Special Circumstance

If the information you filed on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) does not reflect your current financial situation or does not take into account an unusual circumstance with you and/or your family you may submit a request for review of your financial aid status for special circumstances.   In certain circumstances, the Financial Aid Office may make adjustments to the FAFSA information to more accurately reflect the current situation.

NOTE: Even if an adjustment is made, it may not result in additional aid.

To process a request for review we must have the following:

  • The current academic year FAFSA must be on file with the University of Mary Washington
  • You must be accepted for Admission and/or continuing a degree seeking program
  • You must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
  • The Office of Financial Aid must have a completed Special Circumstance Request with all required documentation
  • All forms must be SIGNED
  • A minimum of 16 consecutive weeks of income loss is required for appeals based on loss of earnings.  Please submit your request after this period.

Additional documents may be requested throughout the process

The parent and/or student must submit the Special Circumstance Request Form and all required documentation before the committee will review.  Responses are sent by mail or email within two weeks after a decision is made.  The University of Mary Washington (UMW) will begin reviewing letters of special circumstance in early April for the following academic year for all new UMW students.  Continuing student requests are reviewed in late June. Requests received after that time will be processed as they are submitted.  The circumstance under review must have impacted the family for a minimum of 16 weeks prior to the request and still exist at the time of the evaluation by the Office of Financial Aid. We do not consider loss of employment due to voluntary separation or a decrease in income for a student considered dependent on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

DEADLINES:                        Fall:   October 01                 Spring:    February 15
We do not accept special circumstance requests for summer terms.

Complete applications submitted to the Office of Financial Aid will result in one of the following outcomes:

No change was made.
Changes reduced EFC but did not change award
Changes reduced EFC and adjustments made to the distribution of federal student loans.
Changes reduced EFC and adjustments made to federal Pell grant and student loans

*Due to the availability of funds only Federal Pell grant and loans are impacted. Select the appropriate form from the list below.

Special Circumstance Form 1516

Special Circumstance Form 1617