For most students, the information reported on the FAFSA form is an adequate measure of their family's financial strength. However, when unusual circumstances exist the staff in the financial aid office have the authority to make adjustments if they deem it appropriate.
The staff can increase a student's aid budget and/or adjust income information on the FAFSA form. The student must request an adjustment in writing.
This applies to federal aid eligibility only. For state aid, HESC allows adjustments to income information only in limited situations with the request for an adjustment being made directly to HESC.
In limited situations where the aid budget does not adequately reflect the cost a student will actually incur, the financial aid staff can increase the budget to cover the additional documented expenses. The result is that a student can receive more aid, usually loans or work-study, if they have not already been awarded the maximum amounts from each aid program.
The most typical situation for which this adjustment is made at Buffalo State is where a student incurs child care expenses while they are attending class.
It should be noted that the aid budget does not reflect expenses to support others in the family, but only for the cost of the student attending school.
Sometimes the income data on the FAFSA form does not adequately reflect a family's financial strength. When this is the case, the staff in the financial aid office can make adjustments to the FAFSA data which will result in a revised EFC. The revised EFC is then used to determine federal aid eligibility for that year.
The financial aid staff at Buffalo State regularly make adjustments for the following situations:
- a parent or independent student loses income due to a change in employment
- a lump sum distribution was received in the previous year
- the family had high out of pocket medical expenses
- the family will have private elementary or secondary school tuition expenses
- a dependent student's parent is also pursuing a college degree
Adjustments are not made for the following situations:
- to account for geographical differences in cost of living
- based on an accounting of expenses versus income
- to reflect the purchase of a new or used vehicle
Requesting an Adjustment
Each college has its own policies and procedures for granting adjustments. At Buffalo State, students requesting an adjustment due to special circumstances need to complete either the Special Circumstances Form or the Loss of Income Form available on our forms page.
All decisions regarding such requests are at the discretion of the financial aid staff and cannot be appealed.
Students who have received adjustments at other schools will be required to provide documentation to Buffalo State as well. In some cases, students granted adjustments by other schools will have their requests denied at Buffalo State.