Special Circumstances

Financial Reconsideration (Loss of income or unusually high expenses)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is based on income from the previous tax year. In most cases, this income is a good predictor of the family’s current financial strength. However, if a loss of income has occurred, the student may appeal for reconsideration based on the family’s income for the current year. A loss of income from employment due solely to the student’s decision to return to school is considered a choice, and does not support a request for financial reconsideration. The change in income will be reflected on the next year’s financial aid application. UA Little Rock will consider a loss of income due to circumstances beyond the student’s or family member’s control: layoff, factory closing, termination, inability to work due to illness or disability, etc.

Required documentation of loss of income:

  • Statement explaining the unusual and extenuating circumstances that are the basis of your appeal
  • letter from employer verifying last date of employment
  • documentation of year-to-date earnings for the student’s household
  • documentation of unemployment benefits
  • documentation of other expected income
  • Required documentation of exceptional medical expenses paid medical or dental expenses in excess of 7.5% of adjusted gross income
  • documentation of prescription medication expenses not covered by insurance

Dependency Status (Request for independent status)

Undergraduate students who are single, under the age of 24, not serving active duty in the US Armed Forces, not a veteran, not an emancipated minor, not homeless, not assigned a legal guardian before the age of 18, or have no dependents, are considered to be dependent for purposes of federal financial aid. Students who have extenuating circumstances may file an appeal to be considered exempt from the requirement to provide parent information on the FAFSA. The family’s choice for the student to be self-supporting and/or the parent’s refusal to provide information does not support a request for a dependency status change.

Required documentation:

  • Statement explaining the unusual and extenuating circumstances that are the basis of your appeal
  • Listing of all current income if you have not already provided a current year tax return
  • Supporting letter(s) from a non-family member (high school counselor, clergy, attorney, caseworker or counselor