The University of Nebraska has maintained that negotiating is not possible when it comes to financial aid, saying that the amount that is initially offered is usually correct and cannot be changed. After all, much of the process is actually determined by the state, taking into account both the cost of school and the income level of the family.
However, a spokesperson did recently say that there are rare cases in which they will be willing to go back over a student's financial aid package. This is not seen as negotiating, but looking for things that the student may feel were done incorrectly, such as details that could have been overlooked.
Another thing that could trigger a reevaluation of the financial aid package is a major life event, such as a divorce. When parents split, it changes income levels and what the family should be expected to pay. This could also apply to a divorce that a student experiences if he or she is married when one initially applies, as losing a spouse would also change income levels. These special circumstances mean that things must be reviewed since the fundamental details have been altered.
Other things that could lead to such a review include the loss of a job, extensive medical expenses that are not covered under an insurance plan, or a parent's death.
Those who are going through a divorce need to know how it will impact financial aid, either for themselves or for their children. They need to know what rights the school offers them and how they can apply appropriately when life-changing events take place.
Source: Daily Nebraskan, "Financial aid can be negotiated in case of special circumstances" Madison Wurtele, Apr. 11, 2014