Special Circumstances

We recognize there are times when student and/or parent tax information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may not accurately reflect a household's true financial situation. If there is an unusual circumstance that should be taken into account, you may request a review to determine if adjustments can be made to your FAFSA.

There are multiple review processes, so be sure to evaluate all of them to see which process to pursue:

Complete the Special Circumstance Form for situations that require a financial review such as a change in financial circumstances, in household size due to pregnancy or unusual medical expenses. Prior to starting your review, you will be asked to complete your FAFSA and the Verification Process.

Marital Status Forms

Complete the Marital Status Form to document the loss of income due to divorce or death of a parent or spouse, or to reconcile a discrepancy of the information reported on FAFSA regarding the tax filing status and marital status.

Parent Marital Status Form

Student Marital Status Form

Complete the Cost of Attendance Adjustment Form if you would like eligibility for additional aid for expenses like child care, laptop purchases or costs for software.

Special Circumstances FAQ's

How do I submit my special circumstances for review?

  1. Our office must have your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file for the academic year that you are wanting your special circumstances to be reviewed. You may be required to complete the verification process before a decision is made.
  2. Submit the Special Circumstance Form with the required documentation indicated under the section pertaining to your specific situation. Additional information may be requested by our office.

Which situations will be considered special circumstances?

Situations that will be considered for review may include (but are not limited to):

  • Change in financial circumstances
  • Change in household size due to pregnancy
  • Unusual medical expenses

Which situations will not be considered special circumstances?

Situations that will not be considered include (but are not limited to):

  • Parent(s) refuse to pay for college
  • Mortgage, rent, car and care insurance payments
  • Tuition paid for private elementary or secondary schools
  • Medical insurance premiums
  • One-year bonus incomes (lottery winnings, gambling winnings, etc.)
  • Reduction in overtime pay or hours
  • Reduction in income due to voluntary change of employment (switched jobs) or decision to become an unemployed full-time student
  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy or reductions in income due to bankruptcy proceedings
  • Unusual expenses related to personal living (wedding expenses, loan payments, legal fees)
  • Home equity, IRA, 403B and 401K loans

What changes in my aid can I expect?

If adjustments need to be made to the student's FAFSA, the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) will be recalculated based on the information provided to the Office of Financial Assistance and a new award will be produced based on the new EFC. Suppose a situation warrants an adjustment to institutional aid. In that case, the maximum amount of additional UIW aid (if eligible) a student may receive on their award is $1,500 in an academic year ($750 per semester).

My circumstance is not listed on the Special Circumstance Form. Can I still submit one?

If your circumstance is not listed on the Special Circumstance Form, and you feel your situation should still be reviewed, please submit the Special Circumstances Form, a detailed letter explaining your situation with as much information as possible, as well as any supporting documentation to help validate your circumstance.