Unusual Circumstance Appeal

If you were required to provide your parent’s information on the FAFSA form but are unable to do so because of unusual circumstances, ACC may be able to waive the requirement of your parent’s information. The process to request this waiver is called the Unusual Circumstance Appeal (previously called a Dependency Override).

Examples of Qualifying Unusual Circumstances

  • An abusive family environment
  • Parental abandonment or estrangement
  • Incarceration or institutionalization of both parents
  • Parents lacking physical or mental capacity

This is not a complete list. If you believe you have unusual circumstances, contact a campus Financial Aid Office to discuss your eligibility.

Examples of Circumstances that Do Not Qualify as Unusual

  • Parents do not support the student or refuse to contribute to the student’s education
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency

If your Unusual Circumstance Request is denied, then you must either include your parent’s information on the FAFSA or submit a Parent Refusal Form to request a Federal Unsubsidized Loan. Contact a Financial Aid Office to discuss your options.

How to Request an Unusual Circumstance Appeal

Follow these steps:

  • Complete the financial aid application steps for the current school year. You must have a FAFSA application on file (omitting your parent’s information) before you can submit the Unusual Circumstance Appeal.
  • Contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your circumstances and eligibility. We are here to help in-person or online. Appointments are available but not required.
  • Submit Unusual Circumstance forms on your StudentForms portal.
  • Submit additional documentation online that supports your unusual circumstances. Additional documentation can include (but is not limited to):
    • Court documents or police reports
    • Hospitalization records
    • References that can verify your unusual circumstances such as:
      • School teacher, counselor, or principal
      • Director or counselor of children/youth home
      • Pastor or clergy person
      • Other persons who can accurately verify your unusual circumstances

Processing Timeline

It’s our goal to review student Requests and provide an approval or denial as soon as possible, usually within two weeks of receiving the student’s completed Unusual Circumstance documents. Students will be notified of ACC’s decision on their Request by email.

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