At a very basic level, special circumstances are anything that makes the information provided on the FAFSA form not reflective of the family's ability to pay. This can include anticipated differences between the prior tax year and the upcoming year, such as an impending job loss or unusual capital gains. It can also include anything that differentiates the family's situation from other families, such as medical expenses not covered by insurance or parochial school expenses.
Examples of situations that do not count as special circumstances,include, but are not limited to vacation expenses, tithing expenses, standard living expenses (e.g., utilities, credit card debt, mortgage payments, car payments, lawn care, etc.).
At the University of Dayton, we offer our families an opportunity to alert us to these special circumstances by way of our Special Circumstance Appeal Form. Like the FAFSA, this should be completed for each year of enrollment, if warranted. Completing this form does not guarantee an increase to your financial aid eligibility and, in some instances, additional documentation may be required in order to verify the expense and/or loss of income.
Please allow up to four weeks for review.