Special Circumstances refer to financial situations requiring the adjustment of data elements used for financial aid eligibility calculations. Federal regulations require initial financial aid calculations to be based on income information from 2 years prior and current year asset and household information. Families who wish to provide information regarding special circumstances or changes that are not already reflected in their FASFA or CSS Profile may start the reevaluation process by submitting a statement of their circumstance and supporting documentation. A request for a reevaluation is not a guarantee that a revision will be made and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Common Special Circumstance Reasons and Limitations
Reevaluations based on recurring and voluntary costs (such as the below examples) are limited.
- Religious Tithing
- Bonus or overtime pay
- Private or parochial school costs
- Financial support for family members who are not in the student’s household
- Annual fluctuations in income
Unusual Circumstances refer to situations requiring the adjustment of a student’s dependency status used for financial aid eligibility calculations. A student’s dependency status is determined by the information provided on the FAFSA and CSS Profile. Dependent students are required to provide parental information on those forms to be considered for all types of financial aid. Independent students are not required to provide parental information. A request for a reevaluation is not a guarantee that a revision will be made and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Since the FAFSA and CSS Profile involve slightly different analyses, it is possible for a student to be dependent on one form and independent on the other.