Appeal for Reconsideration

All requests for reconsideration of a need-based financial aid decision are carefully reviewed and every effort is made to assist qualified students who fully document extenuating circumstances. Award decisions based solely on merit are not subject to reconsideration.

An award decision for an entering student is based on calculated financial eligibility, academic credentials presented upon admission, and availability of funds for the program of study. Returning students are awarded aid comparable to what they were offered as entering students, provided renewal criteria are met.

To request reconsideration of a need-based financial aid decision:

  • Submit a letter of appeal requesting reconsideration of your current aid decision to the assistant director responsible for your application. Provide specific information about any change in your family’s financial situation or extenuating circumstances. Also, include an estimate of the amount of aid your calculations suggest you will need. Appropriate documentation must be included.
  • If you have not yet sent the documents listed below to Boston University (BU cannot access documents you may have sent to CSS/IDOC at the request of another university), please submit:
    • A complete, signed (even if e-filed) copy of your U.S. federal income tax return, as submitted to the IRS, with all pages and schedules. If the IRS does not require that you file a tax return, complete the Student Income Verification form.
    • A complete, signed (even if e-filed) copy of your parents’ U.S. federal income tax return, as submitted to the IRS, with all pages and schedules. If the IRS does not require that you file a tax return, complete the Parent Income Verification form.
    • Copies of all of your parents’ W-2 forms
Your assistant director, unless you are a Metropolitan College undergraduate student, is designated by the first two letters of your last name is listed below:
A – CL Michelle Gaffney LB – OK Matthew Cromie
CM – GO Natasha Crooks OL – SH Christine Monaco
GP – LA Lauren Sullivan SI – Z Patricia Fidler
All Metropolitan College Undergraduate Students Deborah Sharp

Priority Deadlines

To ensure consideration for the academic year starting in September, entering freshmen must submit appeals by April 15, entering transfer students by June 15, and returning students by August 1.

We will begin reviewing returning student appeals in mid-July.

Families who experience changes in financial circumstances after the appeal deadline may submit a Spring Semester Application for Undergraduate Financial Aid, which is due November 4.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can submit an appeal?

If you received a decision on your application for need-based financial aid and are still challenged by the remaining costs, we welcome your appeal for reconsideration of our decision.

What circumstances will be considered?

While lots of family financial information is reported to us through the PROFILE and FAFSA, we will consider circumstances you believe will compromise your family’s ability to pay educational expenses that were not requested or disclosed on your financial aid application. In addition, if certain circumstances have changed since those forms were filed, we want to include them in our review.

What's the most likely outcome?

The outcome depends on several factors including the nature of the circumstances you document and the availablity of funds at the time your appeal request is received. Additional need-based scholarship, grant, loan, work-study or a combination of these could be offered. When approved, typical increases are modest. With our limited funds we strive to marginally decrease the burden of borrowing on you and your family.

As a continuing student, do I have to meet a certain grade point average (GPA) to request reconsideration?

Yes, continuing students must meet certain GPA and other academic standards to be eligible for financial aid and for a financial aid decision to be reconsidered. Applicants who have never received a BU need-based scholarship in the past must have at least a 2.50 GPA. All others must have at least a 2.00 GPA.

What's the best way to submit my appeal letter and supporting documents?

Appeals for reconsideration can be sent to us by first class U.S. mail, fax (617-358-2792), or in person. Supporting documentation should be provided depending on the circumstances referenced in your appeal letter. Please include your full name and BU ID number on all pages.

If I missed the deadline can I still submit an appeal?

Yes, all requests are carefully considered, however our funding is limited and your chances of receiving additional funding are better if you apply before the deadline.

What if my financial situation worsens after the start of the academic year?

Limited funds may be available for the spring semester. Our Spring Semester Application for Undergraduate Financial Aid is available in September for students seeking assistance with spring semester educational expenses, particularly when family financial circumstances have recently changed or have worsened after the start of the school year.

My appeal request was denied. Can I appeal again next year?

Yes, you can always re-apply for financial aid next year and appeal for reconsideration in the future. We encourage you to bring any new or changed circumstances to our attention. However, future funding for new awards and appeal situations is limited. Individual awards or award increases offered in these circumstances will be modest. We urge you to carefully consider your options and whether resources currently available to you are sufficient to support your studies at BU.

Can I request reconsideration for a merit award decision?

Merit-based scholarship recipients are selected by the Board of Admissions and selection decisions are final. Scholarship terms and conditions, incuding award amounts, are pre-established. If you were not selected for a merit award or were selected and believe you need additional financial assistance, we encourage you to explore need-based financial aid and credit-based loans.

When and how will I be notified of your decision on my appeal request?

We make every effort to respond to all appeal requests as quickly as possible. Any changes made to your award can be viewed on the Applicant Link or Student Link. A letter explaining our decision will also be mailed to you. In addition, if you are a prospective freshmen you will be sent a decision notification email before May 1 so you can make a well informed enrollment decision. If we receive your appeal request after May 1, you can expect our response within two weeks of your submission. If you are a returning student, we will make every effort to respond within two weeks of our receipt of your appeal request.