Special Consideration Information
If you or your family has experienced a significant change in your financial situation, the Financial Aid Office, under limited circumstances, may be able to re-evaluate your eligibility for financial aid for the school year. This re-evaluation will be based upon the information you provide with the Special Consideration Request form.
In some instances, a student or family can demonstrate a financial loss from one year to the next, however, the financial loss may not be significant enough to gain more financial aid eligibility. It is important for you to know that not all changes in circumstances will result in an adjustment and increase a student's financial aid award.
- Students who are requesting Special Consideration must first complete the FAFSA for the appropriate aid year. If you have not already done so, please click here to file a FAFSA.
- Prior to the evaluation of your request for Special Consideration your FAFSA must be verified by our office. Instructions for completing the verification process are included with the Special Consideration Request forms at the bottom of this page. If you have already completed the verification process for the academic year under consideration, you may omit this step. If information that you previously reported on your FAFSA was not accurate, verification may result in the loss of some aid that has already been awarded and/or paid to the student, which may not be reinstated if your request for special consideration is not approved.
- Students whose FAFSA resulted in a $0 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) cannot improve their financial aid eligibility so submitting this request will result in a denial. The process is designed to lower the EFC, and if you are already at $0, there is no change that can be made to improve the calculation.
Circumstances that will be considered:
- Reduced wages due to job loss or layoff, decreased work hours for at least 6 weeks;
- Receipt of Unemployment Benefits in lieu of wages or expiration of unemployment benefits;
- Expiration or change in disability or Social Security benefits;
- Inflated Adjusted Gross Income on tax return due to a pension withdrawal that was used to pay off past due debt.
- High out of pocket medical, dental, vision or prescription expenses that you have paid (not incurred);
- Loss or reduction in child support or spousal support payments;
- Marital divorce or separation;
- Death of a parent or spouse;
- Other similar financial changes as appropriate.
Circumstances that do not qualify for reconsideration:
- One time income from gambling winnings or capital gains;
- IRA distributions that were not applied toward past due debt;
- Private elementary or high school tuition;
- Parent in college expenses;
- Unusual expenses related to personal living such as wedding expenses, credit card bills, utility bills, home mortgage, school loan payments, car payments, or other miscellaneous consumer expenses.
Supporting documentation of your request must be provided for re-evaluation. Any request that is submitted without support is subject to immediate denial. Incomplete documentation will result in delayed processing of your request. The information provided for support must be sufficient to calculate your income for the entire year being evaluated. Estimates of future income must be clearly explained and documented.
Examples of required documentation:
- Reduced Wages due to job loss or layoff: Provide most recent pay stub to show year-to-date earnings; also include a letter from the employer indicating date of layoff, reduced hours, or separation if applicable.
- Unemployment Benefits Received/Expired: Provide proof of unemployment earnings via benefits sheet, on-line benefit account print out, or bank statement to show benefit deposits. Provide documentation of when benefits began and when they are expected to end.
- Change in benefits for disability, Social Security, child or spousal support: proof of benefit including effective date and amount, date of change in benefit, and expiration date described in benefits disclosure sheet or court document.
- Pension withdrawal to pay off debt: Proof of payment toward debt owed prior to withdrawal and proof of withdrawal date (1099-R if applicable).
- Medical Costs: Schedule A from Federal tax return (if applicable), Proof of payments made or payment arrangements, recent pay stub to show deductions for medical insurance. Do not submit bills unless they document your payments.
- Divorce or Separation: Submit W-2 form for custodial parent on FAFSA, copy of legal separation or proof of separate household or copy of divorce decree. Document child support and spousal support agreement if applicable.
- Death of a parent or spouse: Include copy of death certificate, if wages were earned in the current year include last pay stub with year-to-date earnings.
If you have filed a tax extension, your request will not be reviewed until the IRS has processed your return and you have submitted Tax Return Transcripts or completed IRS Data Retrieval.
If additional information is needed to process your Special Consideration Request, we will contact the student and/or parent via the university e-mail address that is provided on the request form.
Review and Notification:
Your Special Consideration Request will be reviewed within three weeks of completion of the verification process.
Notification of approval will be viewable on the student’s MyFSU account in the Student Requirements and Accept Award Offer sections on the Academics and Services tab. Notifications of a denial will be available in the Student Requirements section of MyFSU and a letter regarding the decision will be issued.
Please note that Special Consideration Request Forms for 2016-2017 will not be available or accepted until June 1, 2016. Students may prepare for the Special Consideration Request by submitting documentation required to complete the Verification Process for 2016-2017.
NOTE: Please allow 2-3 weeks from the submission of all requested documentation for response.