Special Circumstances

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid follows federal, state, and institutional regulations in administering financial aid.  The student’s eligibility is calculated based on all information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We recognize that many families experience changes in income or have family situations that are not reflected correctly on the FAFSA. Using federal regulations, we can revise your FAFSA data and dependency status to reflect your current circumstances.

Dependency Override

The federally mandated formula used to determine financial aid eligibility is based on the premise that your family has the primary responsibility to pay for your education. When applying for financial aid, the federal government has specific standards to determine whether you are a dependent or independent student.  You have to meet at least one of the following requirements to be considered an independent student:

    • Married
    • Born before January 1, 1993
    • Veteran of the United States Armed Forces
    • Ward of the court until age 18, or both parents are deceased
    • Enrolled in a graduate or professional program
    • Responsible for a legal dependent other than a spouse who receives more than half of their support from you

If you do not meet any of the above criteria, then you are considered a dependent student and will need to report your parents’ income and include their signature on the FAFSA

The following circumstances are not considered for the purpose of achieving independent status for financial aid:

    • You do not live in your parents' home
    • You are self-supporting
    • You are not claimed as a federal income tax exemption on your parents' income tax return
    • Your parents cannot afford or refuse to help with college or living expenses
    • Your parents are unwilling to provide their financial information to complete the FAFSA
    • You and your parents had disagreements resulting in a breakdown in your relationship

If you believe you have special circumstances that should be considered for independent status, meet with a Financial Aid Officers to discuss your situation. Financial Aid Officers are available by phone at (210)784-1300 or on a walk-in basis at the Welcome Center on Main Campus. 

Financial Reconsideration

If you or your parent’s financial situation has changed from the information provided on the FAFSA, or at any time during the academic year, contact our office regarding a Special Circumstance Appeal. 

Special circumstances include, but are not limited to: 

    • loss of employment
    • disability
    • illness
    • separation
    • divorce
    • death

A Financial Aid Officer will discuss your situation with you to determine if your circumstance warrants an appeal. Special Circumstance Appeals will be provided by the Financial Aid Officer along with a detailed explanation of the required documentation to process your request. Appeals will not be considered without the required supporting documentation.