Special or Unusual Circumstances
Federal regulations provide financial aid administrators with the authority to use their discretion or professional judgment to adjust, on a case-by-case basis, the cost of attendance, change to dependency status or the data elements used on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A professional judgment review does not guarantee additional funding.
Special circumstances refer to the financial situations that justify an aid administrator adjusting data elements in the cost of attendance (COA) or in the expected family contribution (EFC)/Student Aid Index (SAI).
For EFC adjustments, examples of this may be (but are not limited to):
- Loss or change of employment
- Child Support change
- Death of parent or spouse
- Excessive medical expenses (must exceed 11% of adjusted gross income)
- One-time taxable income (IRA distribution, pension distribution, etc.)
For COA adjustments, examples of this may be (but are not limited to):
- Costs associated with a student’s disability
- Childcare expenses for a dependent child of student
- One-time purchase of a computer for educational use
- Higher than already included costs of housing or transportation
If you think that you have a loss of income or similar situation and would like to pursue an adjustment to your aid or cost of attendance, please contact the financial aid office for the applicable forms to submit.
Suite 107 Maltby Center
Unusual circumstances refer to the conditions that justify an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation, more commonly referred to as a dependency override.
Some situations (but not all) that would warrant an adjustment for dependency status:
- Refugee or asylee status
- Human trafficking
- Abandonment by parents
- An abusive family environment that threatens the student’s health or safety
- The student's inability to locate his/her parent
If you feel that you have a situation or circumstance that warrants a professional judgment and would like to pursue a review, please contact the financial aid office for the appropriate forms and documentation to submit.
Suite 107 Maltby Center
If you received a follow up form and communication from the financial aid office regarding your status as indicated on your FAFSA, please fill out the form and return it to the aid office so that we may continue and complete your review.