Although the process of determining a student's eligibility for financial aid is basically the same for all students, an adjustment sometimes can be made if a student has special circumstances. Special circumstances may include a reduction in income due to loss of employment, retirement, disability or death of a wage earner; divorce or separation; loss of social security benefits, etc. In extreme circumstances, a student who does not meet the federal definition of an independent student for financial aid purposes may be able to document those exceptional circumstances in order to be considered an independent student.
The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at Ohio University has an online Change of Income Request application, which should be used when the special circumstances involve a loss of income. The Change of Income Request application is available by contacting the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.
A student who wants to appeal his or her dependency status for financial aid purposes should file the Dependency Appeal Form for the appropriate school year. A student who does not meet the federal definition of an independent student normally must file as a dependent student and include parental information on the FAFSA. Only students with exceptional circumstances should file the Dependency Appeal Form. Unfortunately, parents' unwillingness to help pay for college, not being claimed as an exemption on parents' tax return, or living on your own does not make you independent for financial aid purposes. The Dependency Appeal Form is available upon request from the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.
If you think you have special circumstances that you want to discuss with a financial aid administrator, please feel free to contact your assigned financial aid counselor.