A PDF icontip sheet has been developed by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) to help federal student aid applicants in unique situations [e.g. single parents, Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) recipients, wards of the court, foster youth, etc.] answer specific questions on the FAFSA.

The University of Iowa Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) recognizes that families can experience changes or have additional expenses that are not reflected on the FAFSA.  This could affect the family's ability to contribute to the student's college education and/or could increase the student's estimated cost of attendance.

The U.S. Department of Education regulations allow financial aid offices to determine which circumstances warrant further review. To ensure fairness and compliance with the federal financial aid regulations, special circumstances can be considered on a case-by-case basis and there are limits as to what can be considered.

The situations below, while not all inclusive, indicate what types of circumstances we cannot consider.

  • high consumer debt, including credit cards
  • home mortgage expenses
  • car payments
  • private school expenses (including tuition)
  • changes in seasonal employment
  • parent in college