Students who feel that there are special circumstances that should be taken into consideration by UMF when aid eligibility is determined should inform the Financial Aid Office of these circumstances in writing. To do so, you and/or your parent should request from the Financial Aid Office an Explanation of Special Circumstances form which should be completed and returned to the Financial Aid Office. Some situations which may be considered “special circumstances” include (but are not limited to):
- unemployment or reduced employment
- separation or divorce
- loss of non-taxable income or benefits
- loss of one-time income
- death of parent or spouse
- unusual medical or dental expenses
- other situations that affect the family’s ability to contribute to the student’s education.
In most cases, the Financial Aid Office will require some type of documentation supporting your claim of exceptional circumstances to comply with Federal and University regulations. Please be prepared to support all claims with some type of documentation. It is not a guarantee that an appeal will result in more financial aid.
Students who do not meet the Federal definition of an Independent student, and who believe they have unusual circumstances to warrant reconsideration of their dependency status, may appeal to the Financial Aid Office for a review of their situation.
Unusual circumstances do not include a student’s ability to support themselves and claim they are “financially independent” from their parents, but rather circumstances in which it would be inappropriate to require parental data as part of the student’s application.
Some examples of situations that would be considered an unusual circumstance are:
- Your parents are incarcerated
- You left home due to an abusive family environment
- You do not know where your parents are and are unable to contact them
The following situations would NOT be considered an unusual circumstance on their own:
- You do not live with your parents
- Your parents don’t provide you with financial support
- Your parents refuse to contribute to your college expenses
- Your parents don’t claim you as a dependent on their income tax return
- Your parents do not want to provide their information on your FAFSA
If you feel you qualify for Independent status, you should contact the Financial Aid Office. There will be documentation required to support your appeal, and final determination will be made by the Financial Aid Office.
If you have questions, please contact us. We look forward to helping you.
Merrill Center Student Services
University of Maine at Farmington
224 Main Street
Farmington, Maine 04938
TDD/TTY 207 778-7244