What to Submit for an Appeal

When you submit an appeal, please share documentation that illustrates your change in circumstances in dollar amounts. This would include documentation of expenses you have had or taxes to show reduced income. Unfortunately, we cannot approve appeals that refer to general financial difficulties.

Some examples of appeals and relevant documentation follow below.

Please note:

  • If your family's recent taxes show significantly less income in a tax year more recent than the one you submitted for your initial financial aid application, this appeal may be helpful for you
  • Duke's policy regarding income reduction or job loss is to collect information once the calendar year has closed and the full impact can be assessed

 

An example: For the 23-24 school year, we used your family's 2021 taxes for your initial financial aid calculations. You may submit your family's 2022 taxes or your family's 2023 taxes (before March 1, 2024) for an appeal for the 23-24 year.

 

For this appeal, please submit: 

  • A cover letter explaining your appeal
  • The student's parents' 1040 tax document of the tax year you would like to use as an appeal, plus all statements and schedules
  • The student's parents' complete W2s/wage statements from the tax year you would like to use as an appeal
  • If the parents have a business listed on page 2 of their Schedule E, please submit the full 1065 or 1120S (including statements of deductions) for the appeal tax year 

Please keep in mind:

  • Your submitted expenses will need to have been paid in one calendar year (between January 1 and December 31); in other words, you cannot submit expenses from multiple years as an appeal
  • The calendar year you choose cannot be the current year; you must choose either the most recent past year or the year prior to that
    • If your expenses are taking place in the current year, please wait until after December 31 to submit your appeal

 

Please submit: 

  • A cover letter explaining your circumstances
  • A spreadsheet listing your out-of-pocket costs from the calendar year you choose
  • Receipts from your expenses if available (for example, if you are paying for a relative's housing, please submit documentation of their housing bills)

You may have received income that is non-recurring and does not represent your family's usual resources. For example, you may have taken an early IRA distribution to pay for repairs to your home. 

In these cases, you can submit the documents from a different tax year (please see "Job loss or reduction of income" above) or appeal to use the taxes you have already submitted but request we not consider the one-time income. 

 

Please submit: 

  • A cover letter explaining your circumstances, including the amounts and sources of one-time income and what you used the funds for 
    • Please also explain whether you will receive these funds in future years and why
  • Receipts from your expenses if available (for example, bills from a contractor if you made house repairs)

Please keep in mind:

  • If you already submitted your Schedule A (in your tax documents) listing your medical deductions, we have already taken this into account and an additional appeal will not benefit you
  • Your unreimbursed medical expenses must total more than 5% of your family's total income for a year in order for this appeal to be successful
  • Your submitted medical expenses will need to have been paid in one calendar year (between January 1 and December 31); in other words, you cannot submit medical expenses from multiple years as an appeal
  • The calendar year you choose cannot be the current year; you must choose either the most recent past year or the year prior to that
    • If your expenses are taking place in the current year, please wait until after December 31 to submit your appeal

 

Please submit: 

  • A cover letter explaining your circumstances
  • A spreadsheet listing all unreimbursed medical expenses from the calendar year you choose, OR your Schedule A from your taxes showing the medical expense amount you itemized for deduction
  • Receipts from your medical expenses if available 

If you have paid for funeral expenses for a close relative, you may submit receipts for consideration. Please wait to submit all related receipts at once. 

Please note that you may submit only unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses. If life insurance or another source has paid or will reimburse you for these expenses, we cannot consider them for an appeal.

 

Please submit: 

  • A cover letter explaining your circumstances 
  • Receipts for relevant expenses
  • A spreadsheet listing expenses, if there are many related expenses

Please note: 

  • This appeal takes into account prior educational debt that parents are paying on behalf of their own education (or the education of a Duke student's sibling who is no longer enrolled in school)
  • This appeal does not refer to loans that the parent has not yet taken out
  • This appeal refers only to educational loans that are currently in repayment
  • This appeal does not refer to loans in the Duke student's name or in the sibling's name

 

Please submit: 

  • A cover letter explaining your circumstances that provides the parents' monthly repayment amount, whether the loans are currently in repayment, and the term of the loan (how many payments are remaining)
  • Documentation from your loan servicer that clearly indicates your monthly repayment amount