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Special Circumstances

What If I Have Special Circumstances?

During the academic year, you and your family may experience a change in your financial situation, or you and your family may have unusual circumstances that have resulted in a reduction of your or your family's income that is considerably less than what was reported on the FAFSA. If so, you are encouraged to apply for an Income Adjustment. Circumstance that warrant special consideration include: unemployment or change of employment; divorce or separation after applying for Federal student aid; death of parent or student's spouse after applying for Federal student aid; disability of student or parent or student's spouse; loss of job due to a disability or natural disaster; one–time income, such as an inheritance or IRA or pension distribution; loss of unemployment compensation or some other untaxed income or benefit; and unusual expenses not reflected on the FAFSA, i.e. unusual medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance, extended family support or dependent care expenses

Through the Income Adjustment, a financial aid counselor will review your financial aid application and make adjustments that more closely reflect your individual circumstances. It is your responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid of any special or unusual circumstances or changes in your financial status that may affect your ability to pay for college.

Carefully read and follow the steps below.

STEP 1-Verify your 2013 income information by completing and SIGNING the 2014-2015 Verification Worksheet and bringing in appropriate 2013 income documents, i.e. the 2013 IRS Tax Return Transcript and all W-2 forms and 1099 statements for year 2013. You can call the IRS to request these tax documents by calling 1-800-829-1040 or you can order them online by visiting www.irs.gov.

STEP 2-Schedule an appointment for the Income Adjustment with a counselor. For the appointment, you will need the Income Adjustment Request Form due to Special Circumstances or the Unusual Expenses form. The form must be completed and signed. Please make sure you give a detailed explanation of the change in your situation, give the date of the change, and explain the anticipated income for the period of reference. And finally, it is most important to come to the appointment, with the supporting documentation, to explain your new circumstance. On the forms, the appropriate documentation for your individual circumstance is listed. We strongly suggest that you bring the documentation needed. Most times, follow up appointments and additional documentation are required to complete the adjustment in your income data. Please come well prepared for the appointment.

An Income Adjustment Request submitted without required supporting documentation and letters of explanation will not be considered. Submission of an Income Adjustment Request does not guarantee that your financial aid will be adjusted.

PLEASE NOTE: SUBMISSION DEADLINES FOR THE 2014-2015 ACADEMIC YEAR INCOME ADJUSTMENTS AND ALL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION ARE AS FOLLOWS:

  • FALL 2014: NOVEMBER 14, 2014
  • SPRING 2015: APRIL 16, 2015

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