Students and their families may have “Special Circumstances” due to COVID-19 or other unforeseen circumstances beyond their control that impact the ability to pay for expenses associated with college attendance. Students who have experienced a change in financial circumstances not reflected on the 2021-2022 FAFSA may initiate a review of their federal aid eligibility by completing the 2021-2022 Special Circumstance Form (PDF). Please review the list of qualifying circumstances below before submitting the special circumstance form and remember to attach all required documents. Submit all documents in person, by secure document submission portal, or by mail.
Students will be notified via their Cortland email address if their federal aid eligibility has changed. It is important to note that not all appeals will result in increased grant eligibility. Students who already have a zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for the 2021-2022 academic year will not qualify for an increased Federal Pell Grant, as the maximum grant will already have been awarded. However, with documentation of lost or reduced income due to COVID-19, students with a zero EFC can be considered for an adjustment to a cost of attendance budget component, which could potentially result in additional aid. Reviews resulting in increased grant eligibility may also result in revisions to the Excelsior Scholarship due to NY State regulations, if applicable.Students are welcome to contact the Financial Aid Office before submitting an appeal to discuss potential outcomes based on individual circumstances.
The Office of Financial Aid provides an estimated cost of attendance in your financial aid notification in myRedDragon. Requesting an increase to your budget increases your eligibility for loan such as PLUS loan or private/alternative loan.
Dependency override requests should be discussed with a financial aid advisor.