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Special Circumstances

Special Circumstances

We understand that some students experience circumstances that impact their ability to pay for college. We're here to help you through whatever difficulty you may be facing. We know that your experience is personal and it may be uncomfortable to share, however, know that we will treat you respect and we have assisted students through many difficult situations.


Reduction in Income

If your household income has decreased since the FAFSA income year (2018 for the 2020-2021), we may be able to consider more recent income. You will need to submit documentation of your current income. Documentation includes recent year tax returns, paystubs, or a letter from your employer showing the reduction in income.


Unable to Obtain Parent Information

If your FAFSA requires parental information but you are unable to get their information due to special circumstances, you can submit a Dependency Override. Parent refusal to submit the documentation or parent refusal to provide financial support to the student are not sufficient for a Dependency Override, however, you may be eligible for an unsubsidized loan.

You will need to submit a personal statement regarding your relationship with your parent(s) and supporting documentation. Supporting documentation includes court documents, legal orders, police reports, Child Protective Services reports, or third-party letters from counselors, social workers, teachers, clergy-members, or coaches. Letters from family members or friends are accepted but may or may not be sufficient.


Unaccompanied Homeless or At Risk of Homeless

If you are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian and lack fixed, regular, and adequate housing, you may be eligible for additional aid. If you are a Maryland resident, you may be eligible for a Tuition Waiver.

You will need to submit a personal statement regarding your housing situation and supporting documentation. Supporting documentation includes a homeless youth determination letter, or third-party letters from counselors, social workers, teachers, clergy members, or coaches. Letters from family members or friends are accepted but may or may not be sufficient.

A homeless youth determination letter can be obtained from your high school or school district homeless liaison, the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program.