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Request for Review

If there is a change in a student’s household income that is not reflected on the FAFSA, a student can request a Request for Review. Here are answers to questions about this process:


Can I submit a request for review?

At Montclair State University, a committee determines whether your special circumstances merit changes in the data elements which determine your Expected Family Contribution or your Cost of Attendance. Montclair State University uses standards recommended by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

These changes in your household can be from:

  • Unemployment benefits have ended.
  • Unemployment due to retirement, company closure or resignation.
  • Loss of untaxed benefit (ie: worker’s compensation, child support, social security benefits).
  • Separation/divorce.
  • Death of wage earner.
  • Medical expenses itemized on your Federal tax return or paid expenses for which receipts can be provided.

You can complete a Request for Review form to have your financial aid re-evaluated.

Please Note:

  • You must wait until you receive an initial aid notification to submit the Request for Review.
  • If you are an incoming new student, you must be accepted to the University, have paid your deposit and filed a FAFSA prior to submitting this paperwork.

What is not acceptable for a Request for Review?

We will not process requests due to bankruptcy, foreclosure, increases in personal expenses (ie: mortgage payments, tuition increases for siblings, car payments), private school tuition expenses, medical insurance premiums, etc. Fluctuations in business income must be outside typical annual changes and must be significant.

What documents are required to complete the Request for Review process?

Generally, students will submit the following based on who’s income is involved:

  • Student Income: Student’s (and spouses, if married) Federal Income Tax Return 1040 for the two most recent tax years or, if no tax return was filed, copies of all W-2 wage statements.
  • Parent Income: Parent’s Federal Income Tax Return 1040 for the two most recent tax year sor, if the parent(s) did not have to file taxes, copies of all W-2 wage statements and any other sources of income.

In addition, you must submit documentation supporting your unusual circumstance(s) as indicated on page 3 of the Request for Review form.

How long does the Request for Review process take?

The Request for Review process does not start until May for the coming year once the new forms are posted to the website. Once your file has been evaluated based on the allowable criteria, your information will be updated with the FAFSA and the State of New Jersey, if appropriate.

The actual processing time depends on how long it takes the family to submit the necessary documents. Once all documents are submitted, the final processing time takes about 2 weeks for results.

Students must monitor their NEST to view any changes to their requirements and financial aid amounts. Students will be notified via email if the Review does not meet the necessary criteria or if the changes do not result in any increased grant eligibility.

Should we wait until this process has been completed before we figure out our payment?

No. Submission of a Request for Review form does not mean you will receive additional aid. In some cases, students will not see a change to the original aid amounts.  Sometimes, we are able to obtain subsidized loan funds (no interest while in school) that were not previously offered. You should make arrangements to pay your bill with the aid you are currently being offered.

If you are looking at your current aid amount and realize you need additional funding, you may consider a Parent PLUS loan and/or private loan options. If you do become eligible for additional aid, you can reduce or cancel your loans later. You can also utilize the Payment Plan offered through the Office of Student Accounts.

Can graduate students file a Request for Review?

Because graduate students are only eligible for unsubsidized loans, there is no benefit to filing a Request for Review. Any changes to the FAFSA information will not change the amount of funding the student can receive.