Special Circumstances

The purpose of a Special Circumstance Application is to review the information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) because it is no longer an accurate representation of the family's current financial situation.

A Special Circumstance Application is approved only if the adjustment in information results in a lower Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  The listed applications are available for the 2023-2024 academic year (Summer 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024). 

If you have a special circumstance for the current year, please contact your regional campus or the One Stop for Student Services.

Important Application Information

  • The 2023-2024 FAFSA must be complete prior to submitting a Special Circumstance Application.
  • If you are selected to complete the Verification process, it must be completed before the Special Circumstance Application can be reviewed.
  • In order to be considered for any adjustments, the student must be admitted and meet all federal eligibility requirements when the Special Circumstance Application is received.
  • All sections of the application must be complete and all required documents must be received before it will be reviewed.
  • Documentation provided beyond what is requested will not be considered when processing the Special Circumstance Application.
  • Processing of this application takes 2-4 weeks from the time all requested documents are received.  
  • You are responsible for any balances owed to Kent State University while waiting for this application to be reviewed.
  • An approved Special Circumstance Application does not guarantee an increase in financial aid.

Qualifying Circumstances

Not all situations or events qualify for a Special Circumstance Application.  Kent State University recognizes the following as qualifying events:

  • Parent or student divorce
  • Death of a parent or student's spouse
  • Loss or reduction of working income
  • Loss of unemployment benefits
  • Loss of benefits such as child support, alimony, social security/disability, or workers' compensation
  • Medical or dental expenses paid that exceed 10% of the household adjusted gross income (AGI)

It is very important to select the appropriate application.  Please read the description carefully before selecting your application.  Each application clearly provides the documentation required to complete the specific Special Circumstance Application.  Selecting the wrong application will result in a delay in processing and cause requests for additional documentation.

Most applications are available for both dependent and independent students.  It is important to select the correct form.

Incomplete Applications

Any Special Circumstances Application that is left incomplete after the Spring semester submission deadline has passed will be subject to review for conflicting information.  If the student is still enrolled, the submitted documentation will be reviewed for conflicting information.  If such conflicting information exists, the student:

  • Will be required to provide the necessary documentation to complete verification of the conflicting information
  • May be subject to losing financial aid award if documentation is not submitted
  • Updating conflicting information found on the FAFSA may also result in a student’s financial aid being adjusted based on the corrected information provided


View the Special Circumstance Applications