Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Change in income

Student and staff member looking over financial paperwork
If your income has changed, let us know. We may be able to re-calculate your eligibility based on more recent income than what was entered on the FAFSA. A reduction in income could increase the amount of aid you are eligible to receive.


  • You are a dependent student, and your parent lost their job.
  • Your working hours or wages have been reduced significantly.
  • You got separated or divorced.

Note: This appeal is only for a reduction in income. It does not consider increased expenses. If you have unusual expenses, please contact us to see if you qualify for an Additional Expense Appeal.

The appeal process

  1. Write an appeal statement explaining what changed, when it changed, and the current financial situation – see below for details.
  2. Collect documentation of your circumstances and income – see below for examples.
  3. Submit the Change in Income Appeal to documents@pcc.edu. Attach your appeal statement and documentation.
  4. Respond to requests for additional information as soon as possible. We’ll send requests to your @pcc.edu email.
  5. Review the results. We will notify you once the review is complete – check your @pcc.edu email.

Need help? Submit questions to the Financial Aid Inquiry Form using your @pcc.edu email address.

How to write an appeal statement

How appeal decisions are made
  • Appeal decisions are based on the statement and documentation provided.
  • Appeals will only be approved if the change will increase the student’s financial aid eligibility.

To re-evaluate your eligibility, we need a detailed statement and supporting documentation of current income. Include all important dates, dollars, and reasons for how and when your situation changed.

  • Be specific: Who had a change? What changed?
  • Be linear: First this happened, then this, and finally this.
  • Include dates: Tell us specific dates when things changed.
  • Connect facts to documents: When you give a fact, tell us what documentation relates to that fact. Example:“I was laid off from my job at company XYZ on January 12. I’ve attached the layoff notice. I started receiving unemployment income on Feb 2 for $200 per week. I’ve attached a screenshot of all of my unemployment payments since the payments began. Unemployment is my only income now.”

What to include for documentation

Depending on your situation, supporting documentation may include: most recent tax return, W-2s, most recent paystub, unemployment benefit statement, layoff notice, divorce decree, or documentation of other untaxed income.

Circumstance About the situation Documentation examples
Unemployment or change in employment You, your spouse, or your parent who earned money in the FAFSA tax year has lost their job or had a reduction in hours or wages.
  • 2 or 3 most recent paystubs
  • Verification of unemployment benefits received or denied
  • Termination or layoff letter from employer
  • Evidence of any other taxed or untaxed income, such as: child support, severance pay, retirement, IRA or pension payments
Separation, divorce, or death of a spouse You or your parents have separated or divorced after the date you initially submitted your FAFSA.
  • Divorce decree
  • Proof of separate residences
  • Taxes and W2s/1099s to separate income from joint taxes
Loss of one-time income You, your spouse, or your parent received a one-time income and cannot reasonably be expected to receive that income in the current year.
  • A signed copy of the most recent Federal Tax Return
  • Documentation showing how one time income was exhausted
Other You, your spouse or your parent have an extenuating circumstance that caused a reduction of income not listed in the other options.
  • Detailed explanation of circumstances
  • Documentation that supports your explanation. Include dates, dollar amounts, and reasons