Special Circumstances

Occasionally families experience changes in income and/or resources such as:

  • Loss of job(s) or benefit income
  • One-time nonrecurring income
  • Separation or divorce of student or parent
  • Death of a parent or student’s spouse
  • Excessive medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Other catastrophic event affecting family income

As a result of these unexpected changes students and/or parents have the right to file a 2023-24 Special Circumstance Petition (PDF). All requests must include supporting documentation. Failing to provide proper documentation will result in a denial of the petition. Students with approved petitions will be notified of changes via their ECU email account.

A Special Circumstance is intended to reflect the current year situation and unexpected household changes against the tax-year of record for the FAFSA. If you feel there might be a Special Circumstance situation, you can visit this EFC Calculator to estimate how your projected household income for the current year might influence the changes to the EFC, to determine if it might be the best choice.