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Special Circumstances


Indiana State University recognizes that situations occur which may affect a student's eligibility for need based financial aid. In these cases, students may be eligible for a special circumstance appeal.

Special Circumstance Appeal

  1. Loss of Household Income. Termination, resignation, out sourcing, relocating, or retirement impacts household income.
  2. Decrease in Wages Loss of overtime, change of position, reduced work hours
  3. Death or Divorce of Spouse or Parent
  4. Exceptions to Normal Income. Lottery Winnings, Inheritance, IRA/Pension distribution, One time payout of funds
  5. Unusual Medical/Dental expenses not covered by Insurance

If you believe one of these situations has occurred submit a special circumstance appeal form.  In addition, ISU will complete a verification on your file prior to reviewing your Special Circumstance Appeal. Therefore, submit a Dependent / Independent Verification Form, IRS Tax Return Transcripts and any required documents as indicated on the Verification Form (such as W2 forms).  Review the chart below for the income information your appeal can be based on.  You may select to base the review on your actual income or on your estimated income.

Appeals typically require 10 – 14 business days, after your verification has been completed, for processing. Submission of an appeal does not guarantee approval.



Note: Utilize the Secure File Upload to submit digital copies of your tax documents. Documents may also be faxed, mailed, or brought in during office hours. Contact a financial aid counselor for help completing any form. The student's name and ISU ID number should be clearly written on every document submitted, including student and parent tax returns.


Special Circumstance Examples



Budget Evaluation

Most types of financial aid may not exceed the institution's established cost of attendance. However, students may have educational expenses that exceed the allowable threshold. On a case by case base, ISU can review the student's educational costs to determine whether their cost of attendance budget is accurate. A few of the categories in which increases may be granted are as follows:

  1. Books and Supplies
  2. Purchase of Computer or Laptop
  3. Dependent Care/Childcare expenses
  4. Miscellaneous Educational expenses

To apply for a budget adjustment, complete the Budget Evaluation Form.



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