Special Circumstances

The Department of Education allows a review of a student's Financial Aid Award Offer if a student and/or family's financial situation changes since the FAFSA was completed.  The Office of Financial Aid Services can review your unique situation under certain circumstances for additional federal or state assistance.  The circumstances that are eligible for an additional review are listed below.  In addition, if your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is already a zero, a review would not result in any additional assistance due to the EFC already calculated to a zero.

Circumstances that can be reviewed:

  • Loss of employment
  • Reduction of work hours
  • Extremely high medical expenses
  • Marital status change (ie, divorce, separation, widowed)
  • Loss of one-time income

If you have been affected by one of the circumstances outlined above, complete the Income Reduction Form for the current academic year.  The Income Reduction Form can be found on the Financial Aid page of myLewis.  Follow the instructions and submit all the appropriate documentation to the Office of Financial Aid Services.

Circumstances that cannot be reviewed:

  • Voluntarily decreasing work hours to attend college
  • Resigning or leaving job voluntarily
  • Extensive credit card debt
  • Union position where hours fluctuate yearly
  • The loss of overtime hours

Unusual Circumstances

The Department of Education allows a review of a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation.  Examples of unique situations can include but are not limited to:

  • Abuse and neglect
  • refugee or asylee status
  • parental abandonment
  • unaccompanied homeless youth
  • youth in foster care
  • threat to student health/safety or incarceration of a parent

This process is also referred to as a dependency override. Students that indicate an unusual circumstance on their FAFSA will be sent a follow up communication regarding the process for a review of their unique situation.

A student that would like to be reviewed based on their unique situation will need to submit the Dependency Override Form in addition to all the documentation related to the unique situation.  The Dependency Appeal Form can be found on the Financial Aid page of myLewis.

Financial Aid Services will review all documentation and a decision on the course of action to be taken, if any within 60 days of receiving the documents.  Students will be notified once the request has been processed. The decision by the FA committee will be final.

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