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Unusual Circumstances Related to the FAFSA

The FAFSA for the 2021-2022 academic year uses 2019 income and tax information to determine eligibility for the Pell Grant and other need-based aid such as Subsidized Direct Loans.  You may qualify for a review of your FAFSA information, if your 2019 income (or your family’s income for a dependent student) does not accurately reflect your current financial situation due to unusual circumstances such as the following:

  • Reduction in income due to unemployment, job change, reduced hours, or retirement
  • One-time income such as a bonus or payout included as income on your 2019 tax return
  • Unusually high or unexpected expenses for medical care, funerals, or dependent care
  • Significant reduction in assets listed on the FAFSA to cover necessary expenses

If changes are warranted, the Financial Aid Office can update your income or other FAFSA data elements to reflect your current financial situation. If your FAFSA Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is reduced to 5846 or lower, you may qualify for a Pell Grant.  Please note that adjustments do not always result in additional financial aid.

To estimate your updated EFC visit FinAid.org’s EFC Calculator (https://finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate/).

Before filing a request for a review of your FAFSA results you should know that

  • A reduction in your EFC may not result in additional aid
  • Graduate students are not eligible for additional financial aid based on a FAFSA review
  • Students who have EFCs of 0 are not eligible for additional financial aid based on a FAFSA review
  • Dependent students who list parent information on the FAFSA, are, generally, not eligible to request a review based on the student’s loss of income

How do I apply

  1. Complete the FAFSA using your 2019 information at StudentAid.gov
  2. Call the Financial Aid Office at 605-688-4695 to discuss your situation to see if you qualify for a review
  3. Complete the Change of Income Form provided by the Financial Aid Office
  4. Be sure to turn in all the required documentation and signatures along with the Change of Income Form