Special CircumstancesAfter filing the FAFSA, some families realize that their EFC may not adequately reflect the family’s current financial situation due to extenuating circumstances. The federal government allows schools to review a family’s unique circumstances beyond the student’s/family’s control to determine if the situation warrants special consideration.
- Loss/Change of employment
- Death of a parent/spouse
- Dependent student marries after the FAFSA was filed
- Declared state of emergency (COVID-19, Tornadoes, etc.)
If you believe you qualify for a special circumstance, follow the steps to request
a professional judgement.
A student considered dependent may have family circumstances that warrant evaluation so that the student can be considered independent. The basis of a dependency appeal must be rooted in circumstances that are unusual. These circumstances may include:
- Abusive home environment
- Student is homeless
- Student is unaccompanied
- Parent death after FAFSA was completed
The following situations do not, by themselves, qualify as unusual circumstances in order to grant an appeal:
- Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education
- Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification
- Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
- The student demonstrates total self-sufficiency
- Students and parents “don’t get along”
- The student is a single parent or pregnant
If you believe you qualify for a Dependency Appeal, please follow the steps to request a professional judgement for your dependency status.
Steps to Request a Professional Judgment:
- Contact a financial aid administrator Evonne.Meeks@uafs.edu or Megan.Smith@uafs.edu to initiate a conversation about your situation.
- Submit all documentation for the appeal request to one of the financial aid administrators.
- Work closely with that financial aid administrator in order to have a complete appeal file.
- Await a decision. Your financial aid administrator will notify you via email of the decision.