Texas Tech University

Special Circumstances

Students Studying

Special Circumstance/Dependency Change

This application may be completed if your family's financial situation has significantly changed from the previous calendar year to the current calendar year.

The primary reason for a special circumstance is to make qualifying adjustments to the family adjusted gross income which may lower a student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

In some instances, this adjustment will assist in qualifying the student for grant funding. If the student's EFC is already 0, there is no reason to submit a Special Circumstance.

Reasons for submitting a special circumstance include:
  • Loss of employment—If the year to date income is equal to or more than the previous year income, no changes can be made for loss of employment.
  • Separation or divorce—Changes can only be made if both parent/stepparent income was included on the FAFSA and a separation or divorce occurred after the FAFSA was submitted.
  • Loss of child support—Changes can only be made if child support was included on the FAFSA.
  • Medical
  • Death of a spouse or parent-- Changes can only be made if income of the deceased was included on the FAFSA.
  • Deduction of one-time payment - Consumer debt cannot be considered.
  • Marriage—If a dependent student marries after the FAFSA is filed, a dependency change may be requested.
  • Dependency change requests—The student must be able to document abuse, neglect, or abandonment by the parent. Only parent information should be included on the FAFSA—if the student was raised by other family members, a dependency change may be requested.
  • A parent's refusal to pay for college or provide FAFSA information, or a student's self-sufficiency, are not reasons for a dependency change request.

If you feel you have a circumstance or situation that is not listed above, please contact our office.

Budget/Cost of Attendance Increase

If a student has expenditures not covered by the financial aid budget/cost of attendance, an increase can be requested.

  • The Budget Increase Request form must be submitted with supporting documentation indicated on the form.
  • Submission does not guarantee a cost of attendance adjustment will be warranted and processed, or that additional aid can be awarded.
  • ln many instances, a student will need to apply for additional loan funding if the budget increase is approved. Loan information can be found at ttu.edu/financialaid/typesOfAid.php

If you have questions, please contact our office.