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Special circumstance reviews

We recognize that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may not always portray an accurate picture of your current financial situation.

If you experience a circumstance that is unusual or if your financial circumstances have changed significantly since you submitted your FAFSA, you may request a re-evaluation of your financial aid eligibility.

The U.S. Department of Education allows financial aid administrators to use their professional judgment for re-evaluations on a case-by-case basis. This process is called a “special circumstance review request.” The review process is described below.

The following personal situations are circumstances that can be reviewed through a special circumstance review request:

  • Involuntary separation from employment/involuntary loss of Income due to a loss or change in employment
  • Change in marital status
  • Medical/dental expenses not covered by insurance
  • Death of spouse or parent
  • Loss of child support reported on FAFSA
  • Parent (of dependent student) in college, full-time

The following information will provide more guidance on whether or not to submit a review request and what you may reasonably expect after submitting your completed review form and required supporting documentation. Please review all points before submitting your information.

  • If you have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of ‘0,’ you are already receiving the maximum financial aid we are able to offer to you. There are no adjustments we can make to your FAFSA that would enable you to receive additional financial aid.
  • Please realize that an approved Special Circumstance Review Request does not always result in additional financial aid. This could happen if your situation does not reduce (lower) your EFC enough to be within new financial aid eligibility levels for certain aid programs (Federal Pell Grant, Ohio College Opportunity Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, etc.).
  • Because of the nature of the process, reviews often take more time than other processes in our operation. We ask for your patience and understanding while we give your submission our fullest attention. You will be contacted when your review is complete, regardless of the outcome. You should continue to take action on the financial aid offered to you to be sure the financial aid currently offered to you is ready before the start of the semester. You will not be penalized for accepting loans that are offered to you if you later decide to cancel them. If your appeal is approved and you become eligible for additional financial aid, your eligibility for other awards will be adjusted to reflect your new aid eligibility. University charges are due by the deadlines established by the Office of Student Accounts regardless of pending special circumstance reviews.
  • Incomplete forms/missing supporting documentation will delay your review. Be sure to review the form and gather all the required documentation in the panel lower on this page (titled "Required supporting documentation") before submitting to the Student Financial Aid Office. If more documentation is needed, we will send you an email. Please check your email and respond to any requests in a timely manner.
  • Students must file their own review requests and required supporting documentation. Do not include more than one student’s name on the form.

The following supporting documentation is required to be submitted along with your completed Special Circumstance Review Request Form. Do not submit your request form without all of the required supporting documentation. Incomplete forms/missing supporting documentation will delay the processing of your review.

  • Federal tax return transcript or signed copy of 1040 form along with any schedules 1, 2, or 3, as applicable for student/spouse
  • Federal tax return transcript  or signed copy of 1040 form along with any schedules 1, 2, or 3, as applicable for parent/s of dependent students 
  • Letter from previous employer (on company/business letterhead) indicating start and end dates and year-to-date earnings
  • W2s for student/spouse and/or Schedule C/C-EZ if self-employed 
  • W2s for parent/s of dependent students and/or Schedule C/C-EZ if self-employed
  • If reporting reduction in income, copy of last pay stub showing YTD earnings for the person(s) whose income was reduced 
  • If reporting separation from employment, statement of unemployment benefits (if received)
  • If reporting separation/divorce, appropriate court documents indicating date of separation or divorce
  • If reporting death of spouse or parent, death certificate
  • Academic year 2021-22: if reporting medical expenses not paid by insurance, a signed and dated summary totaling those expenses not covered in 2021 (expenses must have been incurred in 2021 and must not have been paid by insurance - you must be able to document this)
  • If reporting parent (of dependent student) in college full-time, 2021-22 Parent in College Form

Once you have read the information in all sections above, please download a copy of the special circumstance review request form.


Covering summer 2021, fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters

After downloading the form, be sure to review all of the required supporting documentation. Incomplete forms/missing supporting documentation will delay the processing of your review.

Please know that only one review is permitted per student, per situation.

Deadline to submit 2021-22 special circumstance requests: April 15, 2022.

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