Changes in Family Circumstances

Changes in a Family’s Financial Situation

If your family experiences a drastic change in its financial situation due to job loss, you are able to submit an appeal to the Office of Financial Aid for a possible revision to your aid package.

If your family has already completed and submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS Profile, and provided the signed tax returns, have your parent(s) contact the Office of Financial Aid to request the Income Update and Expense Form to complete and attach supporting documentation (i.e., a letter from former employer about layoff, final pay stub, severance pay agreement, and copies of unemployment checks).

If your family has not applied for need-based financial aid, refer to steps in applying for need-based financial aid.

Contact the Office of Financial Aid with any additional questions.

Changes in the Number of Siblings Attending an Institution of Undergraduate Study

The number of children in your household attending undergraduate college is an important factor of your financial aid application. You must notify the Office of Financial Aid immediately once your sibling(s) receive their bachelor’s degree. At this point, they are considered independent for financial aid purposes. Likewise, if you reported on your financial aid applications that your sibling(s) will be attending college on a full-time basis towards a degree or certificate program and their college attendance decreases, you must notify the Office of Financial Aid.

In both cases, your parents’ expected contribution will increase and subsequently your eligibility for need-based Harvey Mudd College Scholarship and other need-based aid will decrease.

Changes in the Student’s Marital Status

You will not necessarily receive more need-based financial assistance if you get married. According to federal regulations, you are still dependent on your parents for the academic year if you get married after you file the FAFSA. Dependency status cannot be updated based on marriage until the following academic year.

If you are married prior to filing the FAFSA, you will be considered an independent student for federal financial aid. This means that your parents won’t need to provide financial information on the FAFSA. They also won’t have to sign your application.

Harvey Mudd does, however, require parental information on the CSS Profile for all students under 27 years of age, regardless of marital status. Harvey Mudd Scholarship aid will be based upon both the student’s and parents’ financial information. Thus, many married students receive the same amount of aid after they get married as they did before they got married.

If you’re married and won’t be receiving assistance from your parents but find that a parental contribution has been calculated for you, contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss alternative loan options for the amount you’re unable to contribute from your and your spouse’s finances.