Special Circumstances & Appeals
We recognize that the FAFSA may not reflect a family’s current financial situation.
The U.S. Department of Education allows schools to take into account situations beyond a family’s control that have occurred that may significantly alter the financial picture demonstrated on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please review the information below to determine if you have an eligible reason for review.
Examples of these special circumstances include loss of income reported on the FAFSA due to:
- The involuntary loss of employment (e.g. termination from job) of a parent, independent student, or student’s spouse whose income has been reported on the FAFSA
- Change in Employment
- Loss of child support
- Disability resulting in loss of income (short term or long term)
- The death of a parent/spouse
- Divorce or separation of parents whose income had been reported on the FAFSA
- Divorce or separation of a student whose spouse’s income had been reported on the FAFSA
Examples of circumstances that cannot be considered for a special condition include:
- A financial change that is voluntary (such as voluntary retirement, or early withdrawal of retirement funds )
- Consumer debt
- Regular monthly expenses
- Income that is reported annually on your federal tax return
- Tax liability due to recent changes in federal tax law
If you believe you qualify for a special circumstance appeal, you are eligible to request review by the Office of Student Financial Services in a process known as professional judgement.
Please note that a request for consideration of a special circumstance does not guarantee approval. In addition, even if approved, a recalculation of FAFSA data does not always result in increased eligibility for the student.
How Do I Apply for Special Circumstances and Appeals?
If your family meets the criteria stated above and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is above zero, you can apply to have your application considered for a special circumstance appeal.
As part of the review process, our Student Financial Services team will review your current financial aid offer, which means you must apply for aid and receive a financial assistance plan before you can submit an appeal. It is expected that all financial aid options are explored and exhausted before submitting a Special Circumstances Form. Submission of forms and appeal requests do not guarantee any change to your financial aid package.
Dependent Students – Please access our Special Circumstances Form for the 2022-2023 academic year by clicking here. Supporting documentation must be included with your appeal.
Independent Students – Please access our Special Circumstances Form for the 2022-2023 academic year by clicking here. Supporting documentation must be included with your appeal.
Please access our Special Circumstances Form for the 2021-2022 academic year by clicking here. Supporting documentation must be included with your appeal.
You may submit the above form(s) and any additional documentation to the Office of Student Financial Services in person, by fax (516.877.3380), or mail to:
Office of Student Financial Services
Levermore Hall, Lower Level
1 South Avenue
P.O. Box 701
Garden City, NY 11530-0701
Please contact our Office of Student Financial Services with any additional questions about special circumstances and our appeals process.