Special Circumstance Request

Before submitting a Special Circumstances Request for Preliminary Review form to our office, you must have completed the appropriate Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with SSU's school code of 001156.

To expedite consideration of special circumstances, complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using actual income from the year requested on the FAFSA as soon as possible. Be sure to complete all To Do List items as soon as you are notified of them. It is a federal requirement that the verification process is completed prior to the processing of a Special Circumstance Request. More details about verification can be found on our To Do List Notifications page,  What Does It Mean to be "Selected for Verification?".

Special circumstances are significant changes in your family’s financial circumstances that may affect the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated on the FAFSA.

PLEASE NOTE: For newly admitted Fall semester students, you may have to decide if SSU is affordable for you based on the financial aid award you are offered without consideration of special circumstances.

Typically, consideration is limited to the following situations:

  • Death of a parent or spouse after the FAFSA was filed, or separation/divorce after the FAFSA was filed
  • Job loss or job change, retirement, or loss of a financial benefit
  • One-time, non-recurring income that won’t be received in subsequent years
  • Dependent student married after the FAFSA was filed (and before August 1 of the academic year)

When projected income is used to adjust the EFC, only ONE special circumstance can be approved while the student is attending SSU. The adjusted EFC will be used to evaluate eligibility for federal financial aid, such as the Pell Grant program and the Subsidized Direct Loan program.

Deadlines for Submitting Requests

Fall 2020 - Spring 2021

  • Attending Academic Year (fall and spring): April 15, 2021
  • Attending Fall 2020 only: November 15, 2020
  • Attending Spring 2021 only: April 15, 2021

Timeline for Processing of Requests

Students Admitted for Fall 2020 or Spring 2021

You will receive an initial response to your Special Circumstance Request for Preliminary Review within 21 business days. You will be notified whether or not your special circumstance is eligible for further consideration. The response will indicate whether or not your circumstances meet the requirements of our policy. If the circumstances meet our policy, we will let you know if it appears the income change will result in additional financial aid resources and what further documentation may be required. Finally, the response will let you know when processing of your request will be completed.

Continuing Students

Your request will be reviewed starting in July after continuing students are awarded.

Special Circumstance Request Forms

Make sure you view or download the correct form for the appropriate financial aid year and for parent or student. The semesters that correspond to each financial aid award year are listed in the link.

Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Special Circumstance Forms

2020-21 Special Circumstances Request for Parent

2020-21 Special Circumstances Request for Student