Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
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Budget appeals (cost of attendance)


What they are and how they can affect your financial aid

Northern Arizona University’s cost of attendance (COA)/budget for each student consists of direct and indirect costs related to your educational and living expenses.

If your cost of living and/or educational expenses are different than what’s stated in your COA, you can submit a Budget Appeal to potentially increase your eligibility for aid.

It’s important to note that a Budget Appeal does not result in additional types of aid being offered or awarded to the student. Typically, a Budget Appeal only results in an increase in loan eligibility. Therefore, we encourage students to evaluate their financial needs and only appeal for those circumstances that directly impact their ability to be successful in their academic pursuits.

Criteria and circumstances

The purpose of financial aid is to help support a student’s moderate cost of living while attending college. Only expenses directly related to the student’s educational and living expenses can be considered. Except for dependent care, living expenses or educational expenses for a student’s spouse or child cannot be considered.

In each student’s cost of attendance (COA)/budget, there are budgeted amounts for all of the following expenses:

  • tuition
  • academic fees
  • books / course supplies
    • Including computer equipment
  • living expenses – Food
  • living Expenses – Housing
  • mandatory fees
  • personal / miscellaneous expenses
  • transportation
  • average loan fees
  • licensure, certification, or credential (as required by the student’s program)

A Budget Appeal should be submitted only if the student’s expenses exceed the budgeted amount in the student’s cost of attendance. Students can view their cost of attendance in LOUIE through the “Financial Aid” tile, then selecting “Financial Aid Summary,” and then selecting “Cost of Attendance.”

A Budget Appeal can also be submitted for the following expenses that are not included in the student’s cost of attendance:

  • Dependent care expenses
  • Disability-related expenses
  • Cooperative education
  • Education abroad expenses
  • Program expenses
  • Expenses related to natural disasters or public emergencies
  • Medical insurance
  • Medical, Dental, and Optical expenses

If a student’s expenses that are charged through LOUIE are higher than the student’s budgeted amount, the student can contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and request an adjustment to their budget. These types of adjustments are listed below and do not require the student to submit a Budget Appeal.

  • Tuition
  • Academic fees
  • Mandatory fees
  • Average loan fees
  • Licensure, certification, or credential (as required by the student’s program)
  • Program fees

Appeal circumstances

  • Books
    • May be purchased outside of the enrollment period for use during enrollment
  • Supplies
  • Computer Equipment
    • $3,000 limit per college career (Graduate or Undergraduate)
      • This includes equipment and software: printer, mouse, keyboard, etc.

Documentation requirements:

Only rent or mortgage payments for the student’s primary home will be considered.

  • Utilities
    • Electricity
    • Gas
    • Cable
    • Internet
    • Trash
    • Water
    • Cell phones
      • Cell phone bills will be considered; the purchase of a cell phone cannot be considered.
    • House insurance / renter’s insurance
    • Moving expenses

Documentation requirements:

  • Rent
    • A lease in the student’s name, showing detailed charges and the start and end date of the lease.
    • The lease must be signed and dated by both the student and the landlord.
  • Mortgage
    • A copy of the student’s mortgage statement showing the student’s name, detailed charges, monthly amount, date paid, and amount paid.
  • Utilities
    • A copy of the complete utility bill for the last two months, which must include the following:
      • student’s first and last name
      • name and address of utility company
      • billing period
      • detailed charges
        • for cell phone bills, charges for each line on the cell phone plan
      • amount due
      • amount paid
      • date paid
      • payment method
    • House / renter’s insurance
      • Copy of insurance billing statement, including student’s name, address, detailed charges, the amount owed, the amount paid, method of payment, and time period of payment (monthly, annual, etc.).
    • Moving expenses
      • An electronic map (Google) that includes directions of the route driven to and from school for educational moving expenses
      • Mileage will be considered at $.625 per mile, the number of days per week, and the number of weeks during the semester that the commute is made
      • Paid, itemized receipts in the student’s name showing business name, expenses, date paid, and payment method
    • Budget Appeal – Affidavit – Living Expenses – Housing and Utilities

  • Commuting
  • Major vehicle repair
  • Maintenance costs
  • Vehicle insurance

Documentation Requirements:

  • Major vehicle repair
    • Provide an itemized list of all expenses incurred and copies of paid receipt(s) in the student’s name. Receipt must be on business letterhead or receipt.
    • Examples: new transmission, engine repair, power steering repair, etc.
  • Commuting
    • An electronic map (Google) that includes directions of the route driven to and from school for educational purposes. Mileage will be considered at $.625 per mile, the number of days per week, and the number of weeks during the semester that the commute is made.
  • Vehicle insurance
    • Copy of vehicle insurance billing statement and policy in the student’s name showing the amount owed, coverage dates, the amount paid, payment method, and name of insurance company
  • Maintenance costs
    • Provide an itemized statement list of all expenses incurred and copies of paid receipt(s) in the student’s name. Receipt must be on business letterhead or receipt.
    • Example: tires, oil changes, etc.
  • Budget Appeal Affidavit – Transportation

Only care necessary for students to attend class, study, participate in fieldwork or internship, or commute is considered.

  • Child care or elder care
  • Only dependents included on tax returns can be included.
  • Elder care may require documentation of the relationship with the dependent.

Documentation requirements:

  • At least one full month of expenses must be submitted with the appeal.
  • Daycare facilities
    • Please provide itemized statements of care provided as well as paid receipts.
    • Statements must be on facility letterhead.
    • Statements must be in the student’s name.
  • Private provider (including care provided by family member or friend)
    • A signed and dated contract from the private provider that includes the name of the dependents cared for, days of the week, hours per week, total weekly charges, total monthly charges, and state payment amount, as well as payment date.
    • The statement must include the student’s name.
  • Budget Appeal Affidavit – Dependent Care

  • Credit-bearing academic program combining professional work experience with academic research and coursework
  • Includes reasonable costs associated with employment as part of the program

Documentation requirements:

  • Detailed, paid receipts in the student’s name
  • Letter from Academic Advisor or Program Advisor confirming student’s participation in the program

  • Expenses directly related to a student’s education abroad program
    • Housing / hotel
    • Food
    • Transportation
      • Airfare
      • Taxi, Uber, etc.
    • Expenses related to obtaining a Visa
    • Miscellaneous education abroad expenses

Documentation requirements:

  • The student’s Study Abroad Advisor must submit a Study Abroad Program Cost Sheet listing, in detail, the study abroad expenses from the student’s Study Abroad program.
  • Paid receipts, in the student’s name, including detailed explanation of expenses, date paid, method payment, and amount paid.
  • Budget Appeal Affidavit – Education Abroad Expenses
  • Education Abroad Program Cost Sheet signed by Education Abroad Advisor

  • Reasonable allowance
    • Business clothing or attire
    • Personal maintenance / grooming Aids
  • Expenses must be within a moderate standard of living

Documentation requirements:

Expenses required for the student’s program

  • Equipment
    • (e.g., stethoscope, scrubs, travel for clinicals)
  • Clinical rotations
    • Housing
    • Transportation
    • Meals

Documentation requirements:

  • A signed letter from a program professor, director, or anyone in the program who can support the need for the expense. If for travel, documentation for specific mileage is required (electronic map required)
  • For clinical rotations, a document from the student’s program listing the dates of all required clinical rotations
  • Paid receipts, in the student’s name, including itemized receipt, vendor, or business name, date paid, method payment, and amount paid
  • Budget Appeal Affidavit – Program Expenses

Important change in policy

  • Program expense receipts can now be submitted once payment has been made. Students no longer have to wait until the end of the program to submit expenses. This includes expenses for clinical rotations.

  • Dependent students
    • Can only be considered if the student is not covered under their parent’s policy.
  • Independent students
    • Only the student’s portion of medical insurance can be considered.

Documentation requirements:

  • Provide copies of itemized receipts and insurance billing statements in the student’s name, listing expenses incurred, expense amount, paid amount, date paid, and must be on business letterhead or invoice. Only the student’s portion of these expenses can be considered.
  • Budget Appeal Affidavit – Medical, Dental, and Optical Expenses

  • Students can include both one-time expenses (an eye doctor visit with new glasses) and/or recurring expenses (medical treatments).
  • Bills that indicate “patient’s responsibility” and a paid receipt should be provided.

Documentation requirements:

  • Provide copies of Itemized receipts, in the student’s name, listing expenses incurred, expense amount, paid amount, and date paid and must be on business letterhead or invoice. Only expenses not covered by insurance, health savings plans, or other parties can be considered. Only the student’s portion of these expenses can be considered.
  • Budget Appeal Affidavit – Medical, Dental, and Optical Expenses

Circumstances that cannot be considered for a Budget Appeal

The following items cannot be considered in a Budget Appeal:

  • vehicle purchase or payments
  • grocery / food purchases
  • credit card debt
  • cell phone purchase
  • medical, dental, or optical expenses paid by insurance or health savings plans

Submitting your Budget Appeal

The following documents are required for Budget Appeal consideration:

  • Budget Appeal Form (required for all appeals)
  • Personal Statement Form (required for all appeals)
  • All applicable/corresponding Budget Appeal Affidavit forms (find your relevant forms in the Appeal forms and circumstances section above)
  • Any other required documentation for each circumstance that you are submitting an appeal for

All documents must be in PDF format and must be readable.

Budget Appeal processing

General information

  • Budget Appeals are processed in the order they are received.
  • Budget Appeals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and approvals are not guaranteed.
  • Only Budget Appeals that have all the required documentation will be reviewed.
    • If the Budget Appeal is missing any required documentation, the student will be notified via email and given an opportunity to submit missing documents within a reasonable time.
    • Failure to submit missing documents will result in the Budget Appeal being denied.
    • Financial Aid Advisors have the authority to ask for additional documentation, other than what is required, for purposes of clarifying information submitted on the Budget Appeal.

Processing time

  • Peak Time: up to 35 business days
    • August through September
  • Non-Peak Time: up to 25 business days
    • October through April
  • The processing time begins when all required documents are received.

Deadlines

  • Full Academic Year Budget Appeal or Spring 2024 Budget Appeal – April 1, 2024
    • Budget Appeals submitted after the deadline are not guaranteed to be processed.
    • Students who are expecting loan eligibility to increase must have all loan processes completed by these dates for the terms listed above.
      • This includes accepting subsidized and unsubsidized loans, applying for Parent Plus/Graduate Plus loans, and applying for private alternative loans.
    • Summer Budget Appeals
      • Summer Budget Appeals are a separate form.