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Extenuating Circumstances and Special Conditions

Financial aid administrators are given the authority (by the Higher Education Act of 1965) to use professional judgment in reviewing requests by students to consider special or extenuating circumstances that are not reflected on the FAFSA or included in the standard Cost of Attendance.


Circumstances that can be considered include but are not limited to:


  • Recent unemployment or change in income of a family member(s) reported on the FAFSA
  • Unusually high child care costs
  • Substantial changes in assets, household size or student status
  • Out of pocket medical/dental bills not covered by insurance or included in itemized deductions
  • Roth IRA rollovers included in the respective year’s tax formula
  • Override of a student’s dependency status determined by the FAFSA
  • Revision of a student’s estimated Cost of Attendance to include educational costs not already incorporated (ex. one-time computer purchase, extenuating travel expenses for rotations)


Circumstances not allowed by Federal regulation to be considered include vacation expenses, tithing, credit card expenses/debt, and standard living expenses such as rent, utilities, and allowances.


A request for professional judgment must be submitted with the proper form(s); documentation required for verification (signed tax return, verification worksheet) and supporting the circumstance(s). Review is done on a case-by-case basis only and the decision by the financial aid administrator is final. Approval of the request does not guarantee additional financial aid eligibility. Please contact OSFA for more information.