Special Circumstances

  • Applying for financial aid subsequent to admission

    Students that apply to Wesleyan and indicate that they will not be seeking financial assistance will not be eligible to receive Wesleyan financial aid until the student has been enrolled for one year at the university.

    If an incoming student would like to apply for financial aid after he/she receives their admission letter, they are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss whether we are able to consider their special circumstances.

  • Appealing a financial aid award

    Wesleyan's goal is to provide those families that seek assistance with a financial aid award for the academic year that is our most complete and final review of your need for aid. However, circumstances may arise for a family that are not readily apparent in the information gathered as part of the application and awarding process. In some instances, a further evaluation of a student's eligibility for need-based funding may be appropriate. In such cases, we may require additional information/documentation to determine if an adjustment to the financial aid award is warranted.

    Typically, appeals are as a result of a change/loss in parental income or significant unreimbursed medical expenses. While these are not the only areas of appeal, Wesleyan will only address special circumstances that affect a family's ability to contribute; not their willingness. Items such as credit card debt, weddings, car/mortgage payments, etc. are not considered special circumstances that would be reviewed.

    Wesleyan does not "negotiate" financial aid awards nor do we match financial aid awards offered by other institutions.

    For more information or to discuss a student's financial aid award and changes in the family's circumstances, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

  • Noncustodial Parent Situations

    Noncustodial Waiver Petition

    Wesleyan adheres to the principal that both biological parents have the primary responsibility for providing reasonable financial support to fund their child’s cost of education at Wesleyan University.  Wesleyan financial aid is provided to meet any shortfall that exists when the family’s ability to contribute has been maximized.  Wesleyan does not consider whether a custodial or noncustodial parent is willing to contribute to his or her child’s education; instead, the Financial Aid Office collects financial information from both parents to evaluate the ability to contribute.  The financial need of students whose parents are divorced is calculated based upon the same principle followed in calculating the need of all other students:  both parents are jointly responsible for the college expenses of their children to the extent of the family ability.  Consideration is made for expenses like child support, separate households and blended families. 

     Wesleyan University recognizes that extenuating circumstances in individual cases may make it impossible to obtain information from a noncustodial parent.  If the noncustodial parent’s whereabouts are unknown, if there has been extremely limited or no contact with the noncustodial parent for a significant period of time, or if there are other extenuating circumstances, the collection of noncustodial financial information may be waived.  Students/families with these circumstances may petition to waive the collection of noncustodial information in the financial aid process.  Please review the Noncustodial Parent Waiver Petition for more information.  Note:  a letter from a third party (other than a family member, family friend or attorney) who can verify the amount of contact a child has had with the noncustodial parent is required.

  • Independent Students
    In limited cases, students who have supported themselves financially for a significant period of time prior to enrolling at Wesleyan may qualify for self-supporting status, exempting the reporting of parent information. However, students must have approval from the Office of Financial Aid prior to applying as self-supporting students.
  • Veterans


    Recipients will have no loans in the financial aid package and may graduate with $0 loan indebtedness for the time they are enrolled at Wesleyan. However, should assistance be needed to meet the Student Contribution, most students should be eligible to borrow through the low-cost federal Direct or Perkins loans programs.

    Wesleyan is also proud to be a part of the Yellow Ribbon Program for qualifying veterans.

  • Changes in enrollment status

    Financial aid awards usually are made for the full academic year. Receipt of financial aid funds is contingent on your being enrolled as a full-time student at Wesleyan. If you fall below full time enrollment, federal and institutional aid will be reduced accordingly. If you are enrolled for only one semester, you will receive only one-half of your award, including loan.

    If you anticipate a change in your enrollment status, contact the Office Financial Aid to receive information on how your award will change.

  • Leave of Absence

    Students on non-academic leave, independent study and Education in the Field are not eligible to receive financial aid. Students who take leaves for periods longer than six months will be required to begin repayment of student loans. Contact the Student Loan Office or the Office of Financial Aid for information on loan repayment during leaves.

    Students returning to Wesleyan must contact their class dean and then complete the financial aid application process.  The class dean will contact the Registrar and then the Registrar officially notifies the Wesleyan community, including the Office of Financial Aid. Eligibility for aid will be determined upon receipt of this official notification.

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy to participate in Federal Title IV Higher Education Act financial aid programs

    Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to remain eligible for federal financial assistance programs (federal loan, work study, and grant programs).  This policy outlines the requirements a student must meet to maintain eligibility for federal financial assistance.  The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy is separate from, and in addition to, the Academic Regulations as described in the Wesleyan University catalog.  The SAP policies for financial aid students are equivalent to or stricter than the university’s Academic Regulations that apply to all students regardless of whether they are receiving Title IV assistance.  It is important to note that the terminology for the financial aid SAP policy and the Academic Regulations are not directly interchangeable.  Students are encouraged to seek advice with a financial aid director for clarification on the SAP policy, and with their class dean for clarification on the university’s Academic Regulations.  The class deans and the financial aid directors work closely together to help students maintain, sustain, and reach satisfactory progress.  Students should consult the financial aid office website, the university website, and the Wesleyan University catalog. 

    The financial aid office will review student progress toward the SAP policy at the end of each semester in which a student has received Title IV aid.   A student must meet the SAP requirements at the end of each semester to be eligible to continue with federal financial assistance under the policy, with the exceptions noted in the policy for financial aid warning and financial aid probation.  Since the current optional summer session offers a very limited enrollment, the minimum pace requirements table is re-stated as points in time related to year in school rather than number of semesters.  

    Under federal policy students must maintain by the end of the second academic year at least a C or its equivalent or have academic standing consistent with the school’s requirements for graduation.  Wesleyan undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 74 to maintain SAP.  Wesleyan University defines 74 percent as the academic standing that is consistent with meeting graduation requirements.  The university catalog defines the numerical equivalent of a C- as 71.7.  Under the SAP rules for financial aid students must meet the minimum standard GPA for graduation by the end of sophomore year.  Prior to the end of sophomore year students may meet SAP with a lower GPA if the Dean’s office allows continued enrollment for the student during this time period. 

    The university expects undergraduate students to complete the degree within eight semesters, and Wesleyan financial aid is available for eight semesters.  On a case-by-case basis, and only in consultation with the class dean and the student, the financial aid office will consider Wesleyan aid beyond eight semesters for undergraduate students.  Transfer students are expected to receive less than eight semesters of Wesleyan aid eligibility, and should consult with a financial aid director regarding total semesters of Wesleyan aid eligibility.  While the federal rules allow aid up to a maximum of 150% of the program length of eight semesters, the university will not process federal financial aid for undergraduate students beyond ten semesters of enrollment unless further enrollment is part of an approved academic appeal (defined below).  In no case will the university process undergraduate federal financial aid beyond twelve semesters.  

    As required, the Financial Aid Office also determines a student’s pace in meeting the degree requirements in the analysis of satisfactory academic progress.  Pace is defined as the total number of credits completed divided by the total number of credit hours attempted.  The Financial Aid Office will count course incompletes and course withdrawals in the calculation of a student’s pace for financial aid satisfactory academic progress.  The calculated GPA is based on all courses used by the registrar to calculate GPA.  Pace progress includes all courses attempted.  Incompletes and withdrawals are considered credit hours attempted in calculating pace requirements.  Repeated courses that are available for credit also count in the pace calculation.  Transfer credits count in the pace calculation as outlined in the academic and general regulations of the Wesleyan University catalog.  For units attempted at Wesleyan University, the pace requirements are outlined in the accompanying table.

    Year in school

    Expected credits

    Minimum credits

    Pace (minimum/expected)

    Mid year frosh




    End of frosh year




    Mid year soph




    End of soph year




    Mid year junior




    End of junior year




    Mid year senior




    The Financial Aid Office reviews each federal financial aid recipient at the end of each semester for satisfactory academic progress.  The SAP policy for financial aid uses two terms: financial aid warning and financial aid probation.  The Financial Aid Office will place students on financial aid warning for one semester who have not met the minimum GPA or pace requirements.  The student may continue to receive federal and Wesleyan financial aid during the one semester of financial aid warning status.  If the student does not meet satisfactory academic progress by the end of the financial aid warning semester, the student must submit an appeal to the financial aid office to determine if a financial aid probation period is possible, and the appeal must be approved prior to any further federal or state aid disbursements.   In general, if the appeal is approved, the student would be on financial aid probation for one semester and be eligible for disbursement of Federal Title IV aid during this period.  The appeal, which must be approved prior to the disbursement of any federal or state financial aid in a probationary period, must address how the student will be able to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements by the end of the probationary semester, or the financial aid appeal must address how an academic plan evaluated by the class dean and the director of financial aid that will ensure the student is able to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress requirements within a specified period of time (usually within the regular degree completion time of eight fall/spring semesters).  Students on financial aid probation will not receive federal financial aid disbursements for any subsequent payment period unless they meet the satisfactory academic progress requirement, or unless they meet the requirements for successful completion as defined in the academic plan approved during the appeal process. 

    Students may not be placed on two consecutive terms of financial aid warning.  They must meet the satisfactory academic progress requirement after one term of financial aid warning, or they must submit and have approved a satisfactory academic progress appeal.  Students who fail to meet financial aid satisfactory academic progress and who fail to have the appeal approved are not eligible to receive any assistance from the Federal Title IV programs or any state financial aid programs. 

    When submitting financial aid appeals, the student should describe any mitigating circumstances that prevented them from meeting the SAP requirements.  These circumstances could include the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances.  The appeal must define specifically how the student can meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid, and it must outline the specific courses the student will take in the upcoming semester (and additional semesters if possible).  The appeal should provide information about what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow them to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation at the end of the semester.  The appeal must include a letter from the class dean evaluating the student’s plan of action to achieve satisfactory academic progress according to the financial aid policy.  The dean’s letter is not an endorsement of the plan but an evaluation to determine if the academic plan the student has submitted is possible.  Other supporting information may be necessary, and the financial aid office reserves the right to require additional documents, consultation with others on or off campus, or further clarification before considering or approving an appeal.  The financial aid office is not required to approve appeals or reinstate federal or state financial aid eligibility. 

    In general, three outcomes are possible when a student submits a financial aid appeal due to failure to meet satisfactory academic progress.  The appeal could be denied, the appeal could be approved for one semester of financial aid probation, or the appeal could be approved contingent on an academic plan that leads to successfully regaining satisfactory academic progress within a period longer than one semester, subject to review at the end of each semester.  Students who lose eligibility for federal aid because the appeal is denied or they fail to meet the SAP requirements as outlined in their probationary period or academic plan may find it difficult to regain eligibility.  Students may regain eligibility by enrolling without federal aid and meeting the SAP requirements. Students must meet the university’s general academic requirements as outlined in the college catalog.  The financial aid office and the class deans will collaborate on cases where a student was forced to resign from the university and is allowed to return.  The appeal and the academic plan must incorporate these conditions of return and the financial aid director and class dean must approve the academic plan as part of the financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy.