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Special Circumstances

You or your family may have unusual circumstances that are not reflected on the FAFSA and that might affect the calculation of financial need.

Students and their families may face situations where the original application information does not accurately reflect their current circumstances and ability to pay for college. When students apply for financial aid, the financial data elements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) reflect the previous year's earnings of students and their parents, as reported on their federal income tax.

The FAFSA is considered to be a "snapshot" of the family's financial situation as of the date it is submitted. The expected family contribution (EFC) is calculated according to a federal formula that uses the household and financial information to determine a student/and or family's financial strength. The EFC represents the portion of a student's and their family's financial resources that can reasonably be expected to pay for college.

When Financial Circumstances Change

Even if you feel the FAFSA will not reflect changed financial circumstances in the current year, complete the FAFSA as best you can, supplying the information requested. DePauw has a formal institutional appeal process to handle unusual circumstances, hardship expenses, or emergency needs. Students may submit a special circumstances appeal to determine if their unusual circumstances bear consideration in reevaluating financial aid eligibility.

Dependency Status: Dependent or Independent?

Student dependency status is determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on responses to the questions in Step Three of the FAFSA. To appeal your dependency status, you must clearly demonstrate an adverse family situation in order for us to consider you independent for financial aid purposes. This is called a dependency override, and is considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • DEPENDENCY OVERRIDE APPEAL GUIDELINES AND FORM   
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