The federal formula that determines a student’s financial aid eligibility is based on the required income information submitted using the FAFSA.
This is known in financial aid as the "Base Year."
- For the 2023–2024 academic year (August 2023 to August 2024) the base year is 2021.
However, there are occasions when a family’s financial situation changes during the school year from what it was in the Base Year.
- Upon request, the Financial Aid Office will review such changes (known as “special circumstances”) in the hope of providing a more accurate reflection of the family's financial situation for aid purposes.
- Please note: not all changes in family income are accepted by the Financial Aid Office as a “special circumstance.”
To qualify, a special circumstance must cause an unexpected or unplanned reduction in the family’s finances, or be the result of circumstances beyond the family’s control.
Examples include job loss, death of a major wage earner,etc.
A situation is not a special circumstance if it includes:
- expenses that the family has been paying regularly for several years, such as healthcare insurance costs
- expenses that involve lifestyle choices or expected family events (weddings, retirement)
- one-time increases in the family’s income (lottery winnings, inheritance)
- elementary or high school tuition for other family members
A request for a review of a special circumstance must include the following:
- 2023-2024 Special Circumstance Form
View last year's (2022-2023) special circumstance form
- Documentation authenticating the special circumstance (e.g. letter of job termination, death certificate)
- Signed copy of parents’ and student’s IRS Tax Return Transcript
- Students who did not file taxes must submit the Student Non-Filer Form (PDF).
- Completed Verification Worksheet
- For job loss: documented unemployment benefits
- For job loss or death of a wage-earner, provide copies of all W-2 forms for both the parents and student.
There is no specific turnaround time for a response to a special circumstance. This is because special circumstances are so varied by nature.
No Special Circumstance is final without confirmation from the Financial Aid Office, and while a request is in process all students must proceed with their financial aid award as it currently stands.
Submit all materials to:
Cabrini University Financial Aid Office
610 King of Prussia Road
Radnor, PA 19087-3698
Phone: 610.902.8188, Fax: 610.902.8426,