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Special Circumstances

Students and families can experience changes in income and other resources during the application period and also the academic year. In such cases as job loss, changes in family circumstances, etc., the FAFSA/CA Dream applications may not accurately reflect your financial circumstances. If you feel this applies to you, please notify the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible. You can work with your financial aid advisor to go over your options and review your application.

Change in Income

Federal and state regulations require all applicants to report two years prior income figures on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or CA Dream Act Application. Regulations also allow the Financial Aid Office to revise the information on your FAFSA/CA Dream application to reflect a reduction in income if documented special circumstances exist. Examples of special circumstances include but are not limited to:

  • Reduction in Household income due to layoffs or termination of employment
  • Changes in family circumstances (such as divorce, separation or death)
  • Unique medical or dental expenses
  • One-time borrowing of 401K or other assets

If you are experiencing, or have experienced documentable special circumstances like those described above, please contact your financial aid advisor to discuss your options. You will be asked to submit documentation to support a change of income appeal if deemed eligible. Requests are considered only after you have received your initial financial aid award letter. It can take 2 to 4 weeks for the financial aid office to review and process your special circumstance appeal. Please keep in mind these are estimated times, your advisor will know the accuracy of the time frame once the process has been initiated. 

The decision of the financial aid administrator is final. 

Note: A change in student 's aid eligibility will likely not occur if:
* The person who lost employment has currently been rehired and is earning a similar or higher salary than two years prior
* The loss or change to income was not significant