Quad out of focus

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.If you are facing one of the situations below, your financial aid award can be re-evaluated and considered for an increase.


Loss of Employment /Separation

If you or your spouse experience a change in income and/or financial situation after you have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), we may be able to make an adjustment to your financial aid eligibility. We will consider income adjustments for the following circumstances that occur after the FAFSA has been submitted to the federal processor:
o Your spouse die(s).
o You separate or divorce.
o You and/or your spouse:

  •  lose(s) a verifiable benefit OR
  •  become(s) disabled OR
  • experience(s) a loss or decrease of income.

o Medical and Dental Expenses

  • A medical/dental appeal can be submitted to either decrease your EFC (expected family contribution) or increase your budget so that more aid may be awarded. Medical expenses must have occurred and been paid for to be considered by special circumstances.

Requesting Special Circumstances Review


1. Please reach out to your financial aid counselor about your special circumstances and/or a status update to a submitted appeal,

  • You may locate your assigned financial aid counselor by clicking on the following link Financial Aid Counselors Assigned by First Initial of Your Last Name.
  •  Financial Aid counselor will email special circumstances Professional Judgement Appeal form.

While you always have the option of calling our office for an update, it's best to reach out to your assigned financial aid counselor via email based on the initial of your last name for information. Because of the nature of these appeals, our general office staff likely will not have or know specific details about your appeal, therefore reaching out to your counselor is the most efficient and effective way for us to respond to you properly and promptly.

Important Things to Remember when Submitting the Appeal


1. You will need to have received a financial aid award, not an estimate. Please wait until you have an award before submitting an appeal.
2. The tax return filing status on the FAFSA application must be marked as completed.
3. Make sure you are appealing for the academic year in which you are enrolled.
4. MSU financial aid office will accept one appeal for one-time frame for an academic year.
5. Written detailed statement and Documentation to support your request must be submitted with the appeal.
6. Indicate the Student Name and MSUID# on each documents attached for submission.
7. If your family have multiple students attending MSU, each student must file their own Professional Judgement Appeal form under their own MSUID# number.
8. After a review of your appeal your financial aid counselor will reach out to you via email.


Please realize our office often need to request very personal, financial documents to review your Special Circumstance Appeal situation. All information is kept confidential, unless a signed release is provided authorizing the sharing of information between all parties.
Sometimes, after starting an appeal review, our office staff will need more information to complete the review. In these situations, we will send an email to you requesting the additional document(s). Please respond quickly to our request so we may expedite the processing of your appeal in a timely manner.