Financial Aid
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Special Circumstances

The federal government makes every effort to capture the family's financial situation using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®); however, some families may be experiencing a hardship or unusual circumstance which is not reflected on the FAFSA.  The Financial Aid Office will review these circumstances on a case-by-case basis to determine if it changes the student's eligibility for aid.

2021-2022 COVID-Related Loss of Job/Income Reduction

When you completed the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), you reported your 2019 federal tax data as required by the application.  However, we recognize that many families have been impacted by the global pandemic.  If you or your parents (for a dependent student) have experienced a reduction in income or have lost a job during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 13, 2020 and after), your 2021-2022 financial aid eligibility may be re-evaluated.  Please follow the directions on the COVID-Related Loss of Job/Income Reduction Special Circumstances Appeal Form and submit all required documents it describes to the Financial Aid Office for consideration.  Please note that submitting this form does not guarantee an increase in financial aid.

Other Types of Special Circumstances

We also understand that there may be other special circumstances that may have changed since you completed the FAFSA.  The following are examples of additional special circumstances we may review on a case-by-case basis to determine if it changes the student’s eligibility for aid. 

  • Non COVID-related loss of employment or reduction in income
  • Loss of untaxed benefits (i.e., child support)
  • Divorce
  • Death
  • Unusual medical expenses not covered by insurance

Please follow all directions on the 21-22 Special Circumstance Appeal Form or the 22-23 Special Circumstances Appeal Form and submit all required documents it describes to the Financial Aid Office for consideration.  Submitting this form does not guarantee an increase in financial aid, however.

Circumstances which do not warrant a review include unusual credit card debt, high living expenses, or refusal to pay for college.

Dependency Appeals

If a student is considered dependent based on the criteria on the FAFSA, the student is required to provide parental information.  In certain extreme situations, the student can appeal this with the Financial Aid Office.  The student will need to meet with a Financial Aid Administrator, provide a letter of appeal, and provide supporting documentation such as letters from professionals aware of the situation. 

In these very limited cases, an otherwise dependent student may be able to submit the FAFSA without parental information due to special circumstances, including:

  • Your parents are incarcerated; or
  • You have left home due to an abusive family environment; or
  • You do not know where your parents are, are unable to contact them, and you have not been adopted.

The following are situations, in and of themselves, would not be considered a special circumstance for dependency status appeal:

  • Your parents do not claim you as a dependent on their income taxes.
  • You do not live with your parents and/or you and your parents are having a disagreement.
  • Your parents refuse to provide their information on your FAFSA.
  • Your parents do not contribute to your college expenses and/or you are self-supporting.


Financial Aid Office
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
130 Hyer Hall
800 West Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190

Contact Us

Phone: (262) 472-1130
Fax: (262) 472-5655
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Meet the Staff

Office Hours

Lobby Open: 
Mon-Fri: 8 AM - 4:00 PM
Phones Answered:
Mon-Fri: 8 AM - 4:30 PM

Walk-in Advising

Mon, Tues, & Wed: 9 AM-4 PM
Thursday: 12:30 PM - 4 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
*May be with remote Advisor