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Special Circumstances & Adjustments to Financial Aid Eligibility

  • Financial: Special financial circumstances are those, which significantly affect the families' ability to pay for college. Examples: Loss of employment, cessation child support payments, extraordinary medical expenses, bankruptcy.
  • Adverse Home Conditions: A student from a difficult background, completely estrangement from or endangered by his or her family, may qualify as an "independent" student. A student with this circumstance will need to work with the Financial Aid Office in applying for a 'dependency override'. If the college approves an override, no parent information will be required for the FAFSA.

What help is available?

Financial Aid Offices have the authority to exercise discretion and recognize both the financial and adverse home conditions described above. This process is called Professional Judgment. Each college has its own internal policies and procedures for professional judgment. Only the Financial Aid Office can make changes; the United States Department of Education cannot authorize changes in the FAFSA data.

The actual amount and type of extra financial aid a student might receive cannot be determined until the student goes through the process.

Each student is considered on a case-by-case basis; colleges have their own internal policies and procedures. At Columbus State, special circumstance appeals are processed by the Financial Aid advising staff. Refer to the Special Circumstances Appeal or Dependency Override Appeal forms for more detail.

Special Circumstances Appeals for 2014-2015 can be submitted after July 1 using actual income through June 30, 2014.

Information is available at the Financial Aid Office.