Federal regulations allow the Reynolds Office of Financial Aid to evaluate a student's financial aid eligibility and make adjustments for certain unique financial situations may not be reflected in the tax year's information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We consider each situation on a case-by-case basis and federal regulations limit which situations we can consider and how we make adjustments.
There are two major categories of special considerations we will review at the student's request. They are:
- Special Circumstances affecting family finances, and/or
- A Dependency Status Review for students who cannot provide parental information as required by the FAFSA
Special Circumstances can include situations where current year income is much lower than what you reported on the FAFSA, or you had unusual or extraordinary expenses (not associated with lifestyle choices) that negatively affected your current financial situation. These circumstances include, but are not limited to:
- Unusual out-of-pocket medical and/or dental expenses that were incurred during the tax year provided on the FAFSA
- Death, divorce, or separation has occurred since the FAFSA was filed
- Loss of unemployment compensation
- Loss of Social Security benefits
- Loss of child support
- Loss of Worker's Compensation benefits
- Loss of income by parent and/or student (spouse, if applicable) from work due to layoff, closing of business, termination, or reduction in employment hours to attend school
We encourage students with these circumstances to complete a Financial Aid Special Consideration Form and provide all required supporting documents.
A Dependency Status Review is a process used in those rare situations where a student should not be considered dependent according to the federal guidelines. Students cannot make themselves independent. A Dependency Override Request can be approved by the Reynolds Office of Financial Aid. The Office of Financial Aid will review cases where students have been separated from their biological parents due to an unsafe home environment, or
- Both parents are incarcerated or institutionalized, or
- One parent is incarcerated or institutionalized and the whereabouts of the other are unknown,
- Student's economic & personal circumstances are of such a unique or unusual nature that denial of independent student status would create an unjust hardship.
Self-sufficiency in and of itself is not a basis to grant a student independent status at Reynolds. In addition to self-sufficiency, a student must also document exceptional circumstances necessitating his/her current status. Your status as an independent student cannot be based solely on your income (resources), or your parents' unwillingness to contribute to your educational expenses.