Special Circumstances

Federal financial aid regulations specify that financial aid eligibility is based on income and tax returns in the prior-prior tax year. We understand that sometimes the FAFSA does not accurately reflect you or your family’s ability to pay for college.

In some cases, a family's financial circumstances may have changed since the tax year information being used to complete the FAFSA.  You may request that we evaluate your need-based aid on your more current financial situation, such as income earned in the current or prior year instead of the income reported on the FAFSA.

Results from the FAFSA must be on file with the Office of Financial Aid before a special circumstance can be considered.

Examples of Special Circumstances that may be considered
  • Loss of Taxable/Untaxed Income (i.e. loss of employment of 8 weeks or longer (this requirement may be waived in certain situations), loss of social security or disability benefits, other significant reduction of income, etc.)
  • Separation or Divorce
  • Death of Parent or Spouse
  • Medical/Dental Expense (expenses paid and not covered by insurance)
  • One-time Income Exception
Special Circumstance Appeal Process

Please complete the Special Circumstance appeal form and submit all required documentation.  If you have questions about your particular situation or any of the required documents, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

When evaluating your eligibility we will give full consideration to the information provided, however, it is not guaranteed that adjustments to your information will result in a change of Financial Aid eligibility.

Additionally, the Office of Financial Aid will consider special circumstances for a family on a case-by-case basis.  Having adjustments made in one academic year does not guarantee considerations will be made in following academic years.  Special circumstance appeals must be made on an annual basis and after the FAFSA has been completed for that specific academic year.  

Appeal Forms

If you are a dependent student on the FAFSA, use the form below. Note that the dependent student form must be initiated by the student using MyCLU login:

2023-24 Special Circumstance Form – Dependent

If you are an independent student on the FAFSA, use the form below:

2023-24 Special Circumstance Form – Independent