Unusual Circumstances Appeals

You may have unusual or other circumstances that affect how you’re able to fund your education. We are here to help.

Appeal Considerations 

Unless a student can answer “Yes” to  the personal circumstances questions on the aid application, parental information is required. However, if there are unusual or other circumstances, we may be able to consider a dependency override.

If you indicated you had Other Circumstances, such as homelessness, or Unusual Circumstances on your FAFSA or CADAA, the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office will reach out to you by phone or email.  If we determine your circumstances are unusual you will be asked to file an Unusual Circumstances Appeal.  If you indicate you have experienced homelessness, the Financial Aid and Scholarships office will request an interview with you.  If we determine we can perform a dependency override parental data will not be required on the aid application. The first step is to file an aid application and indicate whether you fall into the “Other Circumstances” or “Unusual Circumstances” categories.

What is  considered an unusual circumstance?

Parent abandonment, an abusive family environment that threatens the student’s health or safety, incapacitated or incarcerated parents, human trafficking, the student not being able to locate their parents or being at risk of homelessness are all examples of what would be considered unusual circumstances. This is not an exhaustive list and if you believe you have unusual circumstances that should be considered, please contact us

What is not considered an unusual circumstance? 

Parents who refuse to contribute towards educational expenses, parents who are unwilling to provide information on the aid application, parents who do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes, or students who demonstrate total financial self-sufficiency are not considered unusual circumstances. 

What is considered an other circumstance? 

A student is considered to have an “other” circumstance related to dependency if they have experienced homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.  In these cases, you may receive an email or phone call from a financial aid counselor to further explore your situation and determine whether it falls within the criteria that would allow a dependency override.

What is required? 

To be considered an independent student due to these circumstances, students may be asked to complete an Unusual Circumstances Appeal . Students will have an opportunity to provide a statement on the request, telling us about their unusual circumstances. In addition, we ask that students provide a letter of support from a professional source familiar with their situation – examples include a doctor, therapist, or clergy person. 

Students who indicate that they are at risk of homelessness on the aid application may receive an email from a counselor to set up a phone appointment for a discussion of their circumstances.


How to Apply 

To be considered for an Unusual Circumstances Appeal, please contact us directly and we can work with you individually based on your unique circumstances. 


Do I need to submit an appeal every year?

​​If you have previously been approved for a dependency override, or approved as an independent unaccompanied homeless youth, you do not need to submit a new appeal every academic year. Our office will automatically carry over your approval into the next academic year once your FAFSA/CADAA is on file.