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SFCC Financial Aid recognize that student and family situations can change, and those changes are not always reflected on your application for aid. SFCC is committed to ensuring we are equitably packaging aid and therefore to ensure our students have the resources they need to be successful, our aid administrators can review certain situations to see if your aid can be adjusted in certain situations.
Does your situation involve a change to one of the income components for you or your parent(s) on the FAFSA?

  • If yes, we are here to help! See the Special Circumstances for income process below 

Does your situation involve being unable to provide your parents information on your FAFSA and you are under the age of 24?

  • If yes, we are here to help! See the Unusual Circumstances process below

Special Circumstances Process

The FAFSA application is based on prior-prior year income information. At times this does not reflect the current situation of students and their families. SFCC Financial Aid Administrators can make professional judgements to update income information if certain situations apply and it will benefit the student’s aid package.

If any of the below apply contact our Financial Aid process now

Unusual Circumstance Process

Financial Aid regulations state that students under the age of 24 are required to provide both student and parent information and signatures on the FAFSA application unless certain situations apply. Family dynamics and situations do not always fit into these dependency status boxes, and therefore the financial aid office can make changes in dependency status for students under 24 if unusual circumstances apply. To find out if this would apply to you and your family situation read the below information, or connect with our friendly financial aid staff! Click here to be connected.
Please note, the situations listed below can NOT be considered as a qualifying unusual circumstance that would allow for a dependency change:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education.

  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for paperwork if selected for verification.

  • A student is not financially supported by parents or living with parents

  • A student is not claimed on parents’ income taxes


What is your Unusual Circumstance?

According to Federal Student Aid, if any of these questions listed below are a YES, then you will be considered Independent and parent information is not required. If all the below are NO, you are considered Dependent. If you still are unable to provide parental information due to unusual circumstances that is when the financial aid office can make the dependency change for you. Starting the 2023-2024 aid year depending on the unusual circumstance that applies, it may be able to be carried forward from year to year.

  • Will you be 24 or older by Jan. 1 of the school year for which you are applying for financial aid? For example, if you plan to start school in August 2021 for the 2021–22 school year, will you be 24 by Jan. 1, 2021 (i.e., were you born before Jan. 1, 1998)?

  • Are you married or separated but not divorced?

  • Will you be working toward a master’s or doctorate degree (such as M.A., MBA, M.D., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., etc.)?

  • Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?

  • Do you have dependents (other than children or a spouse) who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you?

  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training?

  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?

  • At any time since you turned age 13, were both of your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a ward or dependent of the court?

  • Are you an emancipated minor or are you in a legal guardianship as determined by a court?

  • Are you an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?

For more information, visit

What is the Unusual Circumstance Process?

If you feel that you will qualify for a dependency change due to unusual circumstances, please contact the SFCC financial aid office here or call us at 509-533-3550 to obtain the form and discuss next steps. Students applying for the first time without parent information at SFCC will need two adult references in mind of that can attest to the unusual circumstances as to why you may be unable to provide parental information on your FAFSA.

The following documents are required when completing a Unusual Circumstance with SFCC:

  1. Completed Unusual Circumstance Form with all questions completed and signed by the student

  2. Two letters from responsible adults in your life, with contact information, that can attest to the unusual situation that would warrant a unusual circumstance. Examples of such adults are, but not limited to:

    1. High School Counselors

    2. Medical and/or mental health professionals

    3. Techers

    4. Coaches

  3. Any other documentation that would help to make a determination for a unusual circumstance (court documents, death certificates, police reports, etc.)