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Student Financial Aid

Special Circumstances Appeal

Federal laws governing financial aid allow the Office of Student Financial aid to recalculate financial need in cases of special circumstances not taken into consideration by the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

To ensure fairness and compliance with the federal regulations, there are limits to which circumstances can be considered. Special Circumstances are considered on a case-by-case basis. Common special circumstances include, but are not limited to, changes in income, high/medical/dental bills not covered by insurance, and divorce, separation or death of a parent. The Office of Student Financial Aid is not able to consider circumstances such as high mortgage, car payments or consumer debt.

Please submit a personal statement explaining your situation and provide third-party documentation confirming this information. Upon review it may be necessary to submit additional documentation. Appeals will be considered incomplete until all requested documentation has been received. Special Circumstances reviews will be completed within 3-4 weeks after receipt of all required documents, but some changes may take as long as 6-8 weeks. Once the special circumstance appeal has been processed, you will be notified of any changes that resulted from your special circumstance. Please note that a recalculation in financial need does not guarantee that additional aid will be awarded.

If you have any questions about requesting your special circumstance appeal, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid (301-314-9000) to schedule an office or phone appointment with a counselor. Counselors will help you determine if your situation can be considered and if a potential Special Circumstance is likely to lead to additional aid eligibility.

Please forward your personal statement along with the documentation to:
Special Circumstances Counselor
University of Maryland
Office of Student Financial Aid
0102 Lee Building
7809 Regents Drive
College Park, Maryland 20742