Special Circumstance Review
Request for Special Circumstance Review
We realize that the FAFSA may not reflect the most current financial situation for some families. Federal regulation permits Financial Aid Administrators to use professional judgment on a case-by-case basis to adjust data on the FAFSA used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), or to adjust components of the Cost of Attendance (COA). Sometimes, this adjustment will result in additional aid eligibility for the student. Please note, that not all special circumstance reevaluations result in additional eligibility.
You must be an undergraduate student, have a valid FAFSA on file, and have an EFC greater than 0 in order to apply for a Special Circumstance Review. If you are an undergraduate student and your EFC is equal to 0, you already qualify for the maximum in need based federal aid programs. There are no changes that may be made to your FAFSA that would result in additional aid eligibility. If you are a graduate student, there are no changes that may be made to your FAFSA that would result in additional aid eligibility, regardless of your EFC.
Examples of Possible Eligible Special Circumstances
- Student or parent (if student is considered a dependent student) income has decreased when compared to the income information reported on the FAFSA. This may be due to a recent disability, death, job loss, pay cut, or retirement.
- Student or parent (if student is considered a dependent student) has stopped receiving a benefit that was reported on the current FAFSA. Examples: child support received, alimony, taxable social security benefits.
- Student or parent (if student is considered a dependent student) has recently separated or divorced.
- Student or parent (if student is considered dependent) experienced significant out of pocket medical expenses (not covered or reimbursed by medical insurance).
- Student or parent (if student is considered a dependent student) has significant out of pocket expenses for child care, dependent care, or elementary or secondary school costs.
- Student or parent (if student is considered to be dependent) has experienced financial losses related to a natural disaster.
How to Request a Special Circumstance Review
If you believe you meet the criteria to apply for a Special Circumstance Review, please complete and submit the Special Circumstance Request form available on the Financial Aid Forms page.
Please submit all requested documentation listed on the top of the form as well as documentation listed next to your specific circumstance. Special circumstance reviews may take approximately two to three weeks to process.