Professional Judgment


There may be special or unusual circumstances that negatively impact your ability to pay for college and you believe these circumstances are not accurately reflected on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you should speak with a financial aid administrator (FAA).  With limitations, and on a case-by-case basis, the FAAs may make adjustments to the data on your FAFSA.

Special Circumstances

The Special Circumstances request can be completed on CougarNet.

There are limitations on what we can do, but the results depend on the circumstances that you indicate on the Special Circumstances Request form.

Note:  Completion of the FAFSA is required before submitting the request.


Special circumstances may include:

  • Change in employment status, income, or assets
  • Change in housing status (i.e. homelessness)
  • Medical, dental, or nursing home expenses not covered by insurance
  • Child or dependent care expenses
  • Other changes or adjustments that impact the student’s ability to pay for college.

***This is not an exhaustive list.

Dependency Override Appeal Form

The Dependency Override Appeal can be completed on CougarNet.

The Dependency Override Appeal is an option for students who have unusual circumstances which may qualify them for independent status for FAFSA purposes.

Note:  Completion of the FAFSA is required before submitting the appeal.


Unusual circumstances do not include:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education.
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on the application or for verification.
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.