Division of Enrollment Management

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Financial Aid: Special Circumstances

Q: My family has unusual or special circumstances which may affect our ability with meeting college costs. How will these changes affect my FAFSA?

A: Changes that will affect family income in the current tax year (2014) will not be reflected in the aid eligibility formula until the 2015-2016 academic year.  Therefore, other than reconsidering your educational plans, you may want to look into your eligibility for non-need based programs such as Parent Loans and/or private alternative loans since we do not have any private institutional or non-federal funds to assist students with special circumstances.  We strictly adhere to federal regulations and guidelines which require reporting of prior year information as well as parental income of dependent students as defined on the FAFSA.

Please know that family inability and/or unwillingness to assist with meeting college costs does not constitute a "special circumstance".

NOTE: Transfer students should not assume that any special conditions approved at a prior institution will be treated similarly at New Paltz.


Q: What about severe family changes such as death or involuntary unemployment?

A: Families experiencing severe economic hardship due to drastic changes such as death, disability, involuntary unemployment, etc. may submit actual 2014 tax returns and documentation of year 2014 non-taxable income to our office between January 1, 2015 and February 15, 2015. 

All requests must be received in writing outlining briefly the circumstances no later than June 1, 2014.  Late requests will not be considered.

NOTE: Marital status and household size are considered a "snapshot" as of the date the FAFSA was filed. Generally, any changes thereafter, are not considered a change of circumstance until the following year's 15/16 FAFSA is filed.

»Unfortunately, sufficient levels of federal and state financial aid monies are not available to meet the full needs of increasing numbers of applicants as costs increase at the same time.  All applicants are urged to seek private aid funding if possible from their local communities, schools and/or employers.  



The main purpose of this limited fund is to partially assist students currently enrolled with meeting costs (such as those billed by Student Accounts) to finish a term or semester who are experiencing a severe change of family circumstance (such as death of immediate family member, flood, hurricane, etc.) and have exhausted all other programs.  Separate application of hardship in writing can be made to the Office of Financial Aid by June 1st for Fall and January 15th for Spring.  Depending on funds available, awards generally may range from $300.00 to $1,000.00.