American Rescue Plan Act Special Circumstances and Professional Judgment Opportunity and Guidance

Students and their families may have experienced unforeseen circumstances and/or expenses during the past academic year due to Covid-19 or other circumstances beyond their control.  Students with documented ‘Special Circumstances’ that negatively affect their family’s financial situation could be eligible for an adjustment to the original data provided on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and their financial aid eligibility. 

Expected year income or adjusted base year income may be used in determining a student's federal financial aid eligibility if the student (or student's parent, if dependent) meets a specific special condition. Students should provide appropriate documentation. 

For example, because of COVID-19 some employers have shut down, reduced work hours, or furloughed employees. Some students or parents may not have been able to work due to illness. The Financial Aid Office professionals at Farmingdale State College will review your special circumstances and possibly adjust the amount of financial aid you may receive. 

If your family has experienced a change in income due to unusual or extenuating circumstances, the financial aid office can use professional judgement, and U.S. Department of Education guided flexibility, to re-evaluate your situation for the following reasons:

Examples of Special Circumstances:

  • loss of employment
  • loss of earnings due to disability or natural disaster
  • loss of untaxed income or benefit
  • separation or divorce
  • reduction or loss of child support
  • substantial change in income
  • one-time source of income
  • unusual medical expenses
  • secondary and elementary tuition expenses

**Supporting documentation is required for all special circumstance requests.  All tax documentation must be signed**

If you feel that you meet one of the criteria above and can document your claim, you can complete and submit a Special Circumstances and Projected Income Form. You will need to submit the form and documentation of your special circumstance to the Financial Aid office via, mail, FAX or using our Secured Data Upload application on the Financial Aid Page of our website.


Please note: Federal financial aid appeal decisions (Special Circumstances) are rendered on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the campus, based on guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education. All decisions are final. Every effort will be made by Farmingdale State College to assist students in need. Once a student submits their Projected Income Form and supporting documentation they will be informed of a decision within 7 to 10 business days.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us.  Remember to include the Student Name and RAM ID on all documentation and communications.  If you haven’t already done so, please make sure you have completed a Financial Records and Information Release Form. 





Last Modified 10/3/22