American Rescue Act Special Circumstance Guidance

Students with documented ‘Special Circumstances’ that negatively affects you/your family’s financial situation- such as state unemployment receipts- could be eligible for a financial aid adjustment of  their financial aid award. For example, because of COVID-19 some employers have shut down, reduced work hours, furloughed employees and others may not have been able to work due to illness. Your campus financial aid office may be able to review your special circumstances to adjust the amount of financial aid you receive or would have received.

If your family has experienced a change in income due to unusual, special circumstances, our campus financial aid office has Professional Judgement and U.S. Department of Education guided flexibility to re-evaluate your situation for the following reasons:

  • Loss of job or permanent/indefinite reduction of work hours
  • Separation or divorce
  • Personal bankruptcy that occurs during the current financial aid year
  • Death of a member of your immediate family
  • Reduction/loss of child support
  • High non-reimbursed medical expense.
  • Your parents took money out of their pension/retirement plan as a one-time payment to help cover expenses
  • Other documented special circumstances outside of the student’s control

If you would like to apply for an American Rescue ACT Special Circumstance fill out the form below. We will follow up to request supporting documents.

Please note:

Although Federal Financial aid appeal decisions (Special Circumstances) are at the discretion of the campus and are based on guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education and are completed on a case-by-case basis with all decisions considered final, SUNY Old Westbury is compelled to make every effort to assist students in need. Once a student submits their special circumstance form and required documents they will be informed of a decision within 7-10 business days.

Financial Aid Special Circumstance Appeal Form

Student name
700 ID number
Parent or student