Ohio University

Special Circumstances

The process of determining a student's eligibility for financial aid is standard for all students. Sometimes, changes can be made if a student has a special circumstance. Changes made for special circumstances are based on the student and/or parent providing all needed items.

Change of Income

The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships has an online Change of Income application. This online form should be used when the special circumstances involve a loss of income. The Change of Income application opens in March for the new award year. To get access, students must contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at financial.aid@ohio.edu after receiving your financial aid award letter or email notification. Special circumstances may include a reduced income due to job loss, retirement, disability or death of a wage earner; loss of social security benefits, etc.

Changes in Marital Status

Students and parents must report their marital status as of the date the FAFSA is filed. If the student or parent marital status changes during the academic year, the student may request a review of their FAFSA through February of the student's spring semester. The student or parent will be asked to submit additional items to the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships after the FASFA is filed.

Difficulty Obtaining Parental Information

A student who does not meet the federal definition of an independent student must file the FAFSA as a dependent student. Dependent students must include parent data on the FAFSA. A parent not willing to pay for college does not make you an independent student for financial aid purposes. Also, not being claimed on a parent's tax return or living on your own does not make you independent. Students whose parents refuse to provide parent data on the FASFA can seek a Direct Unsubsidized Loan by completing the Special Circumstances form located under the forms section of this website. Students who complete this form will not be eligible for need-based aid.

In extreme circumstances, students who do not meet the federal definition of an independent student can appeal their dependency. Students must be able to document those circumstances. Students who want to appeal their dependency should file the Dependency Appeal Form. The Dependency Appeal Form is available upon request from the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. If approved, the student can file the FAFSA as an independent student.

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 advisor.