend that you accept your initial award offer and plan to cover preliminary costs from your current aid package, employment, and family resources. An advisor will review your appeal and notify you by email of the outcome. All appeals will be reviewed in the order they are received. 

The Special Circumstances Appeal – Income Reduction includes options for reduction in parent income, student income, and student/spouse income. If there are other special circumstances not covered by these topics that have had a serious negative financial impact on your family, use the Income Reduction Appeal and provide a personal statement and supporting documentation.