Special Circumstances Information

​Central Michigan University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) recognizes that families can experience changes or have additional expenses that are not reflected on the FAFSA. This could affect the family's ability to contribute to the student's college education and/or could increase the student's estimated cost of attendance.

The U.S. Department of Education regulations allow financial aid offices to determine which circumstances warrant further review. To ensure fairness and compliance with the federal financial aid regulations, special circumstances can be considered on a case-by-case basis and there are limits as to what can be considered.

The situations below, while not all inclusive, indicate the types of circumstances we cannot consider.

  • High consumer debt, including credit cards
  • Home mortgage expenses
  • Car payments
  • Changes in seasonal employment
  • Gambling losses
  • Expenses related to pets, housekeepers, weddings, vacations or extracurricular activities
  • Unwillingness to contribute to educational expenses
  • Financial aid offers from other institutions

The following situations may qualify as special circumstances:

  • Withdrawal of retirement funds for emergency purposes
  • Job loss or significant reduction in income
  • Loss of child support
  • Separation or divorce of parents
  • Death of a parent

If you have experienced one of the situations listed above,  you may wish to complete the Special Circumstance form.  Be sure to submit all required documents as listed on the Special Circumstance form.  Forms must be submitted by January 31, 2016.

Dependency Status

The OSFA is required to follow federal regulations in determining a student's financial aid dependency status.  If you have questions regarding your status, please see the information located here: Financial Aid Independence: Who qualifies?