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Special Circumstance

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:

  1. 2023-2024 Special Circumstance Form
    View last year's (2022-2023) special circumstance form
  2. Documentation authenticating the special circumstance (e.g. letter of job termination, death certificate)
  3. Signed copy of parents’ and student’s IRS Tax Return Transcript
  4. Completed Verification Worksheet
  5. For job loss: documented unemployment benefits
  6. 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,
Email: financialaid@cabrini.edu