Budget Appeal Information

Financial Aid determines financial assistance based on the standard cost of attendance for a single student in a degree program. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to borrow additional funds if needed. Financial Aid may not be able to make adjustments to accommodate expenses that exceed the standard allowances by more than 15%. In order to be considered for an appeal, an expense must be incurred within your enrollment period, and you’ll need to complete the Budget Appeal form within that period as well with the appropriate supporting documentation. The Office of Graduate Financial Aid will review and respond to your appeal within two weeks. Before examining the following tips for the Budget Appeal Process, please be aware of the expenses not covered by the cost of attendance that are listed below:

  • Credit card bills and other consumer debt

  • Car purchases and payments

  • Moving expenses

  • Job search expenses

  • Expenses covered by insurance (e.g., medical)

  • Elective expenses (e.g., elective cosmetic surgery)

Helpful tips on how to proceed with the Budget Appeal Process

  • If students are a single parent or married, whose spouse works at least part-time, they may be eligible for a reasonable pre-kindergarten daycare expense increase to the cost of attendance.

  • In order to quality for a one-time computer purchase increase, students must present an itemized receipt with the appeal, documenting the purchase. Purchases must occur during the student’s enrollment period or, for new students, within 30 days of the start of your enrollment period.

  • Federal regulations specifically prohibit schools from including the cost of a car in the cost of attendance. If you absolutely need a car, there may be external loans to consider that are not based on financial need. Students may be able to look at this potential type of loan funding to cover such expenses.

  • The Office of Graduate Financial Aid cannot add consumer debt to a student’s cost of attendance and therefore recommend that students repay consumer debt before attending The University of Chicago. If this isn’t a financial option, it is recommended students adjust living expenses to accommodate debt payments.

  • Moving expenses cannot be added to a student’s cost of attendance. However, if a student finds they need assistance, you may be able to borrow additional funds to cover such extra expenses. Please remember that you can only receive additional funds if your total financial assistance does not exceed the cost of attendance listed on your award letter.

  • If a student’s rent exceeds the $1,300 allowance per month, it is recommended that students consider other living arrangements to reduce costs or adjust other expenses within their budget to accommodate for the increased expense. Our office may be able to help students by slightly adjusting the rent allowance portion of their budget.

  • A copy of the Budget Appeal form can be found below.

If you have other questions, please contact us.

Budget Appeal Form

Use this form if your original application does not accurately reflect your current financial situation, or if your financial situation has changed substantially since you completed your application.