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Special Circumstances


Special Circumstance Application

A special circumstance is when the information provided on the FAFSA form is not reflective of the family’s financial situation. A financial aid administrator may then adjust a student’s FAFSA data to more accurately reflect the family’s situation. This may or may not result in an increase in gift aid available to you.

Special Circumstance requests are considered each spring through summer prior to the start of the upcoming academic year.  In order for your Special Circumstance to be reviewed you must submit an application as well as all additional requested information.   If you feel you have circumstances that warrant special attention by our office, please let us know by sending an email, describing your situation, to

2024-2025 Special Circumstance Application for an Independent Student 

2024-2025 Special Circumstance Application for a Dependent Student 


2023-2024 Special Circumstance Application for an Independent Student 

2023-2024 Special Circumstance Application for a Dependent Student 



Unusual Circumstance Application

An Unusual Circumstance refers to students who are considered dependent by Federal Student Aid but are unable to provide parent information on the FAFSA. Examples of unusual circumstances include the following:

  • Estrangement from parents due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, unsafe home environment, and etc
  • Students having been granted refugee or asylum status and are unable to contact their parent(s)
  • Parental incarceration
  • Human trafficking, as described in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.SS.C. 7101 et seq.)

The following situations are NOT considered unusual circumstances for financial aid purposes:

  • Parents refusing to contribute to the student’s education or provide information on the FAFSA
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency

2024-2025 Unusual Circumstance Application for students requesting a dependency override

2023-2024 Unusual Circumstance Application for students requesting a dependency override



To Receive Additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan Funds (Dependent students whose parents may be unable to borrow a Federal Parent PLUS Loan)

Parents of dependent students should first apply for a Parent PLUS Loan.

  • If the loan is denied, students will be eligible to receive an additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan.
  • If a parent is approved but unable to borrow the loan due to an economic hardship, the student may qualify for an additional Unsubsidized Direct loan.  The student should e-mail to let a counselor know that the family does not intend to take out the Parent PLUS Loan.  The student and parent will be e-mailed a Special Circumstance Form.



Dependent Students without Parent Support

Dependent students whose parents refuse to support them OR refuse to complete the FAFSA are not eligible for a dependency override, but they may be able to receive a dependent level Direct Unsubsidized Loan only. Students in this situation should:

  • Indicate this situation on their FAFSA, and
  • Provide a signed and dated letter from their parent stating their refusal to provide support and/or complete the FAFSA

Students who are unable to provide a signed/dated letter from their parent may provide documentation from a third party (teacher, counselor, mentor, religious worker, and etc).

Please contact with any questions or concerns about this process.