The Office of Financial Aid understands that students and their families may at times experience unique situations, and, as much as possible, we are here to help! You may pursue a financial aid adjustment based on two categories of unique situations: Special and Unusual Circumstances. 

Special Circumstances 

We recognize that income information presented on the FAFSA may not reflect a family’s current financial situation. Federal regulations allow Stephens College to use professional judgment on a case-by-case basis to determine whether additional aid can be given to a student due to eligible special circumstances that impact their Student Aid Index (SAI).  

Students with documented Special Circumstances that negatively affect their family’s financial situation could be eligible for a financial aid adjustment that could result in additional financial aid. Examples of special circumstances include, but are not limited to: 

  • Changes in employment status, income, or assets. 

  • Medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance. 

  • Parent divorce after FAFSA filing. 

  • Parent death after FAFSA filing. 

You can review the Special Circumstances Forms on our Financial Aid Forms page.  

Unusual Circumstances 

Unusual circumstances are conditions that support a change to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation. Examples of unusual circumstances include, but are not limited to: 

  • Human trafficking. 
  • Refugee/asylee status. 
  • Parental abandonment, estrangement, or parental incarceration. 

Please note that unusual circumstances do not include: 

  • Parents refusal to contribute to student’s education. 

  • Parents refusal to provide information for the FAFSA or verification. 

  • Parents do not claim the student for income tax purposes, or that the student demonstrates total self-sufficiency. 

If you indicate on your FAFSA that you should be considered independent, the Office of Financial Aid will reach out to you to discuss our process, requirements, and a reasonable timeline to review your unusual circumstance.  

You can review the Request for Independent Status Form on our Financial Aid Forms page.

Contact Us

Office of Financial Aid

Campus Box 2124
(573) 876-7106, Ext. 4106 (573) 876-2320 [email protected] Lela Raney Wood Hall 216 Meet the Team

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