Eligibility for financial aid is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which currently uses financial information from two years prior to estimate a household’s current circumstances. The Financial Aid Office recognizes that households can experience changes in income or other finances that are not reflected in their information from two years prior.

When these situations occur, it is possible to re-evaluate a student’s aid eligibility based on their current circumstances through the Special Circumstance process. Special Circumstance applications may require a letter of explanation and supporting documentation. At the discretion of the Financial Aid Director, a Special Circumstance Application may require that federal verification be completed.

Examples of Non-applicable Circumstances

  • Standard living expenses (utilities, car payments, etc.)
  • Mortgage payments
  • Credit card/other personal debts
  • Filing for bankruptcy
  • Vacation expenses
  • All other discretionary expenses

Contact your Financial Aid Office for more information:

Great Bay Community College                      [email protected]

Lakes Region Community College                [email protected]

Manchester Community College                  [email protected]

Nashua Community College                          [email protected]

NHTI – Concord’s Community College        [email protected]

River Valley Community College                  [email protected]

White Mountains Community College        [email protected]

Change to Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

  • Loss or change of employment. Note: A change in student’s aid eligibility will likely not occur if:
    • The person who lost employment has currently been rehired and is earning a similar or higher salary than two years prior
    • The loss or change to income was not significant
  • Child Support reduction or change
  • Change of student/parent marital status
  • Death of parent(s) or spouse
  • Excessive out of pocket medical and/or dental expenses that exceed 11% of household’s Adjusted Gross Income
  • One-time taxable income (IRA disbursement, pension distribution, etc.)

A change to the EFC is not guaranteed to result in a change in eligibility for need based awards.

Examples of applicable out of pocket costs

  • Costs associated with a student’s disability
  • Childcare expenses for a dependent child of the student
  • One-time purchase of a computer for education expenses
  • One-time costs of professional licensure required for student’s major

A change to the COA is not guaranteed to result in a change in eligibility for need based awards. An increased COA may provide additional eligibility in a student’s educational budget for private aid.

Failure to submit requested documentation may result in a delay in processing your Special Circumstances Application.

More information from the US Department of Education:

What should I do if I have unusual financial circumstances?

What should I do if I have a special circumstance and can’t provide parental information?

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