Every student's Application and situation is different.
That's why we have an appeal process to help those students whose financial situation can't be accurately captured by completing a standard Application. If you believe your assessment doesn't reflect your true financial need, you may have grounds for an appeal.
Do you have grounds for an appeal?
How does the appeal process work and who decides the outcome of an appeal?
How do you submit an appeal?
What are some examples of common appeals?
Not every student's Assessment can be appealed. Before you start the appeal process, you should be aware of what can be appealed and what cannot.
The Appeal Board’s function is to look more closely at the exceptional expenses and circumstances of students whose situations can’t be fully explained within the standard application. Your situation may be one of our most common kinds of appeal or some other exceptional circumstance, but it's always very important that you explain your situation fully to the Appeal Board, and show proof of any expenses.
The Student Assistance offers two levels of appeal.
All appeals are first reviewed by the . . .
The Lower Appeal Board is an internal Board, which meets weekly. You cannot meet with this Board in person, but you may get advice from a Financial Aid Counsellor about submitting your appeal. You can also review the steps below, and all other information on this page regarding appeals. An appeal made to this board consists of submitting a Letter of Appeal and any supporting documents that show how your student assistance assessment doesn’t reflect your true financial situation.
If you are not satisfied with the Lower Appeal Board’s decision, you may request (in writing) that your Appeal be reviewed by the Student Aid Appeal Committee.
The Student Aid Appeal Committee (formerly known as the Higher Appeal Board) is an independent board appointed by the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education which meets as required. Its members include representatives from the university community, student groups and the general public. You may request a conference call with the Committee or request to meet in person. The Committee’s decision will be available from the Student Assistance Office within 3 days of their meeting.
If you feel you do have grounds for an appeal, simply send us a Letter of Appeal, explaining your case. It is very important to follow these steps if you want your appeal reviewed quickly.
Submit your information:
Via Uploader in MyPATH: Upload documents in your MyPATH account via Uploader
By mail: PO Box 2290, Halifax Central, Halifax NS B3J 3C8
In person: Nova Scotia Student Assistance Office, 1256 Barrington St., Halifax, NS B3J 3C8. (after hours drop box available)
By fax: (902) 424-0540
Here are examples of two of our most common kinds of appeal.
If there is a family breakdown beyond the normal disagreements between parents and students, the Board may agree to change your student category from Dependent to Independent. A family breakdown of this kind usually results in the student having left home or having been removed by a social service agency. Circumstances that are beyond normal disagreements include sexual, physical or psychological abuse by one or both parents.
You must support this appeal with a letter giving the following information:
If your family has had exceptional expenses, the Board may deduct a portion or all of these expenses from their income before calculating the family contribution. Some examples are:
You must explain the necessity of the expense and send proof of the cost, such as bills/invoices, receipts for payment, etc.