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Special Circumstance Requests

Many families experience changes in financial circumstances during the academic year which is not taken into account on the FAFSA because the FAFSA uses the previous year’s information.  As Financial Aid Counselor’s we have the ability to review your situation and make adjustments to a student’s and/or parent’s financial information on the FAFSA.  Each request is considered on a case-by-case basis.  Adjustments of financial aid awards are subject to the availability of funds.

Please go ahead and accept awards on your on-line award notification so we can begin processing your aid.  If the special circumstances increases or cause new awards to be added, you will be sent an email with a new award notification.

What special circumstances will be considered?

  • Additional Books & Supplies that are required for your education
  • Travel Expenses for additional travel required for school
  • Day Care Expenses for Independent Students
  • Student Cost of Living for Independent Students
  • Parents are Attending College and Paying Out-of-Pocket
  • Parent(s) Lose Job or Experience Significant Reduction in Earnings
  • Parents Separate/Divorce after FAFSA is filed
  • Excess Medical Expenses
  • Parent Retires Mid-Year
  • Death of a Parent

How do I request a special circumstance review?

First, you must write a detailed letter explaining family situation or how expenses have changed that meets one of the specified situations.  You must provide the documentation requested below for your situation.  This information and documentation will be used to evaluate changes in your family situation and to determine if adjustments can be made in order to present a more realistic picture of the family’s ability to contribute to the cost of education.  Each request is considered on a case-by-case basis.

In order for your special circumstance request to be reviewed we must receive all of the required documentation that is listed below.  The review process will not begin until all documentation has been received.  Please continue to monitor your RU portal account and email to determine if we need any additional documentation from you.  Once all documentation is received it can and will take 8 WEEKS to complete the review process.

Documentation Required by Circumstance

  Did you Experience? Required Documentation
Books & Supply Expenses I paid more for my required supplies than what is allocated -Signed letter from student explaining situation
-Copies of paid receipts
Travel Expenses I am required to travel for class or an internship and my expenses exceed what is allocated -Signed letter from student explaining situation
-Information on trips required - make & model of vehicle, starting location, ending destination, number of trips per week
Day Care Expenses I have child care expenses that must be paid so that I can attend class -Signed letter from student explaining situation
-Copies of prior month payments or a letter from the provider confirming what is paid each month (must be on letterhead)
Student Cost of Living My monthly expenses exceed what is allocated for living expenses -Signed letter from student explaining situation
-Copies of documentation supporting monthly expenses
-Budget Increase Request Form
Parent in College I have a parent that is attending college working toward a degree and is paying their own educational expenses -Signed letter from student and parent explaining situation
-Enrollment verification form from the parent's college/university for the upcoming year
Loss of Income or Benefits My family has experienced a loss of income from jobs or benefits that are no longer available -Signed letter from student and parent explaining situation
-Projected Year Income Form
-Copy of parent's tax returns, schedules, and W-2 forms
-Documentation regarding loss of benefits - i.e. Letter from Unemployment commission, Letter from Prior Employer, Letter from agency discontinuing benefits
Separation/ Divorce My parents have separated or divorced since I filed the FAFSA -Signed letter from student and parent explaining situation
-Projected Year Income Form
-Copy of parent's tax returns, schedules, and W-2 forms
-Copy of separation agreement
Excess Medical Expenses My family is paying excessive medical expenses out of pocket -Signed letter from student and parent explaining situation
-Copies of statements/bills and payment confirmations toward those bills not covered by insurance
Parent Retirement My parent(s) have retired since I filed the FAFSA -Signed letter from student and parent explaining situation
-Projected Year Income Form
-Copy of parent's tax returns, schedules, and W-2 forms
-Copy of separation letter
-Copy of statements of retirement benefits
Loss of Parent I have had a parent pass away since I filed the FAFSA -Signed letter from student and surviving parent/guardian explaining situation
-Copy of Death Certificate
-Copy of parent's tax returns, schedules, and W-2 forms