Special circumstances can increase financial aid

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Financial circumstances changed from the FAFSA make students eligible.

By R. Eguia 


Students might be eligible for additional financial aid for the current academic year if they experienced a significant decline in income, according to this college’s financial aid office.

Special circumstances include loss of employment, divorce, death of a parent or spouse and high-unreimbursed medical expenses, which significantly alter a student’s financial situation since completing the FAFSA application.

Rose Carreon-Muñoz, associate director of financial aid, said not all Texas colleges are required to accept special circumstances applications, but all Alamo Colleges are accepting them until July 28.

“We have always accepted special circumstances because of the diversity on campus,” said Carreon-Muñoz. “The acceptance period has never been this long. District recently changed it.”

“Over a year ago, we would only accept these applications outside of peak registration times,” she said.

If a student wants to request independent status or override dependency status before they are 24, they must submit a special circumstance request form during the specific time period.

Students may request an adjustment to their cost of attendance if they need to pay for daycare in order to attend school or they travel long distances to attend school.

Students who are parents may be eligible for additional financial aid if they pay for private school or experience unusual medical fees on their children’s behalf.

Students can pick up an application from the supervisor on duty at the financial aid office in Room 101 of Fletcher Administration Center where they will be given specific instructions and assistance, Carreon-Muñoz said.

Special circumstances requests are subject to a six-week verification process administered by the financial aid office.

Once a student is verified they will have six weeks to turn in supporting documents, such as additional tax transcripts, police reports or documents associated with a special circumstance.

Decisions will be based on evidence and the professional judgment of the financial aid department. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed, because special circumstance consideration is not mandatory.

For more information, call the financial aid office at 210-486-0600.


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