Appeals against financial aid are rare and are only considered when significant extenuating circumstances arise after the start of the academic year. Such circumstances must have a financial component and must be carefully documented.

The following are examples of extenuating circumstances:
  • Unexpected emergencies
  • Significant medical or adaptation costs not covered by insurance
  • Change in family size due to the birth or adoption of a child
  • Child care expenses *
  • The cost of health insurance for dependents if chosen by the Harvard Student Health Insurance Plan. *
  • One-time cost of a computer purchase after August 1 of the year in which registration begins at HGSE, if this expense is not already included in the standard student budget*

* If approved, these expenses only increase the standard student budget and student loan eligibility.

The following are examples of circumstances that cannot be taken into account in an appeal:
  • Competing financial aid offers from other doctoral schools
  • Not working full time in order to attend college (this is assumed for all students)
  • Moving and moving expenses
  • Consumer debt (credit cards, mortgages, etc.)
  • Car ownership costs
  • Private school tuition fees for school-age dependents
  • Travel expenses or extra-curricular activities (holidays, family trips, participation in a conference, etc.)
  • All expenses that occur outside the 9-month academic year from September to May

Financial Aid funding is to be used to cover the direct educational costs of an individual student during the 9-month academic year, September through May. Family expenses and support often cannot be taken into account in determining eligibility for financial assistance, nor can expenses that occur outside of the 9-month school year or school year. standard student budget. While we do our best to help identify options, regulatory and financial limitations may prevent us from offering additional financial assistance even in the event of a successful appeal.

Submit a financial aid appeal

Please contact our office to initiate a discussion regarding a potential appeal, we will assess individual circumstances and provide further information on potential options.

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