Loss of Parental Income

When there is a significant change in a family’s financial circumstances, projected income for the current calendar year may be a more reliable indicator of future earnings than the base year information used to fill out the CSS PROFILE and FAFSA applications.

BU Financial Assistance considers requests to use projected year income in determining aid eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Documentation required may include:

  • Explanation of the loss of income
  • Dates of employment and unemployment over the calendar year
  • Documentation of income earned over the calendar year
  • Documentation of any non-recurring income, such as severance/separation benefits
  • Documentation of any unemployment, retirement, disability, or temporary disability benefits
  • Documentation of any other taxable or non-taxable income or resources
  • Documentation of applicable out-of-pocket medical expenses exceeding 4% of income
  • Documentation of any insurance or pension benefits

Specific Documentation Requirements

Unemployment

If a parent has lost his or her job, resulting in a significant change in household finances, submit a letter explaining circumstances, with supporting documentation such as:

  • A letter from the former employer, verifying the last date of employment and any severance/separation benefits paid to the employee
  • The final pay statement from the employer
  • The most recent or last pay statements for each parent, for all jobs held during the calendar year
  • A statement from the unemployment office, verifying amount of unemployment benefits received/expected, and the date through which the parent is eligible to receive those benefits
  • Documentation and explanation of any other taxable or non-taxable income and resources, such as interest or dividend income
  • Documentation of any amount withdrawn from a pension, IRA, or retirement plan, indicating whether it is taxable or non-taxable, and including the remaining amount available in the account
  • Family Budget Worksheet

Long-Term Illness or Disability

If a parent’s long-term illness or disability has caused a significant change in household finances, submit a letter of explanation, with supporting documentation such as:

  • A letter from an employer or a doctor, indicating the length of the expected disability or absence from work
  • The most recent or last pay statement for each parent, for all jobs held during the calendar year
  • Documentation of any short-term, long-term, or permanent disability insurance, including Social Security benefits
  • Documentation and explanation of any other taxable or non-taxable income and resources, such as interest or dividend income
  • Documentation of any amount withdrawn from a pension, IRA, or retirement plan, indicating whether it is taxable or non-taxable, and including the remaining amount available in the account
  • Documentation of applicable out-of-pocket medical expenses exceeding 4% of income
  • Family Budget Worksheet

Death of a Dependent Student's Parent

In the case of the death of one parent, the income, household, and asset information of the surviving parent is used to determine eligibility for aid. Documentation required to determine the above may include:

  • The date of death (usually, a copy of the death certificate is required)
  • The last or most recent pay statement of the surviving parent, for all jobs held during the calendar year
  • Documentation and explanation of any other taxable or non-taxable income and resources, such as interest or dividend income
  • Documentation of any insurance benefits the parent or student receives
  • Documentation of any pension or retirement benefits
  • Documentation of any changes in assets, such as trust funds or proceeds from the estate
  • Documentation of any real estate assets which are contested or held in probate, including information about the party responsible for them