FAFSA Update: The 2024-2025 FAFSA is available to complete online. Due to Federal delays in releasing FAFSA information, Northeastern will require additional time to process your offer of financial assistance. Please visit our FAFSA Updates Page for more information and timely announcements.

Effective Fall 2023, Northeastern University has implemented a new policy regarding late fees. Learn more about this policy.

In observance of Juneteenth, Student Financial Services will be closed on Wednesday, June 19th.  Regular campus services will resume on Thursday, June 20th.

Policies & Procedures

Appeals for Special & Unusual Circumstances

When students or their families experience changes in their financial circumstances or face unique challenges, the information reported on the FAFSA and/or CSS Profile may not reflect their current situation. In such cases, we commit to working with students and their families to understand their circumstances to determine if they may qualify for additional financial assistance. All special and unique circumstances are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, require supporting documentation, and may not always result in additional financial aid.

Special Circumstances

Northeastern strives to engage with students and families to assess qualifying changes in a family’s financial circumstances. For any potential special circumstance evaluation, you will be required to provide documentation regarding the nature of the financial change and the short- and long-term impact of these changes. Our office evaluates appeals throughout the academic year and utilizes available documentation for a comprehensive review.

  • Job termination or loss of income (e.g., reduction in hours worked or retirement)
  • Divorce or separation after the FAFSA was submitted
  • Death of a parent or spouse after the FAFSA was submitted
  • Lost income or expenses due a natural disaster or emergency
  • One-time income received during the tax year reported on the FAFSA
  • High medical or dental expenses
  • Dependent care expenses
  • Independent student living expenses exceed standard cost of attendance components
  1. Submit the relevant aid year FAFSA at StudentAid.gov.
  2. Submit a Special Circumstances Request via the SFS Service Portal (note: Northeastern login required). Newly admitted students can find information on setting up their Northeastern online account on this website.
  3. Upon receipt of the completed form, Northeastern will review the information submitted and contact you with additional information on whether formal appeal documents will be required.

All Special Circumstance requests will require the submission of supporting documentation, including current and prior year signed federal tax returns and W-2/1099 information. In addition to these required documents, you must also provide the following information, if applicable and based upon the reason for your appeal:

Loss of Income

  • Most recent pay stubs for parents/student (required)
  • Statement of unemployment benefits
  • Copy of termination letter
  • Severance package information

Death of Parent/Spouse

  • Most recent pay stub(s) of surviving partner (required)
  • Death certificate
  • Life insurance or death benefits

Natural Disaster or Significant Medical Expenses

  • Copies of medical/dental bills
  • Statement of insurance coverage
  • Cost of replacement property
  • Receipts for expenses

Student Financial Services will review the documentation provided to determine if there can be a recalculation of your original calculated eligibility for aid. Upon receipt of all required materials, please allow three to four weeks to process your request. During this time, please review case updates and notifications for any requests for more information.

If there is a recalculation in your aid eligibility, you will be reconsidered for additional financial aid on a funds-available basis. Note that submitting an appeal does not guarantee additional financial aid eligibility. While we understand that changes to income and assets can have an impact on day-to-day expenses, it may not increase your eligibility for federal or institutional aid opportunities.

Throughout the review process, existing billing due dates and policies will continue to apply. Students and families are expected to fulfill any outstanding balances through existing resources or financing options. If a special circumstance review leads to additional assistance, your offer of financial aid and student account balance will be updated accordingly.

If you have questions prior to submitting an appeal, contact us via the SFS Inquiry Form. If you have already submitted an appeal request, please provide updates or direct questions regarding your appeal progress or outcome via your assigned case.

Other Circumstances

If you have lost eligibility for your merit scholarship, would like to request an extension of your eligibility, or have unique circumstances surrounding your scholarship awards that you would like considered, you may submit a Scholarship Cancellation Appeal (note: Northeastern login required).

Families of sophomore and upperclass students with additional students entering college may be eligible to to confirm your sibling’s active enrollment in a degree program at a Title IV aid-eligible institution, including an enrollment verification or official transcript from your sibling’s school. If you would like to submit a financial aid appeal based on having an additional sibling entering college, please complete the Additional Sibling in College Request Form. After receiving your request and documentation, we will review your eligibility for additional institutional financial aid.

Requests for Independent Student Status (Unusual Circumstances)

There are unique circumstances in which a student is considered a dependent student on the FAFSA but cannot provide parent information. We are committed to working with students to understand their circumstances and review supporting documentation on a case-by-case basis to determine if they may be considered an Independent Student for additional aid consideration. You may find more information here: https://studentaid.gov/help/unusual-circumstances.

If you believe you may qualify for Independent Student Status consideration, please submit a Request for Independent Student Status (note: Northeastern login required) to notify us of your circumstances. Please note that we will request supporting documentation during the review process. Your responsiveness to requests for information is important. If Northeastern does not receive the requested information in a timely manner, your request may be denied.

Qualifying circumstances may include:

  • Human trafficking, as described in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.);
  • Legally granted refugee or asylum status;
  • Parental abandonment or estrangement; or
  • Student or parental incarceration.

Circumstances that, alone, do not qualify include: *

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education.
  • Parents will not provide information for the FAFSA or verification.
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.

 *While students cannot be considered Independent under these circumstances, they may be eligible for only the Federal Unsubsidized Loan if you provide documentation to support that parents refuse to provide information on the FAFSA or have ended financial support. Please note that students will not be able to access the Parent PLUS loan without parent information on the FAFSA.