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Special Circumstances

The FAFSA uses a standardized formula for all when determining eligibility for Title IV financial aid. There are circumstances, however, where adjustments are warranted due to changes in a student's/family's income and/or expenses. On a case-by-case basis, the Financial Aid Office will review these instances upon a student's request, but there are deadlines for doing so:

  • November 1 for students beginning enrollment in the fall semester
  • April 1 for students beginning enrollment in the spring semester

There must be compelling reasons for any review requests and adequate supporting documentation must be provided. For example, the Financial Aid Office cannot approve a dependency override for a student under 24 whose parents are not willing to financially assist the student and/or provide their personal information on the student's FAFSA. However, the situations below, while not all-inclusive, are indicative of special circumstance:  

  • Change in employment status for students and/or parents
    • Layoff, termination, displacement or change in status from full-time to part-time
  • Divorce, separation, or death of a spouse or parent following completion of the FAFSA
  • A one-time payment of income or benefits in the base tax year that will not be repeated in following years
  • Natural disasters (loss of home)
  • A change in dependency status
  • Excessive out-of-pocket expenses above the Income Protection Allowance included in the Estimated Family Contribution formula
    • 30% for Food Expenses
    • 22% for Housing Expenses
    • 9% for Transportation Expenses
    • 16% for Personal Expenses
    • 11% for Medical Expenses
    • 12% for Other Miscellaneous Expenses

Complete the Income Adjustment Request form to begin the review process.