The Financial Aid Office at SUNY Brockport realizes that students and their families experience unforeseen circumstances and/or expenses during an academic year. A financial aid appeal is a way for a student and their family to communicate with the Financial Aid Office about changes and circumstances that could not be reflected or explained on the FAFSA.

Special Circumstances are defined as changes in a student and/or parent’s financial circumstances.

Unusual Circumstances are defined as changes in a student’s dependency status.

Downloadable appeal forms can be found in our Financial Aid Forms Center , towards the bottom of the page. Please download and complete the form that corresponds with the financial aid year you are wishing to submit an appeal for.

Examples of Special Circumstances:

  • Significant/unexpected changes in family income (student and/or parent) due to loss of job, child support loss/reduction
  • Change in martial status (separated, divorced, widowed) after the FAFSA was filed
  • Unreimbursed medical expenses
  • Additional private educational expenses
  • Other special circumstances outside of the student’s control
  • Cost of attendance budget increases (*This appeal is intended to increase a student’s overall cost of attendance so that the student may obtain additional loan funding, this appeal does not result in non-loan funding*)
    • Additional required fees and/or educational expenses during the enrollment period
    • Additional transportation expenses
    • Additional meals/housing expenses (only medical related food expenses will be considered)
    • Additional personal/family care expenses
    • Additional or unexpected medical expenses
    • Other reasonable, education-related expenses reviewed and approved by the Financial Aid Office

Unusual Circumstances and Dependency Status:

All applicants for federal financial aid are considered either “dependent” or “independent” based on criteria set by the Department of Education . However, dependent students could be considered independent by the Financial Aid Office if there are unusual circumstances.

Unusual circumstances exist when there is an involuntary dissolution of a relationship between the student and their parent(s).

Examples of Unusual Circumstances can include:

  • Parental abuse or abandonment where the parent(s) cannot be located or shouldn’t be contacted.

Examples that are NOT considered Unusual Circumstances include:

  • The student is self-supporting and/or reside separately from parent(s)
  • The student and parent(s) are not on speaking terms
  • The parent(s) does not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Parent(s) refusal to contribute to students’ education

Students who have questions regarding a Special or Unusual Circumstance are encouraged to call the Financial Aid Office at 585-395-2501, to speak with a member of our staff about possible appeal options based on their situation.

All decisions regarding appeal requests are at the discretion of SUNY Brockport financial aid staff and cannot be appealed.