Special or unusual circumstances are ones that differentiate a student’s financial or living situation from those of other students due to extenuating circumstances.

 A student can complete one of the appeals below by logging into their Financial Aid Portal at https://saddleback.studentforms.com or by contacting the Financial Aid Office directly.  Students are strongly advised to consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to requesting and completing the appeal.

Once requested, the individual appeals provide full explanation of the appeal requirements and supporting documentation.  Please be sure to follow the directions on the appeal carefully in order to avoid delay in the processing of your request.  

Change in dependency status, from dependent to independent, is a consideration if you do not meet the criteria to be considered an independent student when submitting your financial aid application, but have extenuating circumstances.

Circumstances that are generally given consideration include:

  • Student's voluntary or involuntary removal from their parents' home due to an extreme situation that threatened the student's health and/or safety resulting in student no longer having contact with parent(s)
  • Incapacity of parent(s) such as incarceration, mental or physical illness.
  • Other extenuating circumstance that can be sufficiently documented.

NOTE: The following situations generally do not constitute a change in dependency for financial aid purposes:

  • Parent(s) refuse to contribute to the student's education;
  • Parent(s) are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification;
  • Parent(s) do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purpose;
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.

If there has been a significant decrease in income since completing your financial aid application, you may be eligible to request a review of your household income. Not all income reductions will result in a change to financial aid eligibility.

Circumstances that are generally given consideration include:

  • Loss of income from work
  • Divorce, pending divorce or separation
  • Death of a parent (or spouse if independent student)
  • One-time nonrecurring income was received (inheritance, IRA distribution, etc.)
  • Loss of untaxed income or benefits

This appeal allows students to appeal their cost of attendance due to additional incurred costs.  The Financial Aid Office will review the information provided and make any approved adjustments to your cost of attendance (budget).  This process does not guarantee that you will be eligible for additional aid, but provides you the room in your cost of attendance to be awarded additional aid up to but not to exceed your calculated cost of attendance.

Students must request this appeal directly from the Financial Aid Office.

Circumstances that may warrant a cost of attendance appeal include (all additional incurred costs must be in excess of what is already included in the student’s estimated cost of attendance):

  • Increase in living expenses (including Rent and Mortgage)
  • Books and Supplies 
  • Transportation
  • Child Care Costs
  • One-time Computer Purchase

After reviewing the submitted appeal and supporting documentation, the Financial Aid Specialist will determine whether the adjustment, if approved, will impact a student’s financial aid eligibility and make adjustments as required to a student’s financial aid award.  Not all appeals will result in a student being eligible for additional financial aid.

Professional judgment requests are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. The Financial Aid office will issue a decision of an appeal request within 30-days of a student’s completed appeal being received.