Special Circumstances - FAFSA

Special Circumstances - FAFSA

Have you experienced loss in income since you've submitted your FAFSA? If so, you may be eligible for more financial aid.

Federal regulations require financial aid administrators to make professional judgments in regard to students who have special circumstances that could affect their ability to pay for their education.

If you or your family have experienced loss in income since filing the FAFSA, then you should submit a Special Circumstances Form to have your financial aid file reviewed.

Special circumstances are for those who have experienced a reduction in income and/or benefits since submitting their FAFSA. A Special Circumstances Request form will allow you to request that HCC uses current or future income/benefits to make changes to your FAFSA and recalculate your eligibility to receive aid.

Examples of Special Circumstances an include:

  • Loss of employment
  • Loss of income (EX: Alimony, Child Support, Retirement/pension, Social Security (taxed), worker’s compensation)
  • Separation or Divorce
  • Death of Spouse
  • Medical/Dental Expense
  • Other (EX: Natural Disaster, Secondary tuition, or other unusual cost)

If you believe you have experienced a special circumstance, please click here to visit the Financial Aid Forms webpage and select Special Circumstances Request Form to start the review process. 

Please note that if you already have a calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of zero (0) then submitting a Special Circumstances Request Form will not change your financial aid award amount. For questions on whether you qualify for a special circumstance, or questions about the process to get your financial aid file reviewed, visit our website for Financial Aid Contact Methods.

Special Circumstance and Dependency Override Timeline and Deadlines:

Special Circumstance and Dependency Override appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and a final decision will be based on the eligible reason and supporting documentation provided.  Be sure to include sufficient supporting documentation for the review. Request for missing or additional documentation that are not responded to in a timely manner can lead to a denial.

Requests are reviewed in the order received. The process can take 2-4 weeks and may be delayed longer due to certain circumstances or request for additional information/documentation.

All documents must be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to the end of academic year or period of enrollment to be considered for review.

Approvals are not guaranteed.

Official communications regarding the appeal decision will be sent via student email.

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