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2017-18 Special Circumstances Form

2016-17 Special Circumstances Form 

Filing A Special circumstances Appeal

A financial aid appeal is a way for a student and his/her family to communicate with the Financial Aid Office about changes beyond the family’s control that have occurred since the FAFSA was filed or that were not reflected or explained on the FAFSA.

Therefore, if an appeal is approved, financial aid eligibility is re-evaluated for federal aid since in most cases additional institutional aid is not available. Note: Changes in federal financial aid eligibility do not change or affect the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award calculated by HESC.    


examples of Eligible Appeal Circumstances

  • Significant or catastrophic loss of family income/benefits (student and/or parent) due to loss of job, retirement or disability.
  • Parent/student who is widowed/separated/divorced after the FAFSA was filed.
  • Necessary medical and/or dental expenses which have been paid out of pocket, and were not covered by insurance, and will not be covered by insurance in the future. 
  •  Personal bankruptcy that occurs during the current financial aid year. 
  • Other special circumstances outside of the student’s control. 

How To File A special circumstances Appeal

  • File the aid year specific FAFSA (i.e., 2017-18 FAFSA for fall 2017 and spring 2018). Binghamton University’s Federal School Code is 002836.
  • Be admitted to Binghamton University. 
  • Submit a letter explaining your circumstance(s) attached to the Special Circumstances form, along with all documentation requested to verify your circumstance, to Financial Aid and Student Records. 
  • You will be contacted within 10 business days regarding whether additional documentation is required or a final determination has been made regarding your request.
  • Note: The review process does not begin until mid-March of each year. Appeals will not be reviewed until initial financial aid offers are made,  since they are a re-evaluation of an original offer. 

budget increases

  • There are some circumstances where a Special Circumstances form is not required.
  • Requesting an increase in your budget increases your loan eligibility for PLUS and alternative loans.
  • Simply write a detailed letter and attach documentation to confirm your additional educational costs.

examples of circumstances eligible for a budget increase

  • Required increase in cost during the students period of enrollment (typically August- May)

  • Additional transportation expenses for students residing outside states other than New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania.
  • Additional educationally-related costs due to a disability or unexpected medical cost.
  • Childcare expenses required to attend classes. Please see Childcare Expenses form.
  • Other reasonable, educationally-related expenses reviewed and approved by the   Financial Aid Associate Director or Director at Binghamton University.


Last Updated: 4/19/17