Student Financial Services

Special Circumstances

A special circumstance appeal is a way for students and families to communicate changes in household income and resources that are not reflected on the FAFSA. Special circumstances are those that are very extenuating and beyond the family's control. They are not a comparison of scholarships offered by other schools or an appeal for merit aid. Eligible circumstances may include:

  • Involuntary loss of employment or income
  • Legal separation or divorce
  • Death of parent or spouse
  • Substantial medical or dental expenses you paid that were not covered by insurance
  • One-time lump sum payments

If you meet one of the above criteria or have other significant financial circumstances that are not reflected on the FAFSA, you are welcome to submit an appeal for review. Although all appeals will not result in additional funding, we will keep all appeals on file for further consideration as funding permits.


How to File an Appeal

  1. File a 2021-2022 FAFSA
  2. Be an accepted student at SUNY New Paltz
  3. Submit the 2021-2022 Special Circumstance Form along with a detailed cover letter and supporting documentation by December 31, 2021.  Please note, this form is also applicable to circumstances related to the COVID-19 crisis.


What Happens Next?

The appeal process takes approximately four weeks to complete and does not extend the payment deadline.  Students must make payment arrangements with the Office of Student Accounts prior to billing deadlines.  All decisions made by the Office of Student Financial Services are final and will be communicated to the student electronically.  Not all appeals will result in a change to financial aid packages.  Additionally, appeals for special circumstance only apply towards federal or institutional aid, and will not result in a change of state aid eligibility (i.e., TAP Grants, SUNY Tuition Credit, or the Excelsior Scholarship). While appeals processed by the Office of Student Financial Services do not determine your eligibility for NYS aid, please be aware that an increase in certain grants could impact any NYS Excelsior funding you may receive.


What are my other options to assist with payment?  


Student Crisis Fund:

The Student Crisis Fund provides quick-response, one-time grants in the event of a qualifying emergency. Funds can be used toward essential academic needs (books and supplies); replacement of lost or damaged items; or basic needs such as utilities, childcare, short-term housing or transportation. Average awards are $100-$1,000. The Student Crisis Fund application can be found by logging into my.newpaltz and scrolling down on the left to the Student Crisis Fund link. Click here for other information about the Student Crisis Fund.

College Council Student Retention Fund:

The purpose of this limited fund is to provide partial financial assistance to currently enrolled students who are experiencing a severe change of family circumstance, such as death of immediate family member, flood, hurricane, etc. and have exhausted all other resources. 

Crossing the Finish Line Fund:

Established by Nancy Moore '64 and David Moore to help provide emergency support for students whose ability to continue at New Paltz may be jeopardized by changed financial circumstances.

Karen Krause Brody and Dr. Steven Brody Scholarship Fund:

An emergency scholarship fund to support successful junior or senior students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 majoring in a degree program of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, whose ability to continue at New Paltz is jeopardized by a sudden change in financial circumstances. Application is available through Academic Works.