Special Cases

A student may have a unique situation where the financial aid administrator can exercise professional judgement to justify adjusting data elements in the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) or in the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation.

Special Circumstances

An aid administrator may use Professional Judgement on a case-by-case basis to adjust the student’s cost of attendance or the data used to calculate his or her EFC.

The law gives some examples of special circumstances that MAY be considered (HEA Sec. 479A)

  • Change in employment status, income, or assets
  • Change in housing status (e.g., homelessness)
  • Tuition expenses at an elementary or secondary school
  • Medical, dental, or nursing home expenses not covered by insurance
  • Child or dependent care expenses
  • Severe disability of the student or other member of the student’s household
  • Other changes or adjustments that impact the student’s costs or ability to pay for college.

Unusual Circumstances

A financial aid administrator may conduct dependency overrides on a cas-by-case basis for students with unusual circumstances.

Unusual circumstances do include:

  • Human trafficking, as described in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.);
  • Legally granted refugee or asylum status;
  • Parental abandonment or estrangement; or
  • Student or parental incarceration.

Ununsual circumstances do not include:

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

In order for your request to be reviewed, you must submit THIS FORM, along with all required documents to the Office of Financial Aid. We will not contact anyone to obtain information about your request.

The forms may be accessed on our website under “Cost & Aid” by selecting “Financial Aid Forms.” We can also print a form for you in person or email it to your student email address.