A student's calculated financial need is based on the family's prior year income.  However, income is sometimes drastically reduced due to situations beyond the family’s control. Examples of special circumstances include:

  • a major change in employment or

  • a layoff/unemployment,

  • divorce after the original application was filed, the death or

  • disability of a wage earner,

  • a loss of benefits,

  • unusually high medical bills paid but not covered by insurance,

  • substantial elementary/secondary tuition expenses

Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions about whether or not your particular situation can be reviewed as a special condition.  The original valid results of your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) must be on file before any adjustments can be processed. The first award notification the student receives will be based on results from the original FAFSA (or higher transactions the family has submitted). 

Special circumstances are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If your FAFSA has been selected for verification, the government requires that process be completed before special condition adjustments can be made by Cuesta College.

Special conditions due to loss of income (due to layoff) are done in spring e.g. to request a special condition for 2014-2015 award year, you will need to provide a tax transcript of your 2014 year income.


Special Circumstances Forms

2013-14 Special Circumstances Form for Dependent Students

2013-14 Special Circumstances Form for Independent Students