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Special And Unusual Circumstances

You or your family may have special or 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 earnings of students and their parents, as reported on their federal income tax, from nearly two years ago.

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. 

When Financial Circumstances Change

Even if you feel the FAFSA will not reflect changed financial circumstances (loss of job, reduction in earnings, etc.) in the current year, complete the FAFSA as requested. DePauw has an institutional process to handle changes in the family's financial situation. Students may submit a special circumstances request by emailing financialaid@depauw.edu and detailing your family's extenuating circumstances. Your request will be forwarded to your financial aid counselor to review and additional information for documentation may be required.  Please allow up to two weeks for review and processing.

Unusual Circumstances: Dependent OR Independent?

Unusual Circumstances refer to the conditions that justify an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student's dependency status based on a unique situation (e.g., human trafficking, refugee or asylee status, parental abandonment, incarceration), more commonly referred to as a dependency override.

Students with unusual circumstances should contact the financial aid office at financialaid@depauw.edu or 765-658-4030.  The student will be put in touch with their financial aid counselor to review their unusual circumstance.  Additional information and documentation may be required.