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Special Circumstances Appeal

Saint Louis University recognizes that certain life changes can occur after the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that can affect a family's ability to contribute to one's education of impact the cost of attendance. 

Per federal regulations under limited, unique financial circumstances, a student may appeal their financial aid eligibility. To ensure fairness and compliance with these federal regulations Special Circumstances appeals are reviewed on a case‐by‐case basis, with limits as to what can be considered. Consideration of such circumstances does not imply additional funds will be available.

This process reviews need-based aid eligibility for students. Since graduate students are not eligible for need-based aid, they would not be eligible for Special Circumstance review. 

Complete the Special Circumstance Appeal for 2024 - 2025

This list, although not inclusive, indicates what types of circumstances may be considered:

  • Loss/change in employment
    • Must be at least a 20% decrease in family’s household income
    • Needs to be continuous for at least 10 weeks
    • Loss must be involuntary or unexpected death of student’s parent/spouse
  •  Divorce or separation
  • One-time income such as withdrawal from IRA or pension
  • Loss of benefits (child support, social security, unemployment)
  • Health Care expenses
    • Expenses must exceed 15% of the family’s adjusted gross income
    • Medical costs must be for required medical treatment and not elective care
  • Tuition expenses for elementary or secondary education
    • Must be for elementary or secondary tuition expenses paid for dependents other than the SLU student
    • Expenses must exceed 10% of the family’s adjusted gross income
    • Expenses must be reported for the 2022 or 2023 tax year and not the academic year (January – December)
    • Must provide a copy of the 2022 and 2023 tax return
  • Pension or annuity rollovers that were mistakenly reported on the FAFSA. Please submit this form for review. 

This process reviews circumstances to determine how it impacts information provided on the FAFSA. The following list outlines scenarios that are highly improbable to result in additional aid, primarily because they involve information not disclosed on the FAFSA or considered in the SAI calculation.

  • Loss of aid due to missing priority deadlines and/or not meeting eligibility criteria for renewal of aid.
  • Changes in aid eligibility due to change of Student Aid Index calculation as part of FAFSA Simplification. This includes families with multiple in college, net worth of businesses and farms, changes in Pell Grant awarding, etc.
  • Unusual expenses related to personal living (e.g. credit card bills, home mortgage, school loan payments, car payments, legal bills or other miscellaneous consumer expenses).
  • Reductions in overtime pay or commission, bonuses, or one-time winnings (this will be reflected on the following year’s aid application).

We consider all requests and review each appeal individually to determine if additional aid can be generated. 

If after review it is determined that your situation might meet the special circumstances criteria, you will be asked for additional supporting documents. Please note, federal regulations require full verification of FAFSA data prior to finalizing any special circumstance appeal that may impact federal aid.