What Is a FAFSA Special Circumstance Re-Evaluation & Why Might You Need One

The FAFSA uses prior years federal tax information to create your current financial aid award. 

Due to recent events or other personal changes, your prior federal tax information may no longer be representative of your current circumstances. The FAFSA Special Circumstance re-evaluation process allows our office to review for potential changes to your FAFSA information. Some examples of these changes could be 

  • Loss or reduction of employment/income
  • Household size changes (death of parent or spouse; or addition of persons)
  • Marital Status Changes
  • One-time income distributions
  • Other relevant circumstances

The special circumstance re-evaluation process is different and distinct from the verification process. The verification process ensures all financial aid is awarded according to federal and state regulations, and MUST be completed before any federal financial aid, including federal student loans, and certain State and institutional aid, can be finalized. 

You may begin the special circumstance re-evaluation process at any time, however the verification process is required to be completed first. Continue to submit any requested documents to the financial aid office. 

For the 2022-2023 academic year, the FAFSA is based on 2020 income.  If you will be attending the 2022-2023 academic year and there have been changes to your circumstances since 2020. For dependent students please use the Parent Special Circumstance Re-evaluation, for independent students please use Student Special Circumstance Re-evaluation.

What happens next?

The financial aid office will review the information from the questionnaire and contact you with a response. Students who appear to be eligible for re-evaluation will be emailed a link to the re-evaluation form and brief instructions. 

Participating in the questionnaire is not necessary for requesting a special circumstance re-evaluation. Any student may submit a special circumstance re-evaluation request to the financial aid office. The forms can be found here